By Gina Calvert

Catholic Giving Statistics: Getting to Know Catholic Givers

Are Catholic giving statistics the same as charitable giving to churches in general? How generous are these givers? Do they prefer online giving?

Catholic giving data is similar to church and nonprofit data, but it’s useful to find data specific to them. Why? As with all churches and nonprofits, the purpose of understanding your givers is to find ways to serve them better.

Here’s what we know about Catholic givers.

Younger givers match other demographics in upper giving amounts

More younger givers fall into the smallest giving level, which is not a surprise. But in upper giving levels, age does not seem to matter. (Source):

  • 28% of all ages gave under $100 but 42% aged 16-34 years gave under $100
  • 34% of all ages and 33% aged 16-34 gave between $101 and $500
  • 28% of all ages and 25% aged 16-34 gave at least $500

Most Catholics donate beyond their parishes

As with general givers, an overwhelming majority of Catholic givers (88%) donate money to both their parish and also to unrelated charities. Of those who give, only 12% donate solely to their parish (Source). 73% of supplemental gifts go to social justice causes, with education, healthcare, environmental causes and politics following behind.

Catholics may be more consistent and generous givers

The prevailing trend among attendees across all churches is that only 5% tithe. 80% give about 2.5% of their income. 10-25% tithe (though this defined differently among givers) (Source)

The majority of Catholics who give fall in line with general giving patterns, but more Catholics tithe: (Source):

  • Only 1% give no money to their churches or charities.
  • 69% of Catholics (who donate) give between 2-5% of their income
  • 35% of Catholics annually give between 5-9%
  • 38% of Catholics annually give at least 10%

Why Catholics may not give

This is by no means an exhaustive list, because debt and many other personal factors impact giving, but studies bear out at least two contributors to failure to give:

Lack of transparency
95 of Catholics do donate to their parishes. But U.S. Catholic magazine reports that “Among the 5% who don’t donate to their parish, transparency appears to be the issue.” Like many givers in other types of churches, some Catholics value knowing how and where donations are spent.(Source)

Failure to ask
U.S. Catholic magazine reports that “most Catholics claimed that they didn’t feel any pressure to give money to their parish.” That’s good! But we’ve seen that asking is a critical factor in why people give. Catholic-specific data bears this out as well, while also providing insight into the ways Catholics prefer to be asked:

  • 53% of USCCB study participants would give money if asked by the pastor at mass
  • 36% would give if their bishop requested it via their diocesan newspaper or a mailer
  • 31% would give in response to a mailed letter
  • 21% would give in response to an email
  • 16% would give in response to a phone call

How Vision2 Helps Parishes and Dioceses

Vision2 online giving software addresses the concerns that givers have about digital giving, while serving parishes and dioceses with aggregated donor and contribution data across parishes and dioceses as desired. To learn more, schedule a Vision2 demo today.

Stay tuned for Part 2: Catholics and Online Giving.