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Charitable Giving Stays Strong Amid Recession

Donations to ECFA Members Hold Steady during Two-Year Span

Contact: Ty Mays, 770-256-8710, tmays@inchristcommunicatiions.com  

WINCHESTER, Va., Nov. 9 /Christian Newswire/ -- The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) announced today that charitable giving to ECFA members stayed strong during the U.S. recession, totaling $12.10 billion last year, just a 0.1 percent decline from the pre-recession level of $12.11 billion two years earlier.

"It is very significant that this segment of the giving world was resilient and maintained itself during a difficult economic time," said Dan Busby, ECFA president.  "Our report suggests a strong commitment of givers to the Christian faith and the generosity of God's people."

ECFA's first Annual State of Giving Report (www.ecfa.org/Content/2010-ECFA-Annual-State-of-Giving-Report) showed charitable contributions held up especially well among larger charities. Donations to ECFA-member organizations with more than $10 million in annual revenue increased 1.4 percent in 2009, compared with 2007, while organizations with less than $10 million in annual revenue fell 6.9 percent during the same span.

Overall, non-cash giving rose 4.9 percent in 2009, compared with 2007, according to the ECFA analysis. Cash donations dropped 2.3 percent during the same period.

Giving to ECFA members decreased 0.7 percent in 2009, compared with 2008's tally of $12.19 billion.

Recent reports indicated much steeper donation declines to large charities and nonprofits nationwide. The Chronicle of Philanthropy reported last month that donations to the nation's 400 charities that raise the most funds from private sources fell 11 percent in 2009, compared with the previous year, the survey's worst annual decrease in two decades. An earlier report by the Giving USA Foundation estimated donations to charities nationwide fell 3.6 percent over the same span. 

The ECFA report breaks down giving into 29 segments, including organizations, churches, rescue missions, missionary-sending ministries, colleges and universities, and camps and  conferences. Ministries focused on children showed four of the largest increases in total 2009 giving, compared with 2007. Donations to the child sponsorship segment gained 26 percent, orphan care  12 percent, adoption 9 percent and children's homes 6 percent during the two-year span. 

Data used to compile ECFA's first Annual State of Giving Report comes directly from financial statements prepared by independent certified public accountants.

For more results, and to see the 2010 ECFA Annual State of Giving Report, go to www.ecfa.org.

ECFA, founded in 1979, provides accreditation to leading Christian nonprofit organizations that faithfully demonstrate compliance with the ECFA standards pertaining to financial accountability, fund-raising and board governance. For more information about ECFA, including information about accreditation and a listing of ECFA-accredited members, visit www.ecfa.org or call 1-800-323-9473.

To schedule an interview with an executive staff member of ECFA, contact Ty Mays at (770) 256-8710 or tmays@inchristcommunications.com.