This item is excerpted by Ministry Today...
Despite an economic recession that's affected countless churches and ministries, here's the good news for pastors: Americans remain a giving people. Although the latest annual study of philanthropy from the Giving USA Foundation found that overall charitable giving dropped 2 percent between 2007 and 2008, among religious organizations it actually rose by 5.5 percent.Read the rest of the story HERE
Last year, Americans gave a whopping $307 billion to charities, compared to $314 in 2007. Although the decrease was only slight, it represented the first since 1987 and only the second time since the foundation's annual survey began 54 years ago. Of the total amount given, congregations and ministries received $106 billion in 2008—a full 35 percent of all charitable donations.
"I think the reason religion does well during a recession is, people feel an immense connection to their houses of worship," said George Ruotolo, a nonprofit-fundraising consultant who once led the Giving USA Foundation. "They realize that houses of worship cannot go to corporations or foundations for support. They have to rely on the generosity of members. There is that connection in faith and mission."
Do you agree with the premise of this article? Are people of faith as generous as they should be? What about your church and ministry - has your giving maintained or has it dropped during this economic downturn?