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Including Older Generations in the Use of New Technology

As we go into this holiday season, think about how many penny loafer-rocking attendees do you have at your church.  The older generations aren’t always against new ways of giving. They might not be aware that they have the option to use technology to give. Or they may not know how to use the technology or who to ask for help.

I recently got the email below from my father in regards to sending me a check to reimburse me for some Christmas shopping I had done for him.

<Your sister> tells me that, if we had <product> on our phones, we could send money to one another for such things as reimbursements very easily.
I’m going to try it. Let me know if you want to try it, too.

Soon after, I received this email from my sister in regards to her children discussing my father, who is called Babba in her house.

We’re so lucky that Babba seems so much younger than all of our friends’ grandparents.  He already knows all of the cool stuff.

While there are many complimentary words that describe my father, “cool” is probably not on the top of the list.  He is really more in the classic category.  I’ve always felt like his style and taste was more like Fred Rogers on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.  Dad found the irony in this email as well.  Quickly his response followed.

Sweet children.  And I’m thankful for my children and grandchildren who try their best to keep up with “all of the cool stuff.”

Soon after, I did further shopping and quickly received reimbursement via this technology.  I did miss the always enclosed sweet hand written notes that would have come with a check. But the new technology was rather handy.  He was happy to use the technology, but he was not familiar with it and didn’t know how.  (There were several follow-up emails to confirm that it had all worked, though.)

The top request that the ACST eGiving Coaches receive and assist with from our eGiving clients is for instructional materials.  It isn’t always enough to communicate the needs of your organization – although you need to do that, too – but you need to let them know how they can give.  While you still have in service options, make sure you are sharing about all options of eGiving. You can’t assume that everyone is aware of the availability, or even heard and understood the first time you might have shared.

As technology grows and becomes more familiar with all generations, it is worth the extra effort to continue to explain what you have available.  You may have some “cool grandparents” in your membership who are eager to learn and willing to try new things to stay connected to their younger congregations. Make sure your church is taking the time to explain how to use eGiving so your ministry can make the most of the new tools it has available.

Are you looking for ways to help include older generations in new ways of giving? Our eGiving Coaches have free, customizable resources to help your fundraising efforts. Just give them a call or schedule a time to chat.

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