NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Year-to-date contributions to Southern Baptist national and international missions and ministries received by the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) Executive Committee are $4,764,590.68, or 5.12 percent, above the year-to-date budgeted goal, and are 0.75 percent behind contributions received during the same time frame last year, according to a news release from SBC Executive Committee President and Chief Executive Officer Frank S. Page.
The total includes receipts from state conventions and fellowships, churches and individuals for distribution according to the 2011-12 SBC Cooperative Program (CP) Allocation Budget.
“This stands in marked contrast to the first quarter of our fiscal year when CP contributions languished in a double-digit decline from the previous year,” Page said. “We praise the Lord that we have seen this significant rebound in CP support for the missions and ministries of the SBC.”
As of March 31, gifts received by the Executive Committee for distribution through the Cooperative Program Allocation Budget totaled $97,764,590.68, or 105.12 percent of the $93,000,000 year-to-date budgeted amount to support Southern Baptist ministries globally and across North America. The total is $736,653.49 less than the $98,501,244.17 received through the end of March 2011.
The convention-adopted budget is distributed 50.2 percent to international missions through IMB, 22.79 percent to North American missions through NAMB, 22.16 percent to theological education, 3.2 percent to the SBC operating budget and 1.65 percent to the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC). If the convention exceeds its annual budget goal of $186 million dollars, IMB’s share will go to 51 percent of any overage in Cooperative Program allocation budget receipts. Other ministry entities of the SBC will receive their adopted percentage amounts and the SBC operating budget’s portion will be reduced to 2.4 percent of any overage.
“The Cooperative Program is the fuel that drives what we do together as Southern Baptists,” Page said. “While I am grateful for everything we do collectively, I am especially thankful that more than $49 million in CP contributions has been distributed for international missions and another $22 million has been used for North American church planting and evangelism.”
Designated giving of $116,862,719.30 for the same year-to-date period is 0.34 percent, or $394,841.17, above gifts of $116,467,878.13 received at this point last year. The total includes only those gifts received and distributed by the Executive Committee and does not reflect designated gifts contributed directly to SBC entities.
The Cooperative Program is a channel of giving through which a local church is able to contribute to the various ministries of its state convention and to the various missions and ministries of the Southern Baptist Convention with a single contribution.
Traditionally, state and regional conventions have acted as collecting entities for Cooperative Program contributions. They retain a portion of church contributions to the Cooperative Program to support work in their respective areas and forward a percentage to Southern Baptist national and international causes. The percentage of distribution from the states is at the discretion of the messengers of each state convention through the adoption of the state convention’s annual budget.
CP allocation budget receipts received by the Executive Committee are reported monthly to the executives of the entities of the convention, to the state offices, to the denominational papers and are posted online at www.cpmissions.net/CPReports.
March’s CP allocation receipts for SBC work totaled $16,142,489.90. This is the fourth successive month that contributions exceeded monthly budget projections. Designated gifts received last month amounted to $29,682,787.57.
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.