Give it Up for the Future of Giving

6 Minute Read
Posted by Overflow Team on April 11, 2023



Millennials and Gen Z Spending Habits & Donating To Charity

It’s really important for church leaders to understand the mindset of Millennials and Gen Z spending habits because, ultimately, these two generations will make up the majority of your donors over the next couple of decades. And these givers are set to inherit $30 trillion in the next couple of years, which could benefit charitable organizations and nonprofits. Only by being aware of Millennials and Gen Z values will church leaders be able to approach both generations in the right way, helping to educate and inform people about important causes and how financial support is critical to achieving goals. 


Millennials & Thoughts On Donating To Charity 

Millennials, born between 1981 and 1996, are now the largest generation of professionals in the US. They are also known for their tech-savvy and progressive attitudes towards social and environmental issues. According to a survey by the National Philanthropic Trust, 84% of Millennials made a charitable donation in 2020, with an average donation of $481. This figure indicates that Millennials are more likely to donate to charity than other generations. In fact, 70% of Millennials volunteered to help out at a charity in 2014, demonstrating a growing interest in supporting local nonprofits and churches. 

However, Millennials also have unique views when it comes to charitable giving. They are more likely to support causes that align with their values and to seek out organizations that have a clear and transparent impact on their communities. Moreover, they tend to be skeptical of traditional fundraising methods, such as direct mail and telemarketing and prefer to donate via a smartphone device. Online giving has increased over the years, with 62% of Millennials choosing to donate through their mobile device over other donating methods. This is why churches must stay ahead in terms of technology adoption and be open to change. 

So for church leaders hoping to increase financial support from Millennials in 2023, there needs to be a strong focus on creating meaningful connections with this generation. Through storytelling and case studies shared across social media, nonprofit organizations can better influence and attract Millennial donors.


Gen Z Spending Habits Extending To Charities 

Gen Z, born between 1997 and 2012, is the first generation to grow up fully immersed in the digital age. As such, they have unique spending habits and expectations when it comes to charitable giving. According to Forbes, Gen Z is emerging as the sustainability generation, which makes them perfect candidates for environmental projects such as tree planting campaigns, plastic-free ocean goals and projects dedicated to protecting wildlife and natural habitats. 

Dubbed the TikTok generation, Gen Z spending habits are influenced heavily by Gen Z values which include sustainability, as we’ve just mentioned and living in a way that is more connected to the wider community and nature. For charities to engage Gen Z supporters church leaders should emphasize the impact of their work on social and environmental issues and use social media in order to build relationships and online communities. 

Nonprofit organizations could also consider partnerships with brands and companies that already have strong environmental missions that align well with Gen Z values and encourage Gen Z spending habits to shift towards supporting worthwhile projects. 


Millennial and Gen Z Values When It Comes To Supporting Nonprofits 

Both Millennials and Gen Zers are strongly motivated by a desire to make a positive and meaningful impact on the world. They value transparency, authenticity, and social responsibility and also demand this from the organizations they support. They are also more likely to donate to a cause that is directly connected to their personal experiences and communities. 

So to effectively engage with both generations, church leaders and nonprofits should consider the following:

1: Share compelling real-life stories about the impact of their work: Millennials and Gen Zers respond well to storytelling online but the story must be authentic and have a personal touch. By sharing stories about the impact of their work, churches can create an emotional connection with potential donors from both generations.

2: Leverage social media to build relationships, digital communities and encourage donating to charity: Both Millennials and Gen Zers are active on social media, and nonprofits should use these platforms to inform supporters and create digital communities of supporters. They should also leverage user-generated content, such as photos and videos, to build trust and credibility for their cause.

3: Provide transparency around how donations are used: Another must for church leaders is to be as transparent as possible to influence Gen Z spending habits. Millennials and Gen Zers are skeptical of traditional fundraising methods and want to know exactly how their donations are being used and spent. Nonprofits should therefore provide clear and transparent information about their finances and impact to build trust with potential donors.


Final Thoughts

In conclusion, Millennials and Gen Zers are a crucial demographic for churches and nonprofits looking to increase interest in donating to churches. By understanding their values and behaviors, and by creating meaningful connections with them, it is possible to build strong relationships with both generations and gain sustainable financial support now and in the future. But since the future of giving will involve non-cash assets, as 90% of wealth for people who give is now held in non-cash assets such as IRAs, mutual funds, EFTs, and cryptocurrency, church leaders must start using platforms such as Overflow that facilitate digital donation methods. By eliminating limitations when it comes to donating to churches and supporting a cause close to your heart, Overflow makes it possible for churches and nonprofits to accept stocks, crypto, cash, and more assets in the future.