Episode 55: Groundbreaking Generosity Research Revealed

In this episode of the Generosity Podcast, Todd McMichen is joined by David King, the Karen Lake Buttrey Director for the Lake Institute on Faith & Giving and Assistant Professor, Philanthropic Studies at IUPUI. During their conversation they discuss current research around the topic of generosity.

Best Quotes

“The Giving USA report is a large snapshot of charitable giving on an annual basis.”

“Religious giving has made up the largest percentage of all charitable giving for as long as we’ve been doing this study.”

“Almost a third of all giving is religious giving.”

“Religious giving – giving to congregations – is double any other sectors.”

“What we have today is less people giving more dollars.”

“Generosity is a practice of discipleship and it really shapes who we are as Christians.”

“We asked people about their economic practices – how do they receive money, how is it managed, and where does it go?”

“One of the big headlines is that congregations aren’t doing as bad as we think they might be doing.”

“The more often you are teaching and talking the more likely you are to be growing.”

“The one place pastors and churches struggle is acknowledging donors – saying thank you.”

“Donors have moved more and more from funding out of obligation to giving where they have a passion and interest.”

“Tried and true approaches that make religious giving unique are here to stay.”

David P. King is the Karen Lake Buttrey Director of the Lake Institute on Faith and Giving as well as Assistant Professor of Philanthropic Studies within the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. He is a graduate of Samford University and Duke Divinity School. His Ph.D. in Religion is from Emory University.  Having served local churches and national faith-based organizations, he is also fueled by facilitating conversations with faith leaders, donors, and fundraisers (of all generations) around the intersections of faith and giving. Trained as an American religious historian, his research interests include investigating how the religious identity of faith-based nonprofits shapes their motivations, rhetoric, and practice.

Recommended Resources

Generosity by Lifeway

Church Giving and Stewardship Facebook Group


Lake Institute on Faith & Giving

Giving USA

Million Dollar Ready Study

The Paradox of Generosity by Christian Smith and Hilary Davidson

National Congregations Study