Millennial evangelicals more likely to attend church weekly than older generations, poll finds
By Samuel Smith
The Christian Post
May 22, 2019
Evangelical millennials are more likely to be engaged at church than older generations of evangelicals while also being more likely than Generation X evangelicals to give to charities every year, a recently released poll indicates.
Commissioned by the marketing and fundraising firm Dunham+Company, a survey of over 1,000 evangelical believers across the U.S. was conducted by WPA Intelligence in April in a quest to analyze generational attitudes on charitable giving.
The study found that 53 percent of self-identified evangelicals surveyed said they attend church once per week or more.
By comparison, 61 percent of millennial evangelicals (ages 18 through 34), 54 percent of “boomers and matures” (ages 55 and over) and 44 percent of Generation X (ages 35 to 54) respondents said the same.
“Millennials are often believed to be disengaged in their faith, but this study shows that those Millennials who identify as evangelicals are more engaged in their faith than other generations,” Dunham+Company founder Rick Dunham said in a statement.
“This mirrors our study from 2017 which showed that Millennials generally are as likely to engage in religious attendance compared to other generations, with this current study showing a much higher engagement among those who identify as Evangelicals.”
Measuring the generosity of evangelicals, the survey found that 71 percent of evangelicals said they give to charitable organizations each year.
Only 55 percent of the general population said the same in a Philanthropy Panel Study conducted from 2001 to 2015 by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, according to Dunham+Company.
Dunham+Company’s most recent survey found that “boomers and matures” (78 percent) were the generational groups most likely to say they give to charities annually.
However, millennial evangelicals (68 percent) were slightly more likely than their Generation X counterparts (63 percent) to say that they give to charities annually.
The survey, which claims a 3.1-percentage-point margin of error, also found that millennial evangelicals were the most likely to say they would increase the amount that they give to charities (34 percent). Meanwhile, 21 percent of respondents from Generation X and 12 percent of “boomers and matures” said the same.
Dunham+Company’s 2017 study found that evangelical millennial respondents were less likely than Generation X evangelicals to say they give to charities annually.
“Our new study seems to indicate that Millennials will give more to charity as they mature,” Dunham predicted in 2017. “Anecdotally, we know that factors like job status and student debt can limit how much they give at this stage of their lives.”
In a video, Dunham said that the millennial generation is the biggest generation in the history of America and “going to have a massive impact on charity in the coming years.”
“So we wanted to study them to not only understand their behaviors, their likes, and dislikes but also how did they compare to other generations of donors,” Dunham, who has consulted for ministries for over 30 years, explained.
The survey also found that 40 percent of evangelicals surveyed said they prefer to donate through a church’s website or mobile app, while 32 percent said they prefer giving through check or mail.
Along with the survey, Dunham+Company is offering a research-driven webinar, titled “Millennial Donors: They’re Not Who You Think They Are.”
The Christian Post reached out to Dunham+Company for clarification on how the generational categories were defined for this survey. A response is pending.