The annual report on charitable giving in the United States for the year 2015 was recently published by Giving USA Foundation. The Giving USA report announced that 2015 was America’s most-generous year ever with a total of $373.25 billion contributed to charitable causes, which was a 4.1 percent increase over the prior year. Religious organizations continue to remain the number one recipient of charitable contributions in the USA at 32 percent, or $119.3 billion, followed by donations to education at 15 percent, or $57.5 billion, and human services at 12 percent, or $45.2 billion as other large recipients.
There has been a general slowing of giving to religious causes in recent years, but contributions held steady at 32 percent from 2014 to 2015. The encouraging news is that almost 74 percent of religious organizations responding to the Nonprofit Research Collaborative Winter 2016 survey reported increases in 2015 contributions.
We are pleased to report that the Kentucky Baptist Foundation for its fiscal year 2015 distributed in excess of $6 million toward Kingdom advancement through the various church, missionary, educational, evangelistic and compassion ministry causes of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, the Southern Baptist Convention and other Christian organizations. The distributions from the Foundation during 2015 increased 10.7% from the prior year.
These distributions were made possible by the many faithful and generous Christian stewards who practiced estate stewardship and generous giving at a deeper level. Their gifts through bequests, charitable trusts and other types of legacy giving have created perpetual endowment funds that will provide growing distributions to Baptist causes until Jesus comes again.
If you have questions about Christian estate planning strategies or want to request a private estate stewardship consultation, please contact the Foundation’s trust counsel, Laurie Valentine, or me at our toll-free number (866) 489-3533.
Richard Carnes is the president of the Kentucky Baptist Foundation, P.O. Box 436389, Louisville, KY 40253; toll-free (866) 489-3533; KYBaptistFoundation.org.