The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

National and world

June 18, 2014

Giving increases, but not for churches

NEW YORK — A new report finds charitable giving to social service and church groups, which tends to depend on middle class donors, is flat while institutions like universities, hospitals and the arts are swimming in cash from their usually wealthy benefactors.

The Giving USA report says Americans gave more than $335 billion to charity in 2013, up 3 percent from 2012 after adjusting for inflation.

Religious organizations received more donations than any other sector in 2013, with $105 billion in gifts. But Giving USA said the 31 percent share for church groups was their lowest portion of total giving in four decades. Adjusted for inflation, giving to religious groups declined by 1.6 percent last year.

The research firm Empty Tomb, which tracks religious giving trends, says church members are giving less of their income to their churches than they used to.

But Giving USA board member Rick Dunham says much of the giving to social service groups and Christian schools also arises from religious motives.

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