Trends in Tithing and Giving
A new study from The Barna Group reveals that just five percent of American adults tithed (i.e., made donations of at least 10 percent of their income to religious institutions or other charities) in 2007. The most likely groups to tithe were evangelicals (24%); conservatives (12%); people who had prayed, read the Bible and attended a church service during the past week (12%); charismatic or Pentecostal Christians (11%); and registered Republicans (10%).
Among those least likely to tithe were people under the age of 25, atheists and agnostics, single adults who have never been married, liberals and downscale adults (less than $20,000 income and no college).
Among all born-again adults, nine percent contributed one-tenth or more of their income. Protestants (8%) were four times as likely to tithe as were Catholics (2%).
In 2007, 84 percent of all adults donated some money to churches or non-profit organizations, a figure that is consistent with recent years. The median amount of money donated during 2007 was $400; the mean amount was $1,308. About one-third of all adults (34%) gave away $1,000 or more during 2007; nearly one-fifth (18%) donated $100 or less. Evangelical Christians far surpassed other population groups with four out of five (83%) giving at least $1,000 during the year. The percentage of born-again adults who gave any money to churches dropped to its lowest level this decade (76%).
Christians tend to be the most generous donors. Evangelicals, the seven percent of the Christian population who are most committed to the Christian faith, donated a mean of $4,260 to all non-profit entities in 2007. Non-evangelical born-again Christians, who represent another 37 percent of the public, donated a mean of $1,581. The other 42 percent of the Christian population, who are aligned with a Christian church but are not born-again, donated a mean of $865. --- SOURCE: The Pastor's Weekly Briefing (Apr. 18, 2008)