A new poll has found practicing Christians are far more likely to give to charity than non-Christians. The survey was carried out for the American Bible Society (ABS)’s annual State of the Bible report.
It found that two thirds of all Americans donated to at least one charity last year. That was a sharp increase on 2021, but still below pre-pandemic giving levels. On average, American Christian homes gave more than A$7300 per year. Non-Christians gave an average of A$5200.
More than 90% of people in a ‘churched’ household gave money to charitable causes last year. That far exceeded the 52% of donors from ‘unchurched’ households. The research defined a ‘churched’ person as someone who has attended at least one church service other than a funeral or a wedding in the past six months, while an “unchurched” person is someone who has not.
Chapter eight of the ABS’s 2023 report, titled Generosity examined charitable giving patterns based on people’s religiosity and level of Scripture engagement. Overall, 68% of American households donated to charity in 2022, a sharp increase on 2021 when only 62% gave their money to charitable causes. However, it was still below the 69% measured in 2019.
The research also revealed that those who attend online church services (95%) are more likely to donate to charity than those who go to in-person church services (87%). Christians who were classified as Scripture-engaged had the highest frequency of charitable giving (92%), followed by the Movable Middle (76%) and the Bible-disengaged (54%).
ABS Chief Ministry Officer John Farquhar Plake remarked that it will not “come as a surprise that people who are invested in their Christian faith give back. Overall, Americans are generous. More than two-thirds of us supported charities in some capacity in 2022! The question for ministry and NGO leaders is how to best channel that generosity for positive impact for the communities that need it most.