Continued financial faithfulness of Southern Baptists has pushed monthly giving through the Cooperative Program (CP) to levels not seen since before the COVID-19 pandemic. July’s total giving through the national CP allocation budget totaled nearly $17 million, the highest monthly total since February.
“My heart is so filled with gratitude to God and to our churches for their faithful support of our Great Commission mission and ministries,” said Ronnie Floyd, president and CEO of the Southern Baptist Convention’s (SBC) Executive Committee (EC), in a statement. “This is a powerful testimony of the generosity of God’s people and the systemic strength of our joint missions efforts made possible by giving through the CP.
“What is remarkable and miraculous is that even in the midst of a pandemic, these generous gifts from our churches position us only slightly below our budget projections. Southern Baptists are a people committed to give Good News to the whole world. Pastors, church leaders, and churches, thank you for demonstrating your strong commitment sharing the gospel with every person in every town, every city, every state, and every nation.”
As of July 31, gifts received by the EC for distribution through the CP Allocation Budget total $161,998,932.14. This is $2,006,252.85 or 1.22% less than last year’s budget contribution of $164,005,184.99. The amount given is slightly below the $163,750,000.00 year-to-date budgeted projection to support Southern Baptist ministries globally and across North America by $1,751,067.86 or 1.07%.
The final amount received in July 2020 totaled $16,785,575.97, which was $2,360,411.93 (16.36%) more than the $14,425,164.04 received in July 2019 and $410,575.97 (2.51%) more than the monthly budgeted amount of $16,375,000.00.
Designated gifts received in July amounted to $9,489,968.07. This total was $956,058.24 or 9.15% below gifts of $10,446,026.31 received last July. Also, this year’s designated gifts through the first 10 months of the fiscal year amount to $163,334,947.93, which is $17,744,337.91 or 9.8% less than the $181,079,285.84 given through same period in the previous fiscal year. 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, Disaster Relief and other special gifts. This total includes only those gifts received and distributed by the EC and does not reflect designated gifts contributed directly to SBC entities.
The CP is Southern Baptists’ channel of giving, begun in 1925, through which a local church can contribute to the ministries of its state convention and the missions and ministries of the SBC through a unified giving plan to support both sets of ministries. Monies include receipts from individuals, churches and state conventions for distribution according to the 2019-2020 Cooperative Program Allocation Budget.
State and regional conventions retain a portion of church contributions to Southern Baptists’ Cooperative Program to support work in their respective areas and forward a percentage to SBC national and international causes. The percentage of distribution is at the discretion of each state or regional convention.
The convention-adopted budget for 2019-2020 is $196.5 million and is disbursed as follows: 50.41% to international missions through the International Mission Board (IMB), 22.79% to North American missions through the North American Mission Board, 22.16% to theological education through the six SBC seminaries and the Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives, 2.99% to the SBC operating budget and 1.65% to the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. If national CP gifts exceed the $196.5 million budget projection at the end of the fiscal year, the Executive Committee’s portion of any overage falls to 0.0% while IMB’s portion increases to 53.4% of the overage. The other entities’ percentage distributions of the overage remain the same. The SBC EC distributes all CP and designated gifts it receives on a weekly basis to the SBC ministry entities.
Month-to-month swings reflect a number of factors, including the timing of when the cooperating state Baptist conventions forward the national portion of Cooperative Program contributions to the EC, the day of the month churches forward their CP contributions to their state conventions, the number of Sundays in a given month, and the percentage of CP contributions forwarded to the SBC by the state conventions after shared ministry expenses are deducted.
CP allocation budget gifts received by the EC 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 sbc.net/cp.