NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) — Contributions to Southern Baptist national and international missions and ministries received by the SBC Executive Committee in October were 17.27 percent below the same month last year, according to a news release from SBC Executive Committee President and Chief Executive Officer Frank Page. The total includes receipts from state conventions and fellowships, churches and individuals for distribution according to the 2011-12 SBC Cooperative Program Allocation Budget.
As of Oct. 31, gifts received by the Executive Committee for distribution through the Cooperative Program Allocation Budget totaled $14,581,528.92, or $3,043,239.54 behind the $17,624,768.46 received in October 2010.
Meanwhile, designated giving of $3,891,665.16 during October was 4.20 percent, or $170,609.19, below gifts of $4,062,274.35 received last October. This total includes only those gifts received and distributed by the Executive Committee and does not reflect designated gifts contributed directly to SBC entities.
The end-of-month total represents money received by the Executive Committee by the close of the last business day of each month. Month-to-month swings reflect a number of factors, including the number of Sundays in a given month, the day of the month churches forward their CP contributions to their state conventions and the timing of when state conventions forward the national portion of their CP contributions to the Executive Committee.
For the SBC Cooperative Program Allocation Budget, the October total of $14,581,528.92 is 94.07 percent of the $15,500,000 budgeted to support Southern Baptist ministries globally and across North America.
During the last fiscal year (Oct. 1, 2010 – Sept. 30, 2011), Cooperative Program receipts for the year were up 0.06 percent — the first increase since 2007. Combined CP and designated giving for the year, meanwhile, were up 0.17 percent.
Page said at the time that seeing the halt in what had been a four-year decline in national CP contributions was a “cause for joy.” He observed that Southern Baptists have continued to give sacrificially in spite of global economic uncertainties, praising “the continued faithfulness of Southern Baptists to support the ministries of their churches, their respective state conventions and the ministries and mission causes of the SBC through the Cooperative Program.”
The Cooperative Program is Southern Baptists’ method of supporting missions and ministry efforts of state and regional conventions and the Southern Baptist Convention.
The Cooperative Program total includes receipts from individuals, churches, state conventions and fellowships for distribution according to the 2011-12 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.