April 28, 2023

How Christians Express Generosity

Giving Trends

When people think of generosity, most relate it to money. However, generosity is often expressed through other nonmonetary methods including volunteering, emotional support and hospitality.

According to Barna’s “Why the Generations Approach Generosity Differently” study, only one in five practicing Christians choose financial giving as their preferred method of expressing generosity. In fact, both volunteering (31%) and emotional and relational support (25%) ranked higher.

With 80% of American’s agreeing that there’s more to generosity than giving money, it’s clear there has been a mindset shift across North America in recent years. Barna’s recent study “Beyond the Offering Plate: Views on Volunteering” also observed that volunteering and service are even more important to individuals in Gen Z, with 42% saying volunteering and service are the way they most often express generosity.

Why This Matters

More than half of Americans see nonmonetary giving as a replacement for financial generosity. This view is consistent between both Christians and the general population.

It’s critical for people working at charitable organizations to understand how meaningful these nonmonetary methods of support are to people so they can provide giving options outside of traditional financial support. In fact, by not offering these options you may be missing out on developing a new generation of donors.

According to The Chronicle of Philanthropy “People who volunteer their time are also more likely to financially support an organization, with 79 percent of those who volunteer with a non-profit also donating to that organization.”

Recruiting and retaining volunteers can enhance an organization’s work, increase financial donations, and attract new supporters through word of mouth. Beginning or refreshing a volunteer program could be an important alternative to increasing support in 2023 as people continue bearing the weight of inflation and an uncertain economy.

Next Step

If you want to attract more volunteers to your organization, read the 6 tips for boosting recruitment here and consider how your organization may implement them.

Photo by Canva.