New Insights on Evangelical Mid-Level Donors

Evangelical mid-level donors represent only a tiny portion of the overall U.S. population, making them difficult to find and expensive to research in a statistically representative manner. “Understanding Evangelical Mid-Level Donors 2022,” a 70-page report from BBS & Associates and Grey Matter Research conducted in early to mid 2022, sheds light on this rarely studied group.

Among the main findings:

  • In their annual giving beyond a local church, only 2 in 10 give the most money to primarily spiritual work; 3 in 10 give to a Christian organization doing benevolent work, and the remaining half (5 in 10) give to a secular organization, such as Red Cross or Save the Children.
  • In their giving beyond a church, half of mid-level donors do not have a personal contact at the organization they are financially supporting.  Having a personal connection to the organization is far more common as people age. Just 8% of donors under age 45 cite this as a driving factor, compared to 19% in the 45–64 age group, and 33% of older individuals. Having a personal contact is also more common as people give more.
  • Evangelical mid-level donors don’t just keep supporting the same organizations over and over; nearly half have either added a new organization to their giving or stopped supporting an organization over the past two to three years.
  • Higher charitable giving is less in competition with church giving, but instead, higher charitable giving is connected with higher church giving.
  • While the average evangelical donor supports 3.8 organizations outside of church, the average mid-level donor supports 4.3 organizations.

The research defined mid-level donor as anyone who either made a one-time gift of $1,000 or more to any single organization in the past 12 months, or who gave a total of at least $1,500 over the last 12 months to any one organization. (No upper end amount was defined.)

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This text is provided with the understanding that ECFA is not rendering legal, accounting, or other professional advice or service. Professional advice on specific issues should be sought from an accountant, lawyer, or other professional.