The national portion of Cooperative Program Allocation gifts topped $100 million at the mid-point of the 2017–2018 SBC fiscal year for the first time in almost a decade (see charts B and C). The national CP increase is largely attributable to CP gifts forwarded by cooperating state Baptist conventions (see chart A). The 41.49 percent to SBC causes is the highest in history and only the fourth time since 1925 the division has topped 40 percent.
Two state conventions forwarded special CP gifts in addition to their convention-approved budgeted amounts mid-way through the SBC’s fiscal year. In May, the Dakota Baptist Convention forwarded $25,000 above its budgeted monthly giving as an additional gift to CP. In March, the Montana Southern Baptist Convention forwarded an additional $11,000 from its 2017 income overage to the SBC’s portion of CP.
These special gifts are in addition to budget plans to forward larger percentages to SBC causes adopted by twenty state Baptist conventions during their fall annual meetings.
At its 2017 annual meeting, Minnesota-Wisconsin Baptists voted to increase its portion of CP gifts to 32 percent for distribution to Southern Baptist missions and ministries while retaining 68 percent for in-state use, a shift of ten percentage points from the previous year’s 22/78 split.
Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware messengers increased its CP funding allocation for SBC causes, from 43.5 percent to 48 percent, with plans to reach a goal of 51 percent by 2020.
In Alabama, a major adjustment of the convention’s stateside ministries budget allowed messengers to reach the convention’s long-term goal of 50 percent to SBC causes two years earlier than its “parity plan” of 50/50 by 2020 called for.
The Alabama Baptist State Convention joined five other conventions—Southern Baptists of Texas (55/45), Florida (51/49), and Iowa, Nevada, and Ohio (50/50 each)—that forward half or more to the Southern Baptist Convention with no “shared ministry” calculations.
Michigan and Missouri joined Alabama in eliminating shared ministry expenses in their budgets. Ten state conventions retained the category, ranging from 1.19 percent in Maryland/Delaware to 18.89 percent in Wyoming. Others keeping priority items in their budgets are Alaska, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, New Mexico, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia.
Seven other state conventions voted to increase national CP gifts for SBC causes by more than 1 percent. These include Arizona, Arkansas, Dakota, Kansas-Nebraska, New England, Pennsylvania/South Jersey, and Tennessee.
State conventions in California, Colorado, Indiana, Michigan, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Utah/Idaho, Baptist General Association of Virginia, and West Virginia voted to increase the SBC portion in amounts ranging from .10 to 1 percent.
A few state conventions reported greater increases to the SBC portion of their budgets. Those hikes, however, have little effect once adjustments are made for prioritized “shared ministries” items and/or reductions to the respective state convention’s overall budget goal.
Thirteen state conventions made no change in the percentage amount forwarded to SBC causes; the remainder decreased the percentage.
Based on the state convention budgets adopted in 2017, the amount projected to be sent to the Executive Committee for SBC causes is $193,500,000 according to William Townes, vice president for Convention finance at the SBC Executive Committee.
Growth in total CP giving will depend on whether Southern Baptist churches prioritize their missions giving through the Cooperative Program. Total CP gifts from churches in 2017 continued a multi-year decline, hitting the lowest amount since 1999 (see chart A).
Despite the almost twenty-year downward trend in church gifts through the Cooperative Program, this mid-year report indicates the SBC is on track to receive its budgeted CP goal for 2017–2018 through state convention allocations.
A. Total Cooperative Program, with Division between State Convention and Southern Baptist Convention Missions and Ministries, Fiscal 2007–08 through Fiscal 2016–2017
|Year||Undesignated Gifts to the Churches, LifeWay Report||Total CP from the Churches, EC Report||Percent Undesignated Gifts to CP||State Share of CP, EC Report||National Share of CP, EC Report||National % of Total CP|
|2016–17||not yet available||462,662,332||n/a||270,713,506||191,948,826||41.49%|
B. Mid-Year SBC CP Allocation Budget Gifts, 2007–2008 through 2017–2018
|Year||Mid-Year National CP Gifts from All Sources|
C. Cooperative Program Allocation Budget/Designated Contributions Received from State Baptist Conventions and Other Sources
October 1, 2017, through March 31, 2018
|Cooperative Program Allocation Budget||Change from Prior Year|
|Contribution Sources||2017–2018||2016–2017||Dollar Change||Percent Change|
|Puerto Rico/Virgin Islands||1,070.92||1,868.14||-797.22||-42.67|
|Churches and Individuals||3,350,563.28||2,690,936.40||659,626.88||24.51|