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Losing Our Religion?

American culture is shifting away from religion. Pew Research says, “the percentage of Americans who do not identify with any religion rose from 8% between 1998 and 2000 to 21% over the past three years.” Gallup says, “Americans’ membership in houses of worship continues to decline, dropping below 50% for the first time… 47% of Americans said they belonged to a church, synagogue or mosque, down from 50% in 2018 and 70% in 1999.”

But, people put the money where their heart is, and the financial numbers tell an interesting story. Giving USA’s most recent study reports that contributions to churches and religious organizations grew by 5.4 percent between 2020 and 2021, with an estimated $135.78 billion in total contributions. Cumulatively, giving to churches and religious organizations increased 5.3 percent between 2019 and 2021. In fact, religious organizations received the largest share of charitable dollars in 2021, at 27 percent of total giving.

When it comes to their wallets, Americans appear more eager than ever to support the causes they care about—without concern for popularity and political correctness.

Sources: Giving USA: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2021 is a 2022 publication of Giving USA Foundation and is researched and written by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

Pew Research

Gallup Poll