Giving to Evangelical Churches and Ministries Outpaces Giving to Secular Charities

WINCHESTER, Va. — ECFA (Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability) today announced in its 4th Annual State of Giving Report that annual cash charitable giving to ECFA-accredited organizations increased 6.4 percent between 2011 and 2012.  It reflects total cash donations of $11 billion in 2012, an increase from the previous year’s $10.3 billion.

Last year, ECFA reported a 1.7 percent increase in giving to its members for 2011, compared with a 5.8 percent increase the previous year.

Giving to evangelical churches and ministries outpaced giving to secular charities in 2012. The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s recently released giving data for the largest 400 charities in America reflected a giving increase of 4 percent for 2012, compared with 2011. This data most closely correlates with giving to ECFA members with $25 million or more in revenue, which showed a 7.5 percent increase.

“As many American families experience economic challenges, church and nonprofit donors continue to demonstrate faithfulness in supporting God’s work,” said Dan Busby, ECFA president.

While the report focuses on cash giving, non-cash giving also increased 4.8 percent in 2012 to $3.4 billion, compared with $3.3 billion for 2011.  Total revenue also increased 8.7 percent to $21.4 billion for 2012, compared with $19.7 billion for 2011.

The ECFA report breaks down more than $14 billion of giving ($11.0 cash/$3.4 non-cash) to members in segments including churches, rescue missions, missionary-sending ministries, colleges and universities, and camps and conferences. The most significant cash giving increases occurred in the following categories: foundations, 25.1 percent; orphan care, 12.4 percent; adoption, 12.2 percent; K-12 schools, 12 percent; short-term missions, 12.1 percent; and higher education, 10 percent.

The 2011-2012 report is based on the data of 1,634 ECFA members (2010-2011 data based on 1,481 members). While ECFA currently has more than1,800 accredited members, certain members are not included in this study because they were accredited by ECFA in the last two years, and comparable financial data for 2011 and 2012 is not available. The data, unadjusted for inflation, is not from surveys of the member organizations, but comes directly from financial statements prepared by independent Certified Public Accountants – primarily audits.

ECFA, founded in 1979, provides accreditation to leading Christian nonprofit organizations that faithfully demonstrate compliance with the ECFA standards pertaining to financial accountability, fundraising, and board governance. Those interested in learning more about ECFA, including information about accreditation and a listing of ECFA-accredited members, can visit or call 1-800-323-9473.


To schedule an interview with Dan Busby, contact Ty Mays at 770-256-8710 or


Ty Mays


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