American Evangelicals were asked, "What is your very favorite organization to support financially (excluding your church)?" and the results surprisingly showed that a vast majority prefer secular ones.
Christian-focused advertising agency Infinity Concepts announced on Sunday on Facebook the release of their recent survey involving 1,000 Evangelical Protestants on what they prioritize in their giving. The simple question they posed to Evangelical Protestants from around the country was meant to not only identify the favorite charities and ministries of evangelicals but also determine the role of faith in their giving priorities.
American Evangelicals' Favorite Charities
Infinity Concepts said the question will reveal the major brands evangelicals support and how the size of an organization adds to their giving. The study, entitled "The Favorite Charity: Evangelical Giving Priorities" and conducted in partnership with Grey Matter Research, also intends to differentiate evangelicals from other American donors in general, among other things.
In the said study, the agency highlighted that "54% of evangelicals name a favorite organization that is not faith-based." More than half of the respondents or 53% identified 19 different organizations out of the 1.2 million options of a favorite charity or ministry to support. A majority or 12 of the 19 favorite brands among evangelicals are also the overall favorite brands of American donors. Only seven of the 19 favorite brands the evangelicals named were either faith-based or faith-related organizations.
More than half or 52% of evangelicals favor organizations "that have their Christian faith as a major part of the work they do." The 32% of evangelicals prefer to donate to "organizations that have a Christian background or perspective, but are not necessarily conducting specifically Christian work."
American Evangelicals Donate Regardless Of Faith
This means that a total of 84% of evangelicals prefer to support organizations that are faith-based. The primary reason evangelicals do not favor organizations where faith is a major part of their operations is due to their desire to help people even though they have a different religious belief. This translates to 66% of evangelicals who do not favor organizations that are overtly faith-related.
Of the 84% of Christians who stated a preference for supporting Christian organizations, less than half or 46% actually have a favorite Christian organization.
"The majority (54%) favor supporting an entirely secular organization. Out of about 59 million evangelical Protestants in the US, 25 million don't give outside of church (or even inside of church, in the case of 11 million of them). Eighteen million give, but name a favorite organization that is not Christian. Only 16 million have a favorite organization that is Christian," the study said.
The other key findings of the study show that evangelicals tend to favor very large organizations in their giving, much like other donors in general. This amounted to $1.07 billion in donations for the said large organizations, with a median of more than $700 million.
Similar to other American donors, evangelicals choose favorite organizations based on primary causes. These involve 19% for specific diseases like diabetes and cancer, 18% for international relief and development, 12% for domestic poverty and homelessness, and 11% for community support.
Evangelicals, however, tend to prioritize domestic poverty and homelessness more than other donors. Evangelicals also prioritize missions/evangelism when they give to organizations. This is in comparison to donating to causes for overall health, emergencies/disasters, and animals.
The study pointed out that 14% of evangelical donors name a favorite organization with a less than 10% overhead ratio. Just like American donors in general, evangelicals have an average overhead ratio of 18.5% for their favorite organizations.