With all the focus placed on the down economy and its affect on nonprofits, the Giving USA Foundation, which tracks overall philanthropy in the country, is reminding people of a few things. The good news? According to the organization, total donations from people of all ages exceeded $300 billion in 2007—an all-time high. More than 75 percent of that came from individuals, while the remainder consisted of corporate donations, foundations or charitable bequests. However, the bad news for ministers is that church- and ministry-based giving continues to diminish. In 1967, more than half of all charitable dollars went to faith groups; today, that’s down to one-third. In fact, the most recent study on church giving from Empty Tomb Inc., states that “the total portion of per capita income given to churches in 2006 was lower (in 2006) than in the worst year of the Great Depression.” [usatoday.com, 10/8/08; Religion News Service, 10/11/08]
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