IFAS | Freedom Writer | September 1995 | question.html

Q UESTION OF THE M ONTH
Who funds the Religious Right?

This is probably the question most frequently asked by our readers. Many people think that if they could just pinpoint the top corporations funding the Religious Right, they could boycott those companies' products and bring the Religious Right to its knees. It's not that simple.

The truth is that 90% or more of the funds received by the groups comprising the Religious Right come from individual donors. For instance, Focus on the Family, with just about 150 million dollars a year, is the best-funded of all the Religious Right groups. A researcher at IFAS located approximately 1.5 million dollars in contributions to Focus on the Family from various corporations and foundations in a one-year period. That's just 10% of the group's budget. The other 90% came from individuals.

When one realizes that Dr. James Dobson, the group's head, broadcasts on more than 1,500 Christian radio stations daily, it should come as no surprise that thousands of dollars in donations pour into the Colorado Springs headquarters every day. In fact, hundreds of operators are standing by to take calls for prayer, counseling, and credit card purchases on a toll-free number. Focus on the Family's mail facility sends out almost 20,000 packets of material each day.

Another factor is that evangelical Christians are to taught to tithe. Under that system, 10% of a Christian's income goes to "the Lord's work." They are encouraged to deduct the tithe from their gross income, before taxes are taken out. While it is assumed that most of this money goes to the local church, that is often not the case. Regardless, conservative Christians are generous with their money if they believe it's going to God's work.

© 1998 Institute for First Amendment Studies, Inc.