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I recently attended the Gurin Forum presented by Giving USA Foundation in Chicago, where recent research on giving to religion (commissioned by Giving USA and conducted by the Lilly School of Philanthropy at Indiana University) was presented.
Giving USA has continually shown giving to religion shrinking as a part of overall giving. This forum took a deeper dive into that trend. The research presented found that people affiliate with houses of worship much less often than they did in the past. The lack of affiliation leads to a drop in attendance, and that results in a decrease in giving.
While this may not be shocking news, what I found most interesting—and alarming—was that people affiliated with a religion give twice as much in general (not just to religious entities), so a drop in the number of people who affiliate could be challenging for secular causes as well as religious ones. This trend in religious giving has the potential to impact the world of philanthropy in much larger ways.