Atlas of Giving Issues Gloomy 2013 Forecast for Religious GivingPosted on March 5th, 2013.
Four takeaways for churches in the midst of projected declines.
A company specializing in computer-based reports and forecasts for charitable giving in the United States says giving to religion rose steadily in 2012 compared to 2011. The religious sector, though, has seen its share of the overall charitable giving market shrink, and a dismal outlook for 2013 likely will erode that share further, the firm says.
The Dallas, Texas-based Atlas of Giving on Tuesday said overall donations to nonprofits across eight sectors climbed 6.7 percent in 2012, fueled by notable gains in educational and environmental causes. The religious sector, which includes churches, synagogues, and faith-based organizations, climbed 4.1 percent.
But early signs point to a decrease in collections for the religious sector in 2013, the only one the company predicts will decline. ”It’s not good,” said Rob Mitchell, chief executive of Atlas of Giving. “We’re projecting giving to religion to be down 0.8 percent, or essentially flat-to-trending-slightly-down-from-flat.”