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Philanthropy' Report Shows That
June 27, 2002, NEW YORK CITY -- A new report released today by Independent Sector and the National Council of Churches details the extraordinary philanthropy of Americas givers to religion. Faith and Philanthropy: The Connection Between Charitable Behavior and Giving to Religion reveals that households that give to religion are the bedrock of giving to the nations nonprofit organizations. Households that give to both religious and secular causes give more money and volunteer more than households that give to only one type of organization.
Nearly 70 percent of households give to religious congregations. Households that give to both religious congregations and secular organizations give over three times ($2,247) more than do households that give to only secular organizations ($623).
Faith and Philanthropy explores the links between faith and charitable giving and illustrates how the values and beliefs of religious-giving households influence their decisions to make donations and volunteer to all types of nonprofit organizations.
The extraordinary generosity of religious givers knows very few boundaries, said Sara E. MelÚndez, president and CEO of Independent Sector. Donors to religion are more generous than those who give only to secular organizations. This research clearly demonstrates that their giving to religion does not detract from giving to secular causes but inspires them to give to all causes, added Dr. MelÚndez.
The Rev. Dr. Eileen W. Lindner, NCC deputy general secretary for research and planning, commented that the findings corroborate and extend the research results weve observed over several decades. They are remarkable not only in their strength but also in their consistency across income, region and field of giving. This fine study cries out for more of the same. The well-being of our society and our world requires that we understand and foster generosity.
Robert W. Edgar, general secretary of the National Council of Churches, board member of Independent Sector, and author of the foreword of the report, said he was not surprised that people who give both to religious congregations and secular organizations give more than people who give only to secular organizations, because in our traditions we learn the concept of stewardship, philanthropy and giving. But the gap was greater than I had anticipated.
In our houses of worship, we hear over and over again that it is more blessed to give than to receive, he said. We also hear stories about how giving makes a difference.
As the role of the religious community is being debated in the public policy arena through faith-based initiatives, Faith and Philanthropy offers new incentive for religious leaders to expand their congregants capacity for even more generosity and civic involvement, Dr. Edgar added.
Faith and Philanthropy: The Connection Between Charitable Behavior and Giving to Religion is based on analysis from Independent Sectors Giving and Volunteering in the United States, 2001 national telephone survey of 4,200 adults.
Faith and Philanthropy is available for $15.95 for Independent Sector members and $19.95 for non-members plus shipping and handling. To order call 1-888-860-8118 or log on to www.IndependentSector.org .
Independent Sector is a nonprofit, nonpartisan coalition of more than 700 national organizations, foundations, and corporate philanthropy programs, collectively representing tens of thousands of charitable groups in every state across the nation. Its mission is to promote, strengthen, and advance the nonprofit and philanthropic community to foster private initiative for the public good.
The National Council of Churches, founded in 1950, is the leading organization in the movement for ecumenical cooperation among Christians in the United States. The NCC's 36 Protestant, Anglican and Orthodox member communions and denominations include more than 50 million persons in 140,000 local congregations in communities across the nation.
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