Seniors to the Rescue

Seniors to the Rescue

Seniors With Money to Spend Buoy Consumer Activity. That was a recent Wall Street Journal headline to an article that shared the positive power of spending for people over 65. The WSJ article stated, “In August, 17.7% of the population was 65 or older, according to the Census Bureau, the highest on record going back to 1920 and up sharply from 13% in 2010.”1. That led me to wonder, what percentage of your church population is over 65? According to a Pew Research report, 48% of weekly church attendance comprises people 65 and over.2.

I call this the church’s ticking time bomb. For years, Baby Boomers have been the largest donor group by amount given. Their generosity comprises a significant portion of a church’s revenue. They are soon all going to be in retirement. Since they are making less, it would stand to reason the amount given to their church would decline. That whole generation will be gone in the next thirty to forty years. Churches that don’t have a plan for bringing up the next generation of donors will face some tough decisions as revenue dries up. For more on this, check out this post:

On the positive side, the WSJ reported that Americans 65 and up accounted for 22% of spending in 2022. They also report that Baby Boomers have amassed $77.1 trillion in wealth. They have little debt, and most own their homes, thus avoiding monthly payments. The WSJ quoted Ed Yardeni, president and chief investment strategist of Yardeni Research, who said, “There’s a $77-trillion-wide hole in the theory that consumer’s running out of pandemic savings will sink the economy.”

That is good news, as most economists predict a recession sometime in 2024. Recessions impact consumer spending and giving to churches. But with almost 50% of your attendees 65 and older, you could survive any recession and thrive. If this holds, your seniors could be like your calvary coming to your rescue. The question is how to get attendees 65 and older to give from their wealth. Here are some thoughts and ideas.

First, don’t take them for granted. It’s easy to focus on the next generation and forget about the ones that help get your church to where it is. Marketers and fundraisers will tell you how important it is to retain your key consumers and contributors. Keeping someone in the fold takes less effort than gaining a new follower. Retaining your Boomers and Elders will be key to thriving through the next crisis.

Next, give them a reason to give. Those 65 and up are eager to leave behind a legacy. What better legacy than to help empower a local church? By connecting a compelling vision to giving, you have a better chance to garner Senior Adult gifts. For more on this, see this post:

Finally, here is a practical idea. Start a drive with the seniors at your church, encouraging them to sign up for recurring giving. Since they are budget-conscious, encourage them to save money by setting their gift to be ACH. ACH stands for Automated Clearing House. Automated Clearing House or ACH payments refer to the direct funds transfer between two bank accounts. So, the amount donated is withdrawn from the donor’s bank account and directed to the church’s bank account. ACH rates are the lowest charged processing fees, thus generating more money for missions and ministry.

For more information on the value of ACH giving, see this post:

Seniors have the money and are spending it. By sharing a compelling vision and providing easy ways for them to give, you can thrive through whatever economic times are ahead. We have the platform and systems to help you attract and retain seniors. For a free consultation about how our platform and systems can help increase your giving, contact us at (615) 206-4000 or

  1. Seniors With Money to Spend Buoy Consumer Activity, by Gwynn Guilford, Wall Street Journal. October 9, 2023, p. 2

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