Generosity Inside and Outside of the Church

Report Explores Giving to Areas of Need Outside of the Church

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In our newest report, we show the positive impact that unleashing Catholic generosity is likely to have on causes outside of the Church.  Using data from a nationally representative survey of 1,997 US adults in 2010, we find the same factors that we earlier identified as important for increasing financial generosity to the Church are key to unleashing Catholic generosity in many other areas of need as well. 

Catholics who are more spiritually engaged with money are not only more likely to give to the Church, but are also more likely to make voluntary financial contributions to combat homelessness, reduce poverty, aid the elderly, support pro-life causes, and much more.  Moreover, Catholics who made a conscious decision at some point in their lives to give away more of their money (as opposed to those whose financial giving “just happens”) not only donated more to the Church in the previous year, but also much more to other philanthropic causes. Finally, Catholics who follow a system or routine in their giving contributed more than situational or spontaneous givers to all causes—both inside and outside of the Church.

Because financial generosity in one area of life tends to spill over into greater generosity elsewhere, unleashing Catholic generosity will be good news not only for the Church, but also for the broader world.

This report, like our prior two reports, can be accessed as a virtual magazine (Alternatively, please click on the picture above for a pdf of this report.)  For readers interested in a detailed discussion of sampling and survey methods for the Science of Generosity study, please access the methods report.