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CHAMPAIGN, ILLINOIS, January 9, 2001: Churchgoers are donating an increasingly smaller share of their incomes. The percentage of income Protestant Christians give fell from 3.1% in 1968 to 2.5% in 1998, according to Empty Tomb, a research group in Champaign, Illinois. That means church members gave $4 billion less in 1998 than they would have if they were giving at the same rate they did in 1968. Total annual contributions rose by an average of $202 to $570 per church member, after inflation was taken into account, because incomes also rose. Most of the money is being spent on salaries, in-church programs, and building-maintenance rather than on outreach efforts such as missions and services for the poor. The report said that if U.S. church members had tithed, or given 10 percent of after-tax income in 1998, churches would have had an additional $131 billion.