The Generation Gap

The generation gap is real – particularly in giving preferences among evangelical donors.

Younger evangelical donors are more focused internationally and less focused locally. They’re less trusting. They really like variety in their giving. And they are less likely to do research or planning related to their donations.

These aren’t just our opinions, but the findings from The Generation Gap: Evangelical Giving Preferences. This report covers a study of over 1,000 evangelicals conducted by Grey Matter Research and Infinity Concepts.

The Generation Gap report cover

(For a free copy of The Generation Gap, simply e-mail

How Evangelicals Prefer to Give

Nearly six out of ten evangelical Protestants give to ministries or charities outside of a church. And while our report The Generosity Factor: Evangelicals and Giving details how much evangelicals give, The Generation Gap explores how they give and how they prefer to give.

Our study provides two critical types of information. One is how evangelicals in general prefer to give. Just a couple of tidbits to whet your appetite:

  • 53% of evangelical donors prefer to do some research before giving to an organization, while 33% prefer to give when and where it “feels right” to them.
  • While 27% would rather give to overseas work, 46% of evangelicals prefer supporting domestic efforts.

Younger Donors Are a Different breed

The other type of critical information is that the generation gap among evangelical donors is very real.  Our data shows just how much giving preferences differ by age. For example, compare donors under 40 with donors 70 and older on just the two points above:

  • The oldest donors lean heavily toward doing research before giving, rather than giving to what “feels right” (62% to 27%). Donors under age 40 are close to evenly split: 43% prefer to do research, while 38% give when it “feels right.”
  • The oldest donors heavily prefer giving domestically (62% to 17%). The youngest donors are the only age group where more prefer giving overseas than in the US (34% to 28%).

A changing landscape

For many organizations, their core givers tend to be people 50, 60, or even older. But younger donors represent the future. Will their perspectives and preferences change as they mature into tomorrow’s core donors? We can’t say. But if they stay consistent, tomorrow’s fundraising landscape will be very different than today’s.

Discover more in The Generation Gap. Just e-mail your request to and we’ll send you the free report.

And while you’re at it, think about how research like this can address the questions you have about your own organization’s current or potential donors. What are the things you wish you knew about your target market? We specialize in providing information that helps organizations make wiser decisions.

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