Other than technology, churches that want to engage millennial donors are faced with the challenge of demonstrating the good work they do. The ability to anticipate income such as offerings and tithes is an important component of financial planning for churches. The finance staff along with the pastors need to have a clear idea of the average donation that the church receives. In addition, the church also needs to have a thorough knowledge about its different sections of donors and understand their preferences. Online donation, mobile giving and text-to-give are donation methods that are widely preferred by church donors, especially millennials. It is crucial for churches to stay up to date with current giving trends so that they can adopt and adapt faster and easier.
For a lot of people, the term “millennials” may give the perception of a group of young adults who are always on their mobile phones or other electronic devices. But when it comes to fundraising for nonprofits including churches, their value should not be underestimated. One millennial is a door to hundreds more as they are media savvy and have the ability to reach more people. Having an army of millennial supporters could work wonders for your church. This article sums up the few ways in which your church can gain the support of millennial donors.
Enable mobile giving
Millennials love to text and they prefer text communication over phone calls. Keeping this in mind, enable text-to-give for your fundraising. Set up a platform or a system that allows your donors to quickly and easily donate by just sending a keyword to a specific number for just your organization. The world is on the go – not just millennials -so be sure to be mobile friendly and offer the convenience of text-to-give.
Social media presence
Make sure that you are on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, among others. Millennials are huge on social media and most content they consume are from these platforms. According to recent studies, 90% of 18 to 29 year olds are into social networking sites.
When you post on your social media handles, make your content shareable.
Do not hold back from exploring the tools and features that social media platforms offer such as polls and LIVE sessions.
Relationships matter to millennials. A church that elevates community will do better than a church that doesn’t. Small group strategies could be the perfect way to go about this. When we say a community, it doesn’t mean that everybody needs to know everybody. In fact, it simply means that everyone needs to know someone. These young adults enjoy your time and your attention. Therefore, churches should go big on connecting, serving and growing together. Focus on creating opportunities for engagement keeping your millennial supporters in mind.
Honesty and transparency cultivate trust. It is essential for millennials to know where their financial gifts are directly supporting.
- Be clear on your messaging. Churches must be diligent in sharing information about where the money raised is going once it leaves the offering plate.
- Show how your donors’ generosity is being used for good causes such as spreading the gospel, serving the hungry and the homeless, etc.
- Have updated information about your mission on your website and in all communication materials.
What is your church telling these millennials about giving? The message needs to be delivered that giving is an act of worship. It is an alignment with how the Father wants to use others to make a positive impact in the lives of the helpless. Give millennials a sense of purpose and why they must lend their support. This is not just for the church or others, but for themselves too. The church needs to develop a generous culture.
Show your impact
Millennials are that section of your audience that are more cause-oriented.
- Show them how their donations to your church have helped. This will help in making a better connection and generate more support. Photos and videos are an effective way to accomplish this.
- Millennials have a firm belief in their ability to improve the world that they live in. Show them how they are doing exactly that by joining hands with your church. Provide affirmations!
- Occasionally provide them with numbers. For example, let them know of the impact made by donations via text-to-give, online giving, crowdfunding, etc. Be transparent about how much you are raising and how it will further your mission.
Treat your millennials in the same way that you treat your donors that belong to other age groups. Thank them, send them updates via social media and emails. Communicate with them by sharing success stories. Acknowledge their support and make them feel not just welcome, but included.
As a church engaging with millennials, it is necessary to treat the hearts of millennials like that of a caring shepherd. Millennials have earlier been termed as “Generation Nice” by The New York Times. Getting them onboard and retaining their support will largely contribute to shaping the future of your church. Engagement is key! Get started by implementing these ideas and build from there.