As the digital landscape continues to evolve, understanding the preferences and behaviors of digital donors is crucial for churches to thrive for generations to come. According to the fourth volume of Barna's The State of Generosity series, Meet the Digital Donor, nearly half of Americans (44%) have a preference for digital forms of giving. In this blog, we’ll summarize insights that reveal two key observations that shed light on these donors’ motivations and tendencies.
Digital donors display a remarkable curiosity for unfamiliar things, with 69% expressing a strong interest in exploring new experiences. This openness extends to their preferred methods of giving, as they gravitate towards the digital platforms that have emerged in recent years. Digital donors are also more likely to adopt and experiment with innovative technologies and services before their peers.
Digital donors not only embrace new giving methods but also feel confident in using digital and electronic tools for generosity. In contrast to analog donors, they exhibit higher levels of trust and comfort with various giving platforms, including crowdsourcing sites like GoFundMe and mobile payment services like Venmo and Zelle. A significant gap emerges in terms of confidence in giving to nonprofits online, with 61% of digital donors expressing comfort compared to only 31% of analog donors.
The disparity in trust can be attributed to analog donors' concerns about the effectiveness and security of online giving. While digital donors believe their personal information is safe when giving online (84%), a majority of analog donors (66%) do not fully trust online giving tools to protect their information. Analog donors also harbor doubts about whether their donations will reach the intended organization or cause.
These findings highlight the need to build trust among analog donors and foster awareness of the positive experiences of digital donors. Technological advancements continue to transform the landscape of financial giving, providing numerous options for organizations, churches, and individuals.
Whether fully embracing digital giving or approaching it with caution, it is crucial for leaders and fundraisers to consider these characteristics when engaging with donors, regardless of their preferred giving methods. Understanding the motivations and concerns of digital donors will contribute to the success of generous movements in the digital age.