Report: Religious Giving Outpaced Secular In 2012

Giving to evangelical churches and ministries largely outperformed secular charities between 2011 and 2012, according to a new report released by the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA).

Annual cash and non-cash charitable giving to ECFA-accredited organizations increased 6.7 percent between 2011 and 2012, according to the 2013 ECFA Annual State of Giving Report. It reflects total cash donations of $11 billion in 2012, an increase from the previous year’s $10.3 billion. Secular giving had increased by 4 percent within the same period, for cash and non-cash giving.

In last year’s report, ECFA reported a 1.7 percent increase in giving to its members for 2011, compared with a 5.8 percent increase the previous year.

“As many American families experience economic challenges, church and nonprofit donors continue to demonstrate faithfulness in supporting God’s work,” said ECFA President Dan Busby.

The largest cash giving increases occurred in the following organizational segments:

  • Foundations – 25.1 percent;
  • Orphan care – 12.4 percent;
  • Adoption – 12.2 percent;
  • K-12 Schools – 12 percent;
  • Short-term missions – 12.1 percent; and,
  • Higher education – 10 percent.

While the 2013 ECFA Annual State of Giving Report mainly focuses on cash giving, it does break down non-cash giving to member organizations. The report found that these types of gifts were worth $3.4 billion in 2012, a 4.8 percent increase from $3.3 billion in 2011. Total revenue also increased 8.7 percent to $21.4 billion for 2012, compared with $19.7 billion for 2011.

ECFA, founded in 1979, provides accreditation to Christian nonprofits that faithfully demonstrate compliance with the ECFA standards pertaining to financial accountability, fundraising, and board governance. You can find more information about the 4th Annual State of Giving Report at www.ecfa.org