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Faith Leaders Resources 3min read

Breaking Bread: Generational Giving Habits are Changing

Money management and charitable giving habits across generations

It’s no secret that charitable giving and money management have evolved across generations. Here’s the real question: In a time of tight budgets, how do places of worship inspire each generation to give?

Here are a few findings to help any place of worship increase giving across generations within their congregation.

It’s More Than Money, Honey

Each generation is generous in its own way. To no surprise, Baby Boomers are the most generous with their treasure. Similarly, millennials prefer options to offer time, talent, and treasure. About 70% of them volunteer more than an hour to a charitable cause. Diversifying giving opportunities at your place of worship can unlock your donors’ generosity.

A Community Feast

Generation X, Millennials, and Generation Z are most inspired to give by what they see on social media. They’re more likely to share your mission online, too.

Encourage your donors to share their gifts on Facebook or Instagram. Post photos of community service opportunities your congregation participates in. More eyes on your church’s impact can mean more microdonations toward your mission.

Everyone Kneads the Dough

While Baby Boomers and Generation X have stashed away their pennies into 401k’s and investments, Millennials are just getting started. Keep this fact in mind when observing giving habits across generations within your place of worship. Saving is important to each generation, and this can affect their generosity.

However, don’t shy away from younger groups like Millennials and Generation Z. Building your case for support while they’re younger can keep your church relevant as these generations join the workforce. In the future, this can increase their potential to give.

Debt to Dough Ratio

Millennials are concerned with staying out of debt more than past generations. Only 1 in 3 own a credit card. However, when budgeting their finances, they still account for charitable donations, within reason, to causes that matter to them.

On the other hand, Boomers tend to preserve their investments which can restrict their potential to give more than they already do. As a place of worship, you can mitigate this barrier to giving by sharing the why behind your funding needs.

Showing the impact of a donor’s dollar can make the act of giving feel as beautiful as giving itself. The best part? They’ll give without worries of negatively affecting their own budgets or investments.

Against the Grain

Compared to all generations, Generation X does not lead the pack in most dollars given. However, Millennials are on the rise as the most generous, and they’re more likely to give, but Boomers still hold the top spot for dollars donated. Consider targeting these groups differently.

Boomers respond more to email asks while Millennials act faster when informed through social media. Our Givelithon feature is a great way to connect with donors on social media and make giving an exciting event.

Generational money management and giving directly impact non-profits’ and religious organizations’ fundraising efforts. To learn more about donor giving habits, view the full infographic here or visit


About the Author

Basha Coleman