NASHVILLE (BP) — The Southern Baptist Convention ended its fiscal year $1.1 million over its 2014–2015 budgeted goal and $2.5 million over the previous year’s Cooperative Program allocation budget gifts, according to Frank S. Page, president and CEO of the SBC Executive Committee.
The SBC received $189,160,231.41 in CP allocation gifts for the year. This amount is $2,592,620.78, or 1.39 percent, more than it received during the last fiscal year, and is $1,160,231.41, or 0.62 percent, more than its budgeted goal of $188 million.
“We are grateful to every church and individual who believes in and supports the Cooperative Program of Southern Baptists,” Page said. “We are particularly grateful for the 4,422 churches that increased their church contributions through CP by at least 1 percent of their undesignated tithes and offerings over the past year.
“We suggested last year that we may have reached the nadir, or lowest point, for national Cooperative Program gifts following the Great Recession. This positive report indicates that may indeed be the case,” Page said. “It remains my hope and prayer that we can unleash more missionaries and church planters over the next decade than ever before and that our seminary students can graduate with minimal or no school debt as we move forward to the centennial celebration of the Cooperative Program in 2025.”
In designated giving, the fiscal year’s total of $195,013,412.58 is 0.17 percent above the previous year’s $194,678,166.09. Of this designated amount, $194,205,408.42 was disbursed to IMB and NAMB through the seasonal missions offerings and Global Hunger Relief. The balance was designated for other SBC entities or the SBC operating budget. Combined designated gifts to SBC causes and CP allocation budget gifts showed a 0.77 percent increase over the same time last year.
The convention-adopted budgeted amount was distributed as follows: 50.41 percent to international missions through the International Mission Board, 22.79 percent to North American missions through the North American Mission Board, 22.16 percent to theological education, 2.99 percent to the SBC operating budget and 1.65 percent to the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.
Of the amount received that was over the budgeted goal, IMB received a full 51 percent of the $1.16 million overage, while the SBC operating budget received only 2.4 percent of the overage. Other SBC entities received the same percentage of the overage as the allocation formula in the 2014–2015 adopted CP allocation budget.
September gifts through CP totaled $14,883,496.42, while designated gifts were $3,851,470.36. Monies include receipts from individuals, churches, state conventions and fellowships for distribution according to the 2014–2015 SBC Cooperative Program Allocation Budget and to SBC causes as stipulated in designated gifts.
The CP is Southern Baptists channel of giving, begun in 1925, through which a local church can contribute to the ministries of its state/regional convention and the missions and ministries of the SBC with a single monthly or weekly contribution.
Month-to-month swings in the amount received through the Executive Committee reflect a number of factors, including the timing of when the state conventions forward the national portion of Cooperative Program contributions to the EC, the day of the month churches forward their CP contributions to their state conventions, the number of Sundays in a given month, and the percentage of CP contributions forwarded to the SBC by the state conventions after shared ministry expenses are deducted.
CP allocation budget receipts received by the EC are reported monthly to the executives of the entities of the convention, to the state convention offices, to the state Baptist papers and are posted online at www.cpmissions.net/CPReports