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Charitable Giving of Christians Around the World


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Medium (Humanist Voices)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2017/08/20

Christians around the world have been the subject of study for years, and years, by various organisations and statisticians. These researchers have uncovered some news about the Christian population writ large. In general, the Christian population around the world have some consistent demographic trends in terms of their attitudes and beliefs. For examples, Christian hold fast to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and belief in a monotheistic God. There are other, more nuanced, aspects to the demographic attitudes, though.

Let’s take a look at some of those attitudinal stances of the Christian world population, and the North American population, these can be enlightening as to the trends within the population and the potential extrapolation for projections about the trends and attitudes over time.

What will happen to the attitudes and the demographics of the Christian population in the future? I find these are important points and questions to consider because these will demarcate the likely from the unlikely for the future of the global Christian population, and the continental and regional Christian population whatever the continent or region happens to be, such as North America, Latin America and South America, Middle East-North Africa, and so on.

The continents and regions will have differing concerns and trends in population demographics. Therefore, they will likely have different attitudinal stances. To begin, let’s look at the level of donations and charitable giving from the Christian population compared to the general population and other subpopulations in the world, then we will move into continents and regions and some countries that are exemplars of Christian giving and not. Let’s start with the one that I am the most familiar with, North America.

The Christian Science Monitor reports that (Velasco, 2015) after seven years the United States, for an example, made a record in declines of charitable giving from the churches, the congregations. The pews have been and continue to shrink in the United States.

American donors, more than ever, have given about $358.4 billion to charities, which is according to an annual report provided by Giving USA Foundation (Giving USA Foundation, 2017). It peaked over and above the $355.17 billion from 2007 before the Great Recession in America.

The rise was in 8 of 9 charity categories. “Unsurprisingly, demographics have a lot to do with religion’s shrinking piece of the charity pie,” Velasco said. Looking at the demographics the Pew Research Center, the numbers of the religiously unaffiliated in the United States comes to 22.8% (Pew Research Center, n.d.).

It is a substantial increase in the number of non-believers. Between the years 2007 and 20014, the number of self-identified Christians dropped from 78 % to 71% (Velasco, 2015). The Millennials have the most pronounced difference in their ratio between no religious affiliation and the mainline Protestant-Catholic grouping.

There are more millennial religiously unaffiliated than the Protestant-Catholic Millennial grouping (Ibid.), which derives come straightforward conclusions: if fewer people attend religious services, then fewer donations come from the pews.

Velasco also reported that the wealthiest sectors in the U.S. became wealthier, so their donations comprised a larger share of the pie. The pie devoted to religious gifts comes from a broader range of people. It is not that the religious Americans are giving less. They are likely to give more. The issue is the donating “beyond the collection plate.” So, the only issue with religious giving in the United States of America is the reduction in formally religious people by self-identification.


Giving USA Foundation. (2017). Giving USA Foundation. Retrieved from

Pew Research Center. (n.d.). Religious Landscape Survey: Retrieved from

Velasco, S. (2015, June 16). Charitable giving sets new record, but why are religious donations waning?. Retrieved


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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