2015 ECFA Annual State of Giving Report

ECFA’S 2015 STATE OF GIVING REPORT SHOWS A RISE IN CHARITABLE GIVING AMONG CHRISTIAN MINISTRIES

WINCHESTER, Va., Dec. 15, 2015—The latest numbers from the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) show good news for Christian ministries. In the ECFA’s sixth annual State of Giving Report, data from 1,766 members shows that annual cash charitable giving to ECFA-accredited organizations increased 5 percent between 2013 and 2014. This reflects total cash donations of $12 billion in 2014, an increase from the previous year’s $11.4 billion.

Giving to evangelical churches and ministries is on trend with giving to secular charities in 2014. The 2015 Giving USA report, released by the Giving Institute, reflected a giving increase of 5.4 percent for 2014, compared with 2013.

“Both new and long-standing donors are continuing to give faithfully to support the important work of our member organizations,” said Dan Busby, ECFA president and CEO. “It is encouraging to see generosity in action and the upward trend in charitable giving.”

The ECFA report breaks down $15 billion of giving ($12 billion in cash and $3 billion in non-cash) to members, including churches and nonprofit organizations of various types.

The most significant cash giving increases occurred in the following categories:

  • K-12 schools (14 percent)
  • Medical (13.6 percent)
  • Leadership training (12.5 percent)
  • Adoption (11.2 percent)
  • Community development (9.3 percent)

While ECFA’s report focuses on cash giving, non-cash giving also increased 2.2 percent in 2014 based on $2.9 billion of gifts. ECFA currently has more than 2,000 accredited members, however, some members were not included in this study because they were accredited by ECFA in the last two years, and comparable financial data for previous years is not available. The data, unadjusted for inflation, is not from surveys of the member organizations, but comes directly from financial statements prepared by independent certified public accountants—primarily audits.

ECFA, founded in 1979, provides accreditation to leading Christian nonprofit organizations that faithfully demonstrate compliance with the ECFA standards pertaining to financial accountability, fundraising and board governance. For more information about ECFA, including information about accreditation and a listing of ECFA-accredited members, visit ECFA.org or call 800.323.9473.

Summary of Change in Cash Contributions 

Organizational Segment 2013 to 2014
Adoption 11.2%
Alcohol/drug rehabilitation 5.4%
Associations -0.7%
Bible study 0.0%
Camps and conferences -6.9%
Child sponsorship 8.6%
Children’s homes -6.6%
Church: denominations -1.3%
Church: local 6.4%
Community development 9.3%
Education: higher education 6.7%
Education: K-12 14.0%
Evangelism 4.7%
Leadership training 12.5%
Literature publishing -1.1%
Media 2.1%
Medical 13.6%
Missions: international 4.2%
Missions: domestic 1.7%
Missions: short-term 2.3%
Orphan care 1.8%
Other -0.9%
Pregnancy resource centers 3.3%
Prison -4.4%
Relief and development 8.0%
Rescue missions 4.5%
Student/youth 6.8%
 Year-to-year change 5.0%
 

The report reflected slightly stronger giving increases to larger charities compared to smaller ones.

Annual Revenue 2014
Under $1 million 0.1%
$1 to $5 million 2.0%
$5 to $10 million 6.0%
$10 to $25 million 5.5%
$25 to $50 million 5.4%
Over $50 million 5.3%
 

ECFA, founded in 1979, provides accreditation to leading Christian nonprofit organizations that faithfully demonstrate compliance with the ECFA standards pertaining to financial accountability, fundraising and board governance. For more information about ECFA, including information about accreditation and a listing of ECFA-accredited members, visit ECFA.org or call 800.323.9473.

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