In a recent study conducted by JumpStart Labs entitled, “Connected to Give: Faith Communities” the organization looked nationally at religious giving. The study provided many interesting findings. The significant message coming out of this report was that Americans with religious or spiritual orientation give at a higher rate than those without a religious connection. While this is primarily because those connected with a religion tend to support those causes connected to their religious group. The key findings of the study are:
- The majority of American charitable giving goes to organizations with religious ties: congregations as well as religiously identified organizations pursuing a variety of charitable purposes.
- While most charitable dollars fund organizations with religious ties, more Americans give to organizations that are not religiously identified than to congregations or to religiously identified organizations.
- For most charitable purposes, donors make contributions both to religiously identified organizations
and to organizations that are not religiously identified, rather than only to one type or the other.
- Americans with religious or spiritual orientations give at higher rates primarily because they give more to organizations with religious ties.
- Americans affiliated with different religious traditions give at similar rates to one another.
- When it comes to religious identity and giving, demographic categories like income and age resist generalization.
- Among Americans who give, more than half say their commitment to religion is an important or very important motivation for charitable giving; clear majorities give because they believe that they
can achieve change or make an impact and that those who have more should help those with less.
Melanie A. McKitrick, J. Shawn Landres, Mark Ottoni-Wilhelm, and Amir D. Hayat.
2013. Connected to Give: Faith Communities. Los Angeles: Jumpstart.