2011 ECFA Annual State of Giving Report

November 16, 2011

Charitable Giving Stays Strong

Donations to ECFA Members Show Strong Increase for 2010

WINCHESTER, Va. – The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) announced today that cash charitable giving to ECFA members continues to be very strong, totaling $9.38 billion last year, a 5.8 percent increase from the 2009 level of $8.87 billion.

“It is very significant that this segment of the giving world continues to receive strong support during a difficult economic time,” said Dan Busby, ECFA president. “Our report demonstrates a strong commitment of givers to the Christian faith and the generosity of God’s people.”

ECFA’s second Annual State of Giving Report showed charitable contributions held up especially well among larger charities. Donations to ECFA-member organizations with more than $10 million in annual revenue increased 6.7 percent in 2010, compared with 2009, while organizations with less than $10 million in annual revenue increased 1.6 percent during the same span.

Non-cash giving decreased 13.5 percent in 2010, compared with 2009, according to the ECFA analysis. Busby noted that there is a significant ebb and flow of noncash gifts based on the timing of natural disasters.

Recent reports indicated stagnant donations to large charities and nonprofits nationwide. The Chronicle of Philanthropy reported last month that cash donations to the nation’s 400 charities that raise the most funds from private sources was 0.2 percent in 2010, compared with the previous year.

The ECFA report breaks down giving into 29 segments, including organizations, churches, rescue missions, missionary-sending ministries, colleges and universities, and camps and conferences. Ministries focused on children showed four of the largest increases in total 2010 giving, compared with 2009 -- cash donations to foundations gained 69 percent, child sponsorship 24 percent, orphan care 20 percent and adoption 15 percent.

Data used to compile ECFA’s second Annual State of Giving Report come directly from financial statements prepared by independent certified public accountants.

Summary of 2009 to 2010 Change in Donated Income

Organizational Segment

Cash Donated Income

Adoption 14.7%
Alcohol/drug rehabilitation -8.5%
Associations -1.5%
Bible study -0.9%
Camps and conferences 7.1%
Child sponsorship 24.3%
Children’s homes 4.1%
Church: denominations 4.6%
Church: local 4.4%
Community development 12.0%
Counseling 2.7%
Education: higher education 2.1%
Education: K-12 4.8%
Evangelism 3.4%
Foundations 68.8%
Leadership training 2.4%
Literature publishing 9.2%
Media 1.4%
Medical -15.8%
Messianic 6.7%
Missions: international -1.9%
Missions: domestic -1.7%
Missions: short-term 13.4%
Orphan care 20.5%
Pregnancy resource centers 1.7%
Prison -5.9%
Relief and development 8.4%
Rescue missions -1.9%
Student/youth -6.6%
      Total 5.8%

The above data is based on the data of 1,360 ECFA members. While ECFA currently has 1,600 accredited members, (the primary reason that certain members are not included in this study is because they were accredited by ECFA in the last two years and the comparable financial data for 2009 and 2010 is not available). The data is not from surveys of the member organizations but comes directly from financial statements prepared by independent Certified Public Accountants—primarily audits.