Posted by: morgan1965 | May 21, 2009

Charitable Giving Today

I just read an intriguing article titled, “Poor are the most Charitable” and written by Frank Greve [McClatchy Newspapers]. The core revelation is that the people in the lowest U. S. income group are the people who give the largest percentage of their incomes to charity. Does this surprise you?

Greve writes: “The generosity of poor people isn’t so much rare as rarely noticed, however. In fact, America’s poor donate more in percentage terms, than higher-income groups do, surveys of charitable giving show. What’s more, their generosity declines less in hard times than the generosity of richer givers does. I wonder whether this statement has any relevance in West Virginia, particularly in light of the current negative economic climate.

To date, the total giving through the apportionment [fair share] in the West Virginia Conference has been holding steady in comparison with one year ago. That is good news, and I deeply appreciate the commitment and sacrifice demonstrated by local congregations who make this possible. Praise God from Whom all Blessings Flow!

The reality is that “the lowest-income fifth (of the population) always give at more than their capacity,” according to Virginia Hodgkinson. This truism certainly has been my experience over the years as I have ministered in the role of local church pastor, district superintendent, and resident bishop. I never cease to be amazed by the giving level of not only poor people but small congregations that have limited resources.

Hodgkinson further states that “the next two –fifths give at capacity, and those above that are capable of giving two or three times more than they give.”

Although they might be considered poor, it seems that those people who were interviewed for this article find joy in their giving? Yes, I said joy.

Poor people are not afraid of poverty. Now, imagine that.

Do you see any implications for local church ministry in the area of stewardship?

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