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Giving To All Nonprofits, Especially Religious Organizations, Increased In 2003

(May 31, 2004) Giving to all nonprofit organizations, and especially religious organizations, increased substantially in 2003, according to a new report by The Barna Group Ltd., an independent cultural analysis and strategic consulting firm in Ventura, Calif.

Average household giving increased to $1,079 in 2003, up more than 8 percent from the $991 average in 2002. Eighty percent of all households indicated they had given to at least one charity in 2003. This figure is consistent with the prior two years but is lower than the level reported in 2000 (84 percent) and 1999 (87 percent).

According to the survey results, based upon telephone interviews with a nationwide random sample of 1,014 adults conducted in late January and early February of 2004, nearly two out of every three households (63 percent) contributed a gift to a place of religious worship, and three out of every four dollars contributed to charity went to religious centers. The average gift increased to $824, the highest level since 2000.

The study also identified segments of the population that are the most and least likely to give to religious organizations. Those individuals who were most likely to donate included:

  • Evangelical Christians
  • Individuals who had attended religious ceremonies during the past week
  • African-Americans
  • Born-again or Pentecostal Christians
  • Households with a gross income of $60,000 or more

Groups that were least likely to contribute, based on the survey results, included:

  • Catholics
  • Adults under 35
  • Households with a gross income of $40,000 to $59,000

To read the full report, which includes the research methodology, visit

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