February 12, 2021

How are tithe dollars spent?

We recently received a letter from one of our academy teachers who wanted information in order to explain to her students the importance of tithing and how the funds are used in the local church.

These are questions we often hear, so we thought it would be useful to share our Treasury team’s response, along with some other information as it relates to giving.


How does the tithe make its way from the individual church member to the General Conference? 


How is tithe used in our conferences and unions?

 The picture below shows a combination use of tithe dollar. Bear in mind, the image is about a decade old but still gives a general sense of how each tithe dollar is spent.


What percentage of Adventists are paying tithe faithfully?

We do not know this percentage. Some suggest less than 50 percent are returning a faithful tithe. Notice the term “return” and not “pay.” We do not know if people are returning a true faithful tithe unless we ask to see their check stubs, and we cannot do this. 

What percentage of young Adventists are paying tithe faithfully? 

Each local church treasurer would have to provide this information and we don’t believe this is a question they are asking of their church treasurers.  


Most young people are likely to give online. What are the pros and cons of using this method?

Online giving is a tremendous tool and asset for the church. There are typically three ways to give: credit card, debit card or ACH – (direct withdrawal from either a checking or savings account). There are associated fees for each type of transaction. It is preferable that we use ACH. See the chart below for more details. 

Donation example 


Actual Fee 

Net Donation 


Credit Card 2.05% of Total 




Debit Card 0.60% of Total 




ACH $.17 per Transaction