Skip Navigation

State of the Church — By the Numbers


Lauren S. Arieux
January-February 2015

Benevolent Giving

"Benevolences" describe the portion of a church's budget that goes toward benevolent causes including designated United Methodist funds and causes, general giving to United Methodist causes and general giving not related to The United Methodist Church. For denominational funds and causes, money is sent to the annual conference treasurer and included in the conference's annual total giving report. In this chart, "Total Benevolences" represents the total giving reported by conference treasurers.

In their annual statistical reports, churches may report other giving to charitable causes, giving not sent through the conference treasurer. Benevolences are not included in apportionment calculations.

If a United Methodist church runs a soup kitchen ministry, operational costs are reported as church program expenses and used in the calculation of apportionments.

If a United Methodist church sends a check every month to support a soup kitchen housed at a local Baptist church, that is reported as a non-UM benevolent cause.

If a church sends the offering for disaster relief to the General Board of Global Ministries, this United Methodist-related giving that is not reported to the conference treasurer.

Receiving a disaster relief offering and sending it to Red Cross is giving to a non-United Methodist benevolent cause.

Lauren S. Arieux, statistician and research fellow, Data Services, General Council on Finance and Administration

All statistics on this page were provided by the General Council on Finance and Administration.