Report: More Older Americans Prefer Giving Online
Why churches should note this potentially turning tide.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy has a brief but interesting article about new research on the demographics of online givers. In short:

Most people, no matter what their age, now prefer to make charitable donations online, according to a new study of more than 17,500 donors.
The survey by Cygnus Applied Research, in Chicago, found that more than half of donors who are 65 or older now prefer to make their gifts online, with much higher percentages of younger donors saying the same.
It was the first time in the three years the survey has been conducted that a majority of donors in all age groups said they preferred to give online.
What's more, two-thirds of donors said they want all their communications to be electronic.

Two reasons this caught our attention:

  • Churches that don't offer online giving tend to suggest a primary reason they don't is the lack of interest or participation in online activity by older members. In the 2011 State of the Plate, 36 percent of the more than 1,500 church leaders surveyed said they offered automatic electronic payments (EFT), and nearly 30 percent accepted donations through their websites, during 2010;
  • Interest in electronic communications, such as e-newsletters and the like, appears to be growing among seniors, which churches—especially those that don't offer any form of electronic communications–should note.

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