Giving USA 2018: Why It Matters


Giving USA 2018: Why It Matters

                      The 2018 report is out. Read all about it!

Hi friends! Having just seen Wayne Newton on The Bachelorette – looking like a living version of his own Madame Tussauds’ wax figure – I am pumped and ready to settle down and write this week’s blog. Who is Wayne Newton, you ask? Well let’s say he’s old Vegas, baby. Danke Schoen anyone? Enjoy. And…feel free to judge me for watching the Bachelorette. I deserve it.
On to numbers and why these ones matter. Every year the Giving USA Foundation, the Giving Institute, and the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy join forces to tell us mere mortals where you and I and everyone else is practicing generosity.
This year, the news is encouraging on all fronts. Giving, overall, was up in 2017 by 5.2 percent. For the first time, giving exceeded a whopping $400 billion ($410.02 billion to be exact). Word has it that an improved stock market helped. Here are the deets in a nutshell:
Giving by individuals: up by 5.2% ($286.65 billion). That’s 70% of the giving pie.
Giving by foundations (primarily via grants): up by 6.0% ($59.28 billion). That’s 16% of the giving pie.
Giving by bequests (wills/legacy giving): up by 2.3% ($35.70 billion). That’s 9% of the giving pie.
Giving by corporations: up by 8.0% ($20.77 billion). That’s 5% of the giving pie.
See the Giving USA 2018 infographic here:

The one statistic you’re probably most interested in seeing:
Of individual giving, charitable gifts to religion increased 2.9%.
31% of all charitable dollars went to religion for a total of $127.37 billion.
That’s good news!
It’s good news because people are primed to be generous. Your people are generous. Individuals are giving the vast majority of all charitable gifts in this country. But, that doesn't mean you get to be complacent. 69% of all individuals are also giving to other non-profits: hospitals, educational institutions, human services, and the arts to name a few.
How can you ensure that your church is at the top of your congregation’s giving list?
1. Emphasize the need for the giver to give. It’s a spiritual discipline.
2. Thank givers for their gifts. Thank in a variety of ways. Promptly. It really never gets tiresome for people to hear “thank you.”
3. Tell your story. Let your people know about the ministries that are being supported because of their generosity. Don’t be vague. Be specific.
I may not be the biggest fan of numbers, but these ones do get me excited. They should give you encouragement that within your congregation generosity can be unleashed. And as a result, you’ll definitely want to shout (rather than sing) Danke Schoen. Gracias, merci, thank you!

Cesie Delve Scheuermann (pronounced “CC Delv Sherman,” yes, really) is a consultant in stewardship, development, and grant writing. Over the past fifteen years, while working as a volunteer and part-time consultant, she helped raise over three million dollars for numerous non-profit organizations. In her next life she wants to be a member of the Rat Pack. She was the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference Lay Leader from 2008-2012. Her position with the Conference is funded through a generous grant from the Collins Foundation. She is available to consult with churches. You can reach her at inspiringgenerosity@gmail.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/inspiringgenerosity.

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Cesie Delve Scheuermann
Cesie Delve Scheuermann is consultant in grant writing and stewardship/development working with the Conference. From 2008-12 she was the Conference Lay Leader for the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference.