While 84% of evangelicals say they prefer to support Christian organizations after giving to their home churches, less than half (46%) actually have a favorite organization that is faith-based. That's according to a recently published study from Grey Matter Research and Infinity Concepts.
Grey Matter's Ron Sellers says evangelicals' preferences apparently are a lot like the world's. "Evangelical donors, of their 19 most commonly favored individual organizations, 12 are also the favorites of American donors in general," he reports to AFN.
The two donor groups share in common four of their top five charities, with Samaritan's Purse on the evangelical list replacing the American Cancer Society on America's list. The four charities they have in common (three of which are secular) are: St. Jude Children's Research Hospital – #1 on both lists – the Salvation Army, The American Red Cross, and UNICEF.
Sellers explains that part of the reason secular charities receive financial support from faith-based donors is that there are no Christian alternatives serving the concerns of some evangelicals.
"[For example], I'm not familiar with any large cancer-oriented, cancer research-oriented evangelical organization; or any large 'humane society' that's specifically Christian," says Sellers.
And while he points out there's nothing wrong with saving puppies or working toward a cure for cancer, Sellers suggests the study indicates evangelicals aren't being as discerning when it comes to other causes.
"It's a little bit disappointing, quite honestly, to see evangelicals naming organizations that are involved in disaster relief, that sponsored children, that are involved in literacy or education that are entirely secular, when there are very good and well-known Christian equivalents that they could be supporting," he concludes.
Another finding of the Grey Matter Research study: when choosing their favorite charity or ministry to support financially, evangelicals usually prioritize massive brands over small organizations.
Faith-based relief charities that AFN has reported on include not only Samaritan's Purse, but also Joni & Friends, Eight Days of Hope, Slavic Gospel Association, and Convoy of Hope. Other noteworthy ministries featured in recent AFN stories include Prison Fellowship International, GFA World, Global Outreach International, ChinaAid, Live Beyond, MegaVoice International, Faith Comes by Hearing, International Christian Concern, and Voice of the Martyrs.