NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Year-to-date contributions through the Southern Baptist Convention’s Cooperative Program are 2.74 percent below the same time frame last year and 1.85 percent off budget for 2009, according to a news release from SBC Executive Committee President and Chief Executive Officer Morris H. Chapman.
As of May 31, the year-to-date total of $134,612,737.23 for Cooperative Program (CP) missions is $3,789,056.39 below the $138,401,793.62 received at the end of May 2008.
Designated giving of $152,197,788.11 for the same year-to-date period is 10.78 percent, or $18,383,632.71, below gifts of $170,581,420.82 received at this point last year.
Monthly CP receipts totaled $18,386,153.68, while designated gifts received last month amounted to $19,785,487.42.
Month-to-month swings reflect a number of factors, but largely result from the timing of receipts from state conventions. The end-of-month total represents money received by close of business on the last business day of each month.
For the first eight months of the fiscal year, the SBC Cooperative Program Allocation Budget year-to-date total of $134,612,737.23 is 98.15 percent (or 1.85 percent off) of the $137,144,556.00 budgeted to support Southern Baptist ministries globally and across North America. The SBC operates on an Oct. 1-Sept. 30 fiscal year. The 2008-09 allocation budget was based on CP receipts given in fiscal year 2006-07.
During the last fiscal year, Southern Baptists topped the $200-million mark for the third year in a row and overall giving to national causes surpassed the $400-million benchmark for a second straight year.
The Cooperative Program is Southern Baptists’ method of supporting missions and ministry efforts of state conventions and the Southern Baptist Convention.
The Cooperative Program total includes receipts from individuals, churches, state conventions and fellowships for distribution according to the 2008-09 Cooperative Program Allocation Budget.
Designated contributions include the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions, the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions, Southern Baptist World Hunger Fund and other special gifts.
State and regional conventions retain a portion of church contributions to the Southern Baptist Convention Cooperative Program to support work in their respective areas and forward a percentage to Southern Baptist national and international causes. The percentage of distribution is at the discretion of each state or regional convention.
Compiled by Baptist Press staff.