Year-to-date contributions through the Southern Baptist Convention's (SBC) portion of the Cooperative Program are .04 percent ahead of the same time frame at the end of 2015 and 3.11 percent under the SBC Cooperative Program Allocation Budget projection for the year, according to a news release from SBC Executive Committee President and CEO Frank S. Page.
The $45,782,192.42 received by the Executive Committee from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31 for distribution through the Cooperative Program Allocation Budget represents 96.89 percent of the $47,250,000.00 year-to-date budgeted amount to support Southern Baptist ministries globally and across North America. The total is $20,159.89, or 0.04 percent, above last year's first quarter total of $45,762,032.53.
The year-to-date total represents money received by the Executive Committee or postmarked by the close of the last business day of December and includes receipts from state conventions, churches and individuals for distribution according to the 2016-17 SBC Cooperative Program (CP) Allocation Budget.
Designated giving of $10,885,792.56 for the same year-to-date period is 0.81 percent, or $88,673.62, below gifts of $10,974,466.18 received at this point last year. This amount includes only those designated gifts received by the Executive Committee and does not reflect contributions made directly to SBC entities.
Designated contributions include the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions, the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions, Southern Baptist Global Hunger Relief and other special gifts.
December's CP allocation receipts for SBC work totaled $15,582,638.17. Designated gifts received last month amounted to $3,947,191.49.
The Cooperative Program is Southern Baptists' channel of giving through which a local church is able to contribute to the ministries of its state convention and to the missions and ministries of the Southern Baptist Convention with a single contribution to its state convention.
State conventions retain a portion of church contributions to the Cooperative Program to support work in their respective states 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.
The SBC allocation budget is distributed as follows: 50.41 percent to support almost 3,700 overseas personnel with the International Mission Board, 22.79 percent to help fuel North American evangelism and church planting through the North American Mission Board, 22.16 percent to help underwrite low-cost ministerial preparation and theological education through six SBC seminaries, 2.99 percent to the SBC operating budget and Executive Committee and 1.65 percent to promote biblical morality and religious freedom through the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.
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, the percentage of CP contributions forwarded to the SBC by the state conventions after shared ministry expenses are deducted and the timing of when the state conventions forward the national portion of Cooperative Program contributions to the Executive Committee.
CP allocation budget receipts received by the Executive Committee 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 cpmissions.net/CPReports.