How Churches Invest Their Money

An interesting report came out on the 17th by Joshua Ritchie from Mint.com. It’s titled, “How Churches Invest Their Money”. Here’s my quick breakdown of the article

LDS – Church of the Latter-Day Saints (Mormons)

  • “current LDS assets totaled $30 billion”
  • “If LDS were a corporation, Time continued, its estimated $5.9 billion in annual revenues would have placed it midway through the Fortune 500.”
  • “Bonneville International Corporation, which controls over two dozen top radio stations across six states, is also wholly owned by LDS through Deseret Management Corporation, the church’s for-profit arm.”

RCC – Roman Catholic Church

  • “In 2005, MSNBC reported that the Roman Catholic Church owned more real estate globally than any other organization or individual on earth.”
  • “In 2001, an official report stated that the church’s real estate activities in fiscal year 2000 produced $81.7 billion in revenue on $51.8 billion in expenses: a nearly $30 billion profit.”
  • “The Boston Globe found that “contributions from worldwide dioceses” totaled $92.9 million in 2005, while individual donations made directly to the Pope neared $60 million.”
  • “In 2005, MSNBC’s Nanette Hansen even wondered if Pope Benedict XVI would “have to be a money manager as well as a spiritual leader.””

ELCA – Evangelical Lutheran Church

  • “In fiscal year 2009, the church claims to have earned $1,698,336 from “investment income”, $2,238,629 from “bequests and trusts” and another $1,003,420 in rental income. The same report lists a separate column of “temporarily restricted” revenues, on which another $1,625,000 in investment income is reported.”

Jared Bartholomew is the author of www.tithing.com. There are over 300 articles written on research and reviews about tithing information.

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4 comments on “How Churches Invest Their Money
  1. I recently enrolled in  a History of Catholicisim class at A&M and realized that my understanding of religion and its influence and beginnings were way off.  And now seeing the mass amount of money that is exchanged annually amongst most religious organizations I have to wonder why is it that some many crucial services such as education and health care have such a difficult time getting funded, clearly the world had the money.

  2. Eric Miole says:

    The only institution that will not be bankrupt and accumulate more profit is the church whatever faith and doctrinal stand they represent, all in and no out, the’y are suppose to help the poor and not require them…

  3. Elijiah Thomson says:

    Jared,

    Your page, “how churches invest their money”, falls short of its title– You must show where the money of these churches is *invested* after they have been collected. If you would like to have a more accurate portrayal of churches so called, “profit”, then you should check into their giving reports as well, not merely their fiscal reports.

    I cannot speak in regards to the LDS or Evangelical Lutheran Church but as for the catholic church here is what information I have:

    The Catholic Church is the largest charitable organization on Earth. Here’s what I base the statement on.

    See Forbes my friend and add up a fraction of the Catholic Charites:
    http://www.forbes.com/lists/2005/14/Revenue_1.html Just Catholic Charities,

    Food for the Poor, Catholic Relief Services, St. Jude’s, and America’s Second Harvest alone total $5,570,000,000, which is greater than #1 on the list for America. Keep going down the list and you find Father Flanagan’s homes, Catholic Medical Mission Board, Covenant House, and more. Add the thousands of other charities(not even registered), from Missionaries to the Poor, Amigos for Christ, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, to the many religious orders (such as Missionaries of Charity) & individual parishes who often do their work in anonymity, and you will see some of the charitable works of the Catholic Church.

    — Also cool facts: The Catholic Church started hospitals to care for the sick…
    Visit: http://www.Catholic Encyclopedia.com and do some research– they’ve established more orphanages/hospitals/shelters to help the poor than any other organization.

    So I cannot speak for the Lutherans or the LDS but I hope that they give near what they bring in as well.

    In short, though you should be fair in your demonstration of tithing. There is a whole other side to the coin that you should examine; specifically, how do the said churches you have posted give back to the world?

    Your information is insufficient for providing a clear picture for those learning to understand how these churches tithe themselves. It is similar (hypothetically), to saying Bill Gates is one of the richest men in the world, earning more than most will in 100+ lifetimes, but failing to mention how he is easily one of the most generous of Philanthropist. This metaphor fails to reach the gravity of the ratio, though, that the Church takes in and that which she gives. If you would like to know more you could email me and we could chat some more. Thanks.

    Respectfully, Your brother in Christ

    • Elijah,
      Thanks for your comment. I have posted giving statistics on this blog at other times. You can see the article here http://www.tithing.com/blog/giving-statistics/

      i will highlight some relevant quotes below

      “85 percent of all church activity and funds is directed toward the internal operations of the congregation”. Add in another 2% going to overseas missions to support their budget costs. (source: GenerousGiving.org)

      “”Relatively little donated money actually moves much of a distance away from the contributors,” Smith, Emerson, and Snell write. The money given by the people in the pews, it turns out, is largely spent on the people in the pews. Only about 3 percent of money donated to churches and ministries went to aiding or ministering to non-Christians.” (source: ChristianityToday.com)

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