NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- Year-to-date contributions to Southern Baptist national and international missions and ministries received by the SBC Executive Committee are $174,983,253.81, or 2.63 percent above the year-to-date budgeted goal, and 0.29 percent ahead of 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 Allocation Budget.
As of Aug. 31, the $174,983,253.81 in gifts received by the Executive Committee for distribution through the Cooperative Program Allocation Budget totaled 102.63 percent of the $170,500,000 year-to-date budgeted amount to support Southern Baptist ministries globally and across North America. The total is $507,698.92 more than the $174,475,554.89 received through the end of August 2011.
"This has not been an easy year for so many of our churches and state conventions," Page said. "The economy continues to be sluggish. Unemployment rates rose in 44 states last month. Unemployment and underemployment continue to affect many faithful church members. Yet, in spite of these adversities, Southern Baptists continue to give obediently to support the missions and ministries of their churches, associations, state conventions and the Southern Baptist Convention. For this we are grateful."
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. 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.
Page noted, "I am also grateful for the wisdom of our SBC Executive Committee in setting the challenging, yet realistic, CP allocation budget goal for this fiscal year. Under an older model of budgeting, and given the state of our falling economy, our SBC entities prepared their annual budgets based on unrealistic expectations of CP contributions. It now seems likely we will finish this fiscal year over our budgeted goal, for which we give thanks to God. I have said it before and I will say it again, we don't want more CP money for the EC. For every dollar we go over our CP allocation budget goal, the percentage that comes to the EC falls to only 2.4 percent, freeing up additional CP funds to go directly to international missions."
Designated giving of $186,370,303.66 for the same year-to-date period is 0.03 percent, or $52,302.77, above gifts of $186,318,000.89 received at this point last year. This 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 program 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.
August's CP allocation receipts for SBC work totaled $14,244,461.96. Designated gifts received last month amounted to $4,929,230.39.
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.