Int’l (MNN) – As the economic growth in America remains slow, Christians are asking hard questions about their money.
A study done by the Barna Group last year reports that in April of 2012, 41% of Americans had reduced their donations to non-profit organizations. This decrease of charitable giving has spread elsewhere. 11% of Americans have stopped giving to churches, and 34% have reduced their donations to churches and religious centers.
For one organization, however, their growth opposes the trend. According to Tim Glenn with Compassion International, they have seen a continual 9% growth in donations for the past four to five years.
Glenn says that in the past, donors gave from the goodness of their hearts, or from tax breaks. In more recent years, they have asked what percentage of their donation goes directly to needy people. People still want to give despite economic conditions. “Nowadays, though, in these tough economic times, we see donors are asking really savvy questions about impact,” he explains. As the economy tightens, donors become more concerned with the effectiveness per dollar donated. “Potential donors are asking tougher questions before they give,” he says.
It is encouraging to see that people giving are concerned about root issue: what impact these ministries are making on people, and how well they are administering the gospel.
Glenn attributes the increased donations for Compassion to their ability to prove to donors that their money makes a difference: “We
actually have independent research that shows impact of our program.”
For Compassion International, they are able to show how their programs improve lives and give a positive outlook for people in developing countries. A study done on six different countries where Compassion is involved shows that students going through the program are likely to stay in school longer, achieve salaried or white collared jobs, and become community and church leaders.
God has blessed Compassion. Everything taught in their program goes hand-in-hand with the Gospel. Life skills are taught in such a way that students learn to be Godly workers. Social skills are taught in the context of discipleship. “From the day a child steps into a Compassion program, which is at a local church, they’re learning the Gospel,” Glenn relates.
Praise God for the blessings that God has bestowed upon Compassion International. Pray that other ministries will be able to convey the impact they have on the world to their donors. Pray that despite the economy, people will still give and that the Gospel would continue to reach the ears of the lost. Click here for information on Compassion’s ministry and how to give.