Just a few end of the week notes about Lutheran charitable activities.
The latest number reported for the ELCA Haiti disaster relief is $1.2 million.
Earlier, I posted about Pastor Erma Wolf’s apparent break with the Lutheran CORE financial boycott of the ELCA. Interestingly, there are no comments published on her blog post. Since I attempted to offer a supportive comment which the blog did not publish, I wonder if she or someone else is trying to avoid a full-blown discussion of her statement in which she said, “I am going to make a suggestion, request, perhaps plea is the best word for it, now. Send an offering to the ELCA Vision for Mission Fund.” Of course, her statement is in stark contrast to the prior entreaties from Lutheran CORE to redirect funds away from the ELCA.
Here are some interesting charitable giving tidbits. It would take 3 Frenchmen, or 7 Germans, or 14 Italians to equal the amount of charitable giving of 1 American. The average US family donates approximately $2,000 annually. Lower income folks donate a much higher percentage of their income to charity than high income folks.
And here’s a trivia question for you: what American charity raises the most revenue annually—an amount that would place the organization in the upper half of the Fortune 500 if it were a private business?
The answer surprised me—it is Lutheran Social Services (LSS) with annual revenues of $16 billion! LSS is strongly supported by the ELCA and LCMS, but these eye-popping sums come from a much broader base than merely these two denominations, and I suspect most of the revenue is fee for services based rather than charitable contributions.