STEWARDSHIP, has reported being “humbled” by a £30.2 million increase in grants made to churches and Christian charities in the 2020 financial year, despite many charities seeing substantial drops in income due to the Pandemic. While some of this increase was a result of a change in Stewardship’s financial year-end and an extension in the reporting period from 12 months to 15 months, even when figures are annualised, grants out increased from 2019 levels by £6m (an increase of nearly 7%).
In total £115 million was distributed by the charity. Its 2020 Annual Report, now available on its website, shows that the additional grants were made possible thanks to growth in the number of individuals and families choosing to use Stewardship‘s giving accounts; as well as a surge in online donations and gifts from over 40,000 generous Christians. Gifts made by Philanthropy Services clients, increased by 40% in real terms compared to 2019, with many increasing or accelerating their giving in response to the pandemic.
The Annual Report also details how the community served by Stewardship rallied to provide emergency aid as the country wrestled with the impact of the pandemic. Within 100 days of the first Lockdown in March 2020, Stewardship’s Rapid Response Fund raised and distributed £5.37 million in grants to 95 churches and Christian charities meeting local community needs.
The increase in giving and a strong balance sheet also enabled Stewardship to increase its own social impact investing, lending a further £3.2 million to Churches and Christian charities for a wide range of church building projects.
Janie Oliver, Stewardship’s new CFO who joined in February 2021, said:
“Despite the challenges of the past year, the story of 2020’s gifts in is an amazing one of growth in generosity. When the first lockdown hit us all in March 2020, the community of Christians we serve stepped up and we were humbled to see giving increase in the most remarkable way.”
Stewart McCulloch, Stewardship’s CEO said:
“In 2020, local churches and the charities equipping these 50,000 community based beacons for hope became the fourth Emergency Service. It was our privilege to match donors wishes with so many incredible projects providing Christian love and hope in very dark and worrying times. We want to honour the community of givers that we serve for their amazing generosity and the front line churches and charities for bringing hope to our nation at this time of great need.”
Full details of how the grants were used can be found in the Stewardship Annual Report.
For further information/interviews:
Paul Eddy, PR: 07923 653781
Pod Bhogal, Head of Growth: 07971 144774
Daniel Jones, Chief Generosity: 07899 952075
Stewart McCulloch, CEO: 07815 502717
Stewardship is believed to be the oldest ‘Donor Advised Fund’ DAF in the country, and is currently the 2nd largest by income next to the ‘Charities Aid Foundation’ (CAF).
Stewardship is the 11th largest charity in the UK (by voluntary income) as reported by Charity Financials’ Top 3000 Charities Directory 2021.
Philanthropy services are a range of services for families with complex financial needs looking to Stewardship as an alternative to setting up a family charity. Our Philanthropy team was awarded Philanthropy team of the year by STEP in 2020.
Stewardship helps the Christian community in the UK to find, support and build the causes that they care about. The charity, founded in 1906, currently helps over 40,000 Christians to connect and give over £100 million to over 6,000 churches, 4,500 charities and 2,500 individuals in Christian work.
Each year it provides training, resources and professional services to directly support over 1,500 small to medium sized Christian charities and churches in their financial stewardship and governance, including processing around £5 million per month through its payroll services.
Details of grants distributed by Stewardship’s Rapid Response Fund in 2020 can be found here.
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