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Evangelical Generosity Responds To Pandemic Hardship

by | Thu, Dec 8 2022

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Donations to American evangelical churches rose by more last year than in any year during the previous decade.

Around half of them are reporting an increase in this year’s giving.

The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) reports its churches received more than A$28 billion dollars in donations in 2021.

ECFA’s annual State of Giving Report found they also received A$17 billion in revenue from fees and investments and $7 billion worth of in-kind donations, taking total annual income to well over A$50 billion.

“Contrary to what many expected, giving during the pandemic to ECFA members was strong,” ECFA president and CEO Michael Martin wrote in the report.

“The findings we unveil emphasise the good work that ECFA members are doing to serve and expand their services in the face of inflation and other challenges.”

Those challenges had raised real concerns for ministry leaders trying to make ends meet but evangelical parishioners responded with a generosity that saw their giving surge by 3% — up from an average annual increase of around 2% over the previous decade.

Some of that went directly to meet the needs caused by economic hardship during the pandemic.

Every orphan care ministry saw an increase in donations as did most homeless ministries and pregnancy resource centres.

Donations to Christian Foundations soared by 66% while anti-human-trafficking ministries (29%), education (18%) and  church planting (12%) all recorded significant increases.

Individual giving to US charities over the same period only rose by 0.2%.

However, donations to Evangelical megachurches dropped by an average of 6.6%, a huge fall from the 1% decline the year before.

Christianity Today reports some Evangelical churches are still only at half their pre-pandemic attendance.