Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Some Data On Religious Donors

In case you missed it, we posted two new articles from our August 1st issue yesterday.  One of these was an exclusive study done with Infogroup about religious donors.  There's a lot of information in this study, but the most interesting thing to me is that those who give to religious groups are more likely to give to more charities than those who don't.  Let's take a look at the numbers:
  • Nine out of 10 people who gave to religious organizations said they also gave to at least one other charity.  This is compared to seven out of 10 who did this but did not give to a religious group.
  • Of the 90 percent that gave to other groups, three-quarters of them focus their giving on one to five charities besides their religious groups; 11 percent give to six to 10 charities, and only five percent give to more than 10 charities.
  • Forty-seven percent of respondents said they gave to religious groups.
  • For those 65 and older who gave to religion, only six percent did not give to another group.  This is compared to 21 percent of seniors who did not give to religion.
Other numbers from the survey showed that, once again, religious groups are getting the lions share of giving.  This is consistent from data in recent years, such as the 2010 Giving USA numbers, which showed that religious giving made up 35 percent of the $290 billion in total giving.

It's clear from these numbers that, for whatever reason, religious donors tend to give to more charities than secular donors.  Why this is happening is not so clear.  Perhaps the religion they follow encourages giving?  One theory, which is explored in the article, is that a large percentage of religious donors come from high-income families.  In fact, 97 percent of respondents with households incomes of $100,000 or more said they gave to other groups in addition to their religious charities. 

What are your thoughts on this study?  Do you have any theories as to why religious donors give more than secular ones?

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