How did your church’s giving fare this past year?
Giving USA’s most recent annual report reveals some giving trends that the religion sector, consisting primarily of churches, is facing.
If you are a church leader, here are a few highlights worth noting:
- In 2015, $264.58 billion was given by individuals, up 3.8% from the prior year.
- $119.30 billion dollars were giving to religion, up 2.7% from the prior year. This is the highest amount given to religion so far.
- Online giving for Christian ministries remained strong with a median online transaction of $104.02, up 3.3% from the prior year.
These are encouraging increases. However, they must be put into context of a shift we are seeing in whom Americans give.
From 1981 to 1985, 58% of American charitable giving went to the religion category. Fast forward to the five years spanning 2011 to 2015, this percentage has dropped to 33%.
Then, from 2011 to 2015, the religion category experienced only 4.1% annual growth, the third slowest rate out of nine categories.
Religious giving in the United States is slowing down. No longer can church leaders assume that members simply know that God has designed them for generosity.
They must be taught. They must be discipled.
So, my question to you is, what does your church do to teach your church members to be conduits through which God’s generosity flows?