American Congregational Giving Study, Gallup Poll, 1993

Data Archive > U.S. Surveys > Religious Groups > Members or Leaders > Other > Summary


No church is entirely satisfied with the level of financial support it receives from its members. For this reason, the Lilly Endowment commissioned a nation-wide study of giving in U.S. churches, which came to be known as the American Congregational Giving Study. One aspect consisted of a telephone survey of 1,002 U.S. church members. Three denominations were chosen to be studied: the Southern Baptist Convention, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. Respondents were asked about their attitudes toward their denomination and congregation, their personal religious beliefs, their religious contributions and their socioeconomic status.

Data File
Cases: 1,002
Variables: 40
Weight Variable: WTBAB
Data Collection
Date Collected: 1993
Funded By
The Lilly Endowment, Inc.

For information on the Lilly Endowment project collecting the data, http://www.resourcingchristianity.org/grant-project/research-on-religious-giving
Collection Procedures
Telephone survey
Sampling Procedures
The sampling universe consisted of U.S. members of 3 denominations: the Southern Baptist Convention, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.

The sample was to consist of 1,000 persons, 18 years or older, contacted through random telephone dialing. Only persons who said they were Catholic, Baptist, or Lutheran and who said they belonged to a church near where they lived were included. It was specified that the final sample would need at least 175 Baptist, 175 Catholic, and 175 Lutheran church members. The total final sample consisted of 1002 cases: 533 Catholics, 294 Baptists and 175 Lutherans.

Response Rate
Of the telephone calls that were non-business numbers, 87.3 percent resulted in the contact of a human respondent. Of these persons, 72.0 percent either completed the interview or were deemed unqualified. The total response rate was thus 62.8 percent.

Over-Sampling and Weighting
All respondents were asked about their denomination; Baptists were interviewed, unless they said that they belonged to the American Baptist Church (formerly the Northern Baptist Convention). This was done because of widespread misunderstandings among Baptists about specific denominations. The Baptist sample had a large number of blacks (who belonged to other Baptist denominations or were unclear about specific denominations). Therefore, the Baptist blacks were down-weighted to match the percent in the Southern Baptist Convention (about 2.5%). The value of the weights used were.115 for black members and 1.244 for white members.
Principal Investigators
Dean Hoge
Charles Zech
Patrick McNamara
Michael Donahue
Related Publications
Hoge, Dean R., Charles Zech, Patrick McNamara, and Michael J. Donahue. 1996. Money Matters: Personal Giving in American Churches. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press.