2023 State of Giving Report Reveals Charitable Giving Dip

The latest numbers from the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability reveals a pace in charitable giving to Christian ministries
Photo by ECFA

WINCHESTER, VA — The latest numbers from the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) reveals a pace in charitable giving to Christian ministries that is mostly steady, however, due to inflation and other factors, dips for the first time in a decade. In ECFA’s 14th annual State of Giving report, data reported by exactly 2,000 member organizations shows cash giving declined less than 1 percent (-0.7 percent) between 2021 and 2022 after two years of record giving during the COVID pandemic. Notably, giving to ECFA members in 2022 outpaced giving to all U.S. charities by roughly 10%.

Photo by ECFA

While the dip may be cause for concern, ECFA reports that giving has been strong so far in 2023, with 60 percent of churches reporting an increase in cash giving compared to 2022. The trend will hopefully continue—more than half of ECFA’s members are optimistic cash giving projections for 2024. Despite the impact of inflation, most churches and ministries plan to maintain or increase programming next year.

“Through fluctuations in the stock market and the continued impact of inflation, I am encouraged to see an ongoing support for Christ-centered churches and ministries,” said Michael Martin, ECFA president and CEO. “This generosity positions ECFA members to continue weathering the storms, advancing the positive impact of their causes both domestically and globally.”

The ECFA report breaks down giving into 35 ministry segments, many of which reported growth. The most significant cash-giving increases occurred in education, three segments of which were in the top five spots for ministries experiencing the highest cash-giving growth from 2021 to 2022.

Percentage Change of Cash Giving to ECFA Members by Type of Ministry:

Education: K-12, 28.6%
Education: College and University, 17.1%
Education: Graduate and Seminary, 16.9%
Associations and Societies, 9.6%
Medical, Dental and Health Services, 8.2%
Publishing and Distribution, 7.0%
Advocacy, Legal Services, and Public Policy and Education, 4.0%
Prison and Post-Prison Ministry, 3.0%
Church: Planting, 2.4%
Pregnancy Resource Center, 2.3%
Student and Youth Ministry, 2.3%
Anti-Human Trafficking, 2%
Children’s Ministry, 1.7%
Adoption, 1.3%
Other, 0.9%
Missions: Domestic, 0.7%
Bible Study, Engagement and Training, 0.6%
Leadership Training, Ministry Training and Consulting, 0.5%
Relief and Development, 0.1%
Discipleship, -0.1%
Community Development, -0.1%
Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation, -0.7%
Missions: International (including Short-Term Missions), -1.7%
Evangelism, -1.8%
Church: Denomination, -3.3%
Disability, -3.4%
Family, Marriage and Children’s Services, -3.6%
Church: Individual, -3.8%
Child Sponsorship and Orphan Care, -4.2%
Children’s Homes, -4.3%
Media, -5.4%
Foundations, -6.7%
Support Services and Pastoral Support, -6.8%
Rescue Missions and Homeless, -7.4%
Camps and Conferences, -19.3%

About ECFA

ECFA (Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability), founded in 1979, accredits Christ-centered churches and ministries that faithfully demonstrate compliance with ECFA standards pertaining to financial accountability and transparency, fundraising, and board governance. ECFA has more than 2,700 accredited members across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam. For more information about ECFA, including information about accreditation and a listing of ECFA-accredited members, visit ECFA.org or call 800.323.9473.

CONTACT: Anna Hutsell, 770-713-0923

CONTACT: Jeff Dalrymple, jdalrymple@ecap.net

Read more news on Children’s Ministry on Missions Box.

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