The core donor base for a ministry such as Samaritan’s Purse or Eight Days of Hope is somewhere between 50 to 60 years old because they have the most disposable income and have yet to hit retirement. Eventually, though, they will retire or pass away, and today's young evangelicals will take their place.
Ron Sellers of Grey Matter says organizations have to be forward-looking which means developing relationships with younger donors.
“The challenge is that younger donors are so different from older donors,” he observes, “that you cannot effectively attract a 38-year-old with the same methods, the same messages, that you were effectively attracted a 68-year-old with.”
The survey of 1,000-plus Evangelicals finds those under 40 are less likely to start by trusting an organization. They are more likely to want to spread their money around to different causes rather than concentrate on a few, and they are also more likely to give "spur of the moment" rather than plan their giving in advance.
As in other areas of life, the up-and-coming generation is all about stories and an emotional connection to a ministry, Sellers tells AFN.
“There's just less intentionality about the giving of the younger donor,” he says. “So this generally means when there's less intentionality, there's less reliance on statistics, on numbers, on things like that, and more reliance on stories and on narratives.”
And there is one more interesting difference, too: The younger adults in the survey are more interesting in giving their money to overseas ministries rather than those here at home.