New Study Finds Scripture Engaged Americans Gave $145 Billion to Charitable Causes in 2021
“Year after year our research shows there is a strong correlation between charitable giving and human flourishing, suggesting that people find a sense of meaning when they give to a cause they believe in."
American Bible Society today released the eighth chapter of the 12th annual State of the Bible report, which highlights cultural trends in the U.S. regarding spirituality and Scripture engagement. Today’s release shows that Americans who are engaged with the Bible gave $145 billion to charitable causes in 2021 and that Practicing Christians, those who are actively living out their faith, are much more likely to give. All eight chapters are available to download at StateoftheBible.org.
“Year after year our research shows there is a strong correlation between charitable giving and human flourishing, suggesting that people find a sense of meaning when they give to a cause they believe in. For Christians, we know that we have received the free gift of grace, which in turn motivates us to more generously give our time, energy, and financial resources to others,” said John Farquhar Plake, PhD and Director of Ministry Intelligence for American Bible Society. “Engaging with the Bible and actively living out our faith doesn’t simply mean reading the words in the pages of Scripture–rather, it is a transformation of the heart that inspires us to love and live well.”
The State of the Bible 2022 findings come from a survey in January 2022 conducted by American Bible Society in collaboration with NORC at the University of Chicago, which produced 2,598 online or telephone responses from American adults in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
- Those who are Scripture Engaged are much more likely than others to donate to charity–four out of five report giving, compared to just over half of those who are Bible Disengaged (page 176).
- Scripture Engaged Americans gave $145 billion to charitable causes–not just churches–in 2021, with an estimated $2,907 per household (page 177). Nearly three of five Scripture Engaged Americans (58%) report giving at a higher level (page 189).
- People who are Scripture Engaged gave six-times as much to churches as those in the Movable Middle and 13-times as much as those who are Bible Disengaged. When it comes to non-church giving, Scripture Engaged Americans gave 9% more than the Bible Disengaged and 165% more than the Movable Middle (page 178).
- Americans tend to support local charities more than nationally recognized organizations: the Scripture Engaged gave 12% to national religious charities compared to 72% toward their local church (page 180).
- Older people are more likely to give, which can partially be attributed to economics. Five out of six in the Elder generation give to charity compared to half of Generation Z, and while Gen X has the highest income of any group, they are less likely to give than the two older generations (page 184).
Next month, American Bible Society will release one new chapter in the State of the Bible 2022. To download the State of the Bible 2022 ebook, visit StateoftheBible.org.
*Scripture engagement is defined as consistent interaction with the Bible that shapes a person’s choices and transforms their relationships with God, self, and others. For descriptions on how Scripture engagement was measured and reported, please see page 33 of the ebook available for download at StateoftheBible.org.
Thanks to the support of our faithful financial partners, American Bible Society has been engaging people with the life-changing message of God’s Word for more than 200 years.
Help us share God's Word where needed most.
Sign up to stay in touch with how God is changing lives with his Word!