It has been two years since Vanco Payment Solutions released its first findings from a groundbreaking survey of the churchgoer giving habits of more than 1,000 Americans. They recently released a report based on a new survey that once again includes a few surprises

In August, Vanco conducted a second online survey of more than 1,000 U.S. Christian churchgoers about their attitudes, preferences and behaviors toward electronic giving. The report continues to show that churchgoers hold significant preferences for electronic giving, as well as some results that go against long-held beliefs regarding their giving habits.

Older Adults Embrace e-Giving

While e-Giving preferences remain strong across all age groups, they’re significantly higher among older adults than those reported in 2015:

  • Ages 45-54: 62 percent prefer e-Giving, compared to 50 percent in 2015
  • Ages 66-74: 58 percent prefer e-Giving, compared to 39 percent in 2015

Since the World Wide Web launched 25 years ago, older churchgoers have become more accustomed to accessing the internet, banking and paying bills online and using smartphones. Millennials already can’t remember a world without the internet, and the day is coming that there will be no age group that hasn’t grown up with it.

More people give less often

Weekly attendance has declined, and so has weekly giving. While almost half of churchgoers made weekly offerings in 2015, only 34 percent do now. A higher percentage of churchgoers now give less frequently:

  • Once a month: 23 percent, up from 20 percent in 2015
  • Every 2-3 months: 12 percent, up from 6 percent in 2015
  • Every six months: 8 percent, up from 2 percent in 2015

These results indicate that churches need to align giving options, engagement strategies and resources with the way churchgoers live.

Surprises from millennials

Churchgoers in the 25-34 age group express the strongest preference for e-Giving. That’s no surprise, but they’re also the age group most likely to tithe to the church and to engage in church activities outside of worship services.

Millennials’ giving is influenced by teachings from the Bible and feelings of responsibility to their family and church. They happily commit to causes they believe in, and the activities they favor help them forge strong connections with their church and its community.

Their giving is also influenced by the options they have available since they are less likely to carry cash or a checkbook and rely instead on debit and credit cards and their smartphones to make purchases.

Get the full report

For more insights that can help you offer your congregation the giving options they prefer, get Vanco’s full report, Churchgoer Giving Study: Comparison of preferences and trends, 2015-2017.

Get the full report.

Richard Bauer is an e-Giving Ambassador for Vanco Payment Solutions, the preferred e-Giving provider for Servant Keeper. He provides personal support and guidance to faith-based leaders as they work to expand e-Giving solutions in their churches.

This story originally appeared here.