Strong Link Found between Worship Attendance and Religious Giving

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Strong Link Found between Worship Attendance and Religious Giving



The more frequently a household attends worship services, the more likely its members donate to religious institutions, and give generously, new research shows.


“Most strikingly, those attending religious services once a month or more make an average annual religious contribution of $1,848, while those attending religious services less than once a month donate $111,” says the report from Giving USA.


The report, released Tuesday (Oct. 24), draws on data from the University of Michigan’s Philanthropy Panel Study.


“Giving to religion,” as defined by the Chicago-based Giving USA Foundation, includes contributions to congregations, religious media, denominations and mission organizations. It does not include faith-related institutions such as the Salvation Army, the University of Notre Dame, global relief organization World Vision, Catholic hospitals or Jewish foundations.


Overall, giving to religious causes amounted to close to a third of all charitable giving in 2016, Giving USA says. Religious institutions received $122.94 billion that year, or 32 percent of charitable donations. That figure is more than double the amount received by educational institutions, the next highest sector within nonprofits, which garnered $59.77 billion.


David King, director of the Lake Institute on Faith and Giving at Indiana University, said it’s notable that religious giving has…

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