The Insanity of Underestimating Baby Boomers

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This is part 6 of 10 in a series called INSANITY: 10 Crazy Things Churches Do That Hinder Online Giving. When it comes to online giving, we’ve identified 10 ways your expectations don’t line up with most online giving vendors’ practices and platforms.

You can download a copy of the entire series for free and we’ll notify you as new information is published.


You’ve probably heard of Dr. Gary Chapman’s 5 “love languages.” The popular book and program has helped millions of people understand the insanity they feel when repeatedly trying to connect with someone using their own love language instead of their loved one’s innate style. The problem is a language barrier based on unique differences in people.

Likewise, when it comes to online giving, insanity occurs when you treat your BOOMERS the same as your millennials and expect giving to increase.

Are Millennials Your Last Hope?

Since the inception of online giving, Millennials were the upcoming generation for whom churches had to move into the future. This demographic, now in their 20s and 30s, is significantly less wealthy than their parents were at the same age.

Many millennials have abandoned the church and those who stayed approach generosity differently. They’re as young as 22 and in the throes of paying off college debt, starting families and growing their careers in a tough economy. 

So they may not be the best focus for improving the church’s bottom line.

Meet the New Baby Boomers

In the meantime, Baby Boomers have been evolving as they age. They’ve become the generation with the greatest amount of wealth. They’re approaching retirement more actively than any generation before them. And many are seeking out a church for the first time as they begin to feel the brevity of life and have more free time.

Where are Your Baby Boomers Hiding?

As we discussed in the previous section, some online giving vendors like to divide your givers into a neat package of 20% “generous givers” and 80% “non-givers and low givers” using the 80/20 rule. 

They recommend focusing on the 80% to grow your church’s giving, which makes sense…on the surface. If the 80/20 rule is true, you might assume the 80% is made up of Millennials, Seniors, and the upcoming Gen Z (Zoomers), who are 21 and under. You might also assume that your Baby Boomers are already giving generously in the 20% category.

But let’s ditch the assumptions. They can lead you astray. Putting someone in a category like “giver” or “non-giver” can backfire on you, leading you to make costly tactical errors in your online giving strategy. 

You could have Baby Boomers in all categories of givers, just waiting to be inspired, appreciated and engaged by leadership. They could be supporting and engaging with other ministries than yours. They could be just now learning the wisdom of getting out of debt and the discipline of giving. You never know.

Are you making these assumptions about your Baby Boomers?

  • They’re not very internet savvy.
  • They’re not interested in leading in church ministries.
  • They’re already giving generously.
  • They can’t afford to give generously.

One Size Does Not Fit All

First time giver? Loyal, long time giver? Holiday giver? Tentative giver?

Vision2 was designed to enable churches to identify patterns in giving and then to automate customized communications in order to speak to each type of giver in their language. This type of personalization helps them feel known, appreciated and hopefully, inspired to give again.

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Stop the Insanity and Boost your Giving Now

REMINDER: You can download a copy of this entire series for free. In the guide we show you how to easily fix each insane issue so you can dramatically improve your online giving returns.