Year-to-date contributions to Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) national and international missions and ministries received by the SBC Executive Committee are 4.07 percent above the year-to-date SBC Cooperative Program (CP) Allocation Budget projection. And they are 0.97 percent below contributions received during the same time frame last year, according to a news release from SBC Executive Committee President and CEO Frank S. Page.
The year-to-date total represents money received by the Executive Committee (EC) by the close of the last business day of March and includes receipts from state conventions, churches and individuals for distribution according to the 2016-17 SBC Cooperative Program Allocation Budget.
The $98,348,238.34 received by the EC for the first six months of the fiscal year, October 1 through March 31, for distribution through the Cooperative Program Allocation Budget represents 104.07 percent of the $94,500,000.00 year-to-date budgeted projection to support Southern Baptist ministries globally and across North America. The total is $967,597.75 or 0.97 percent less than the $99,315,836.09 received through the end of March 2016.
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 SBC with a single contribution to its state convention.
The convention-adopted CP allocation budget is distributed 50.41 percent to international missions through the International Mission Board (IMB), 22.79 percent to the North American Mission Board, 22.16 percent to theological education through the convention's six seminaries, 2.99 percent to the SBC operating budget, and 1.65 percent to the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. GuideStone Financial Resources and LifeWay Christian Resources are self-sustaining and do not receive CP funding.
According to the budget adopted by the SBC at its June 2016 annual meeting in St. Louis, if the convention exceeds its annual budget goal of $189 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.
Designated giving of $115,081,792.04 for the same year-to-date period is 10.87 percent, or $14,041,006.13, below the $129,122,798.17 received at this point last year. This total includes only those gifts received and distributed by the EC and does not reflect designated gifts contributed 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.
March's CP allocation receipts for SBC work totaled $15,772,316.53. Designated gifts received last month amounted to $27,134,448.95.
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.
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.