Over half of people of faith in the United States intend to increase their giving to charity and houses of worship in 2024 compared to last year, while more than a third plan to stay at about the same rate, according to a new report.
The mobile charity-giving platform Givelify and the Lake Institute on Faith & Giving recently released a report titled Faith in Giving: Exploring key trends in religious giving, drawing from 2,001 survey responses given between Aug. 28 and Sept. 11, 2023. The study has an estimated error margin for the sample of approximately ±2% at the 95% confidence level.
The study focuses on "faith-based givers," defined as "people of faith who contributed any of their money, items (i.e., in-kind donations), or time to" a congregation, nonprofit, community or mutual aid group, or directly to someone in need.
The findings suggest that over 80% of faith-based givers who donated money reported giving either the same amount or more to at least one cause, organization or person last year.
This was "slightly lower" than what was reported in the 2022 Giving in Faith report, where 84% of respondents said they gave the same or more than they did in 2021.
About 56% of faith-based givers say they intend to give more this year compared to 2023, while 42% expect to donate the same amount, the report finds. And 2.3% expect to give less or no money.
Over half of respondents (53%) expect to give more to houses of worship this year compared to 2023, with 42% of respondents saying they plan to give about the same to houses of worship.
"The Giving in Faith report not only addresses the multifaceted aspects of how people give to their churches and places of worship but also offers a glimpse into future expectations," Givelify founder and CEO Wale Mafolasire said in a statement.
"Acting on the insights presented in the report will not only empower effective leadership but will also continue to strengthen the impact of faith communities on individuals and social issues affecting them, making a lasting impact for more good."
Givelify found that the average size of charitable giving through its platform in 2023 was the same as it was in 2022 ($125), though this was still higher than in 2021 ($122).
"However, there was an increase in the proportion of givers who gave more money to their places of worship since Givelify's 2022 Giving in Faith report," continued the report.
"Notably, 30% of faith-based givers reported an increase in their total monetary contributions to their places of worship in the 2022 report. This reported increase rose to 40% in the 2023 study, with 49% giving more money in 2023 compared to 2022, according to Givelify's donation data."
David P. King of the Lake Institute said in a statement Thursday that the report "underscores the inherent generosity of individuals within faith communities and illuminates their profound impact within their congregation and the broader community."
"Additionally, having a deeper understanding of the evolving trends in religious giving can equip congregations better to navigate the economic, social, and religious shifts more confidently," he added.
In recent years, many churches have become increasingly concerned about finances amid the decline in religiously affiliated Americans and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on congregations.
According to a December report from the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, most churches saw a drop in cash donations for the first time in 10 years in 2022.
The ECFA looked at the financial reports of 2,000 churches and ministries that are members of the organization, discovering that the typical ECFA member saw an overall decrease in cash donations of 0.7%, even as cash donations make up 80.7% of annual revenue for ECFA members.
Originally published by The Christian Post