The latest figures show that evangelical organizations based in the United States received $16 billion in 2015, which is a substantial 10-percent jump from the previous year.
The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) – which represents evangelical ministries that qualify for tax-exempt, nonprofit status and receive tax-deductible contributions – divulged that the amount Americans give to these groups continues to rise over the years.
ECFA’s annual State of Giving Report, which includes financial data received from its 1,816 members, indicates that annual cash charitable giving to evangelical organizations shot up from $12.2 billion in 2014 to $12.5 billion the following year – a rise of 2.2 percent.
Americans faithfully giving more
According to ECFA’s most recent report, $16 billion was contributed to charitable evangelical ministries last year. Of that amount, $12.5 billion was given in the form of cash, while the remaining $3.5 billion was donated in non-cash – an increase of 7.5 percent – a combined increase of 9.7 percent. The amounts were contributed to the national financial standards association’s members, which include churches and various nonprofit Christian organizations.
ECFA President and CEO Dan Busby says the numbers show a consistent rise in the amount Americans donate to their favorite evangelical groups.
"Both new and long-standing donors are continuing to give faithfully to support the important work of our member organizations," Busby proclaimed in a statement, according to The Christian Post. "It is encouraging to see generosity in action, and it is interesting to note how trends in giving change from year to year."Top of Form
The ECFA’s report highlighted impressive increases in donations to various kinds of charitable ministries. The top six categories are as follows:
- Short-term missions (+25.2 percent)
- Camps and conferences (+21.2 percent)
- Drug and alcohol counseling (+13.1 percent)
- Orphan care (+12.4 percent)
- Community development (+11.7 percent)
- Prison-related ministries (+11.7 percent)
General giving up, too
ECFA noted that its findings on contributions to evangelical groups reflects the 2.7-percent increase in donations to religious organizations in general – a figure that was revealed in June through a study conducted by Giving USA.
According to Giving USA, contributions given by individuals, estates, foundations and corporations reached an all-time high at approximately $373.25 billion last year – a record for the second consecutive year. A breakdown of the four groups indicates that $264.58 billion was given by individuals, $58.46 billion by foundations, $31.76 billion by charitable bequests and $18.45 billion by corporations.
Giving USA Foundation Chair W. Keith Curtis expressed excitement over the rising numbers.
"If you look at total giving by two-year time spans, the combined growth for 2014 and 2015 hit double digits, reaching 10.1 percent when calculated using inflation-adjusted dollars," Curtis pointed out. "But these findings embody more than numbers – they also are a symbol of the American spirit.”
The financial expert emphasized that the increase in American’s generosity has recently reached unprecedented numbers.
“It's heartening that people really do want to make a difference, and they're supporting the causes that matter to them,” Curtis announced. “Americans are embracing philanthropy at a higher level than ever before."