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Keywords:

  • fundraising;
  • religious finance;
  • social capital;
  • parachurch;
  • race and evangelicalism

This study examines the relationship between social capital inequality, race, and personal fundraising within evangelical outreach ministries (EOMs). Drawing on quantitative and qualitative data that assess the personal fundraising experiences and outcomes of a large sample of EOM workers (N = 715), I demonstrate that the fundraising challenges and deficits faced by EOM workers are best understood as deficits in the social capital of these individual workers. Multivariate analyses affirm that social capital deficits (that is, having smaller social networks and networks with fewer resources) negatively affect the fundraising experiences and outcomes of EOM workers, especially for racial minorities. Findings also evidence a strong correlation between the paucity of minority EOM workers’ social capital and the extent to which they must seek bridging social capital from white individuals and churches. This study concludes with implications for the financing of American evangelical parachurch organizations, the sustained racial and socioeconomic homogeneity of EOMs, and theories of social capital exchanges within interracial religious organizations.