A recent study released by Giving USA contained some sobering information for churches (and for Christians). The study, which was released on June 18, revealed that individual charitable giving dropped last year by 1.1%—from $295 billion in 2017, down to $292 billion in 2018.
According to the Associated Press, this is the most significant drop in church giving since the Great Recession of 2008-09. In particular, giving to religion declined by 1.5%—an increasingly distressing number due to the fact that religious giving has been diminishing over the past several years.
In 2016, The New York Times reported that religious giving was down nearly 50% from 1990. That figure was provided by Giving USA, which confirmed that religious giving has been in a “steady decline” for a long time—nearly 30 years, in fact.
As religious giving has seen a decline over the past few decades, it is more imperative than ever that nonprofit supporters continue to prioritize monetary giving, especially if the trend continues to decline in the future.
One purposeful way that nonprofits can facilitate continued contribution is through planned giving. A planned gift is unlike other gifts in that it does not come from a donor’s discretionary income, but rather it is budgeted out of the donor’s total financial or estate planning. This method of contribution is attractive to many donors because, though the gifts are presently negotiated, they’re often not donated until the future, typically in a will or as a legacy gift.
Planned giving is one way to ensure that the mission of nonprofits and religious entities can outlast even their current donors. That sustainability is essential, as the future of religious giving continues to be uncertain. It’s imperative that nonprofits prepare for lean financial times now.
The professionals at Ambassador Advisors can help you determine how your nonprofit can execute a planned giving campaign and encourage your current donors to prepare for future partnering.
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