Giving alone: towards an understanding of the practices and motivations of American Evangelical Millennial philanthropy

PhD thesis


Steddom, S. 2023. Giving alone: towards an understanding of the practices and motivations of American Evangelical Millennial philanthropy. PhD thesis Middlesex University / Oxford Centre for Mission Studies (OCMS) School of Law
TypePhD thesis
TitleGiving alone: towards an understanding of the practices and motivations of American Evangelical Millennial philanthropy
AuthorsSteddom, S.
Abstract

The giving of financial resources by American Evangelical Christians to further the development of the church and society has been a defining characteristic of this group for many generations. However, that legacy appears to be in jeopardy as the rising Millennial generation, those born in the 1980s and 90s, are giving less to the church and other charitable work. The objective of this thesis is to examine the giving practices and motivations of Evangelical Millennials and identify why they are giving differently. The study utilizes a mixed-methods approach within the qualitative research paradigm. The findings identify three major motivational factors (proximity to need, community of practice, active accountability) that contribute to the development of a moral reasoning framework leading to a moral imagination critical for sustained charitable financial giving. However, the majority of the Millennial research subjects displayed proclivity toward privatization, resulting in a physical and emotional distance from social need, and a belief structure disconnected from behaviour. The conclusions from this study suggest that Evangelical Millennials may lack in ability and disposition for making giving choices or exercising practical moral judgement in line with proximate and ultimate ends. In addition, the agency of the local church was not seen to be compelling for most Evangelical Millennials as a way to effect change. And since the church is one of very few public communities of practice for sustained charitable giving, Evangelical Millennials seem to be left only hoping to affect change in a virtually connected, but physiologically solitary giving environment. This research points to several areas for further scholarly reflection, especially within a broader set of faith traditions. Local congregations and faith-based non-profits will benefit from a richer understanding and connection to Evangelical Millennials, thereby increasing the level of stewardship and informed generosity, potentially making a global difference for the Church and the common good.

Sustainable Development Goals16 Peace, justice and strong institutions
Middlesex University ThemeCreativity, Culture & Enterprise
LanguageEnglish
Department nameSchool of Law
Business and Law
Institution nameMiddlesex University / Oxford Centre for Mission Studies (OCMS)
Collaborating institutionOxford Centre for Mission Studies (OCMS)
PublisherMiddlesex University Research Repository
Publication dates
Online20 Mar 2024
Publication process dates
Accepted03 Aug 2023
Deposited20 Mar 2024
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
File Access Level
Open
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https://repository.mdx.ac.uk/item/112286

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Accepted author manuscript
SWSteddom thesis.pdf
File access level: Open

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