Each year, we print and distribute hundreds of millions of Bibles and pieces of Bible literature. We build and operate branch offices and printeries around the world. Tens of thousands of congregations meet in modest yet attractive places of worship called Kingdom Halls. Who pays for all of this?
Our work is supported entirely by voluntary donations. (2 Corinthians 9:7) In 1879, the second issue of this magazine stated: “‘Zion’s Watch Tower’ [as this magazine was then called] has, we believe JEHOVAH for its backer, and while this is the case it will never beg nor petition men for support.” We have not wavered from that policy.
Donations are sent directly to one of our branch offices or placed in a contribution box that is located in each Kingdom Hall. But we never tithe, take up collections, or charge a fee for our services or publications. We are not paid to preach, to teach in the congregation, or to help build places of worship. After all, Jesus said: “You received free, give free.” (Matthew 10:8) All ministers at our branch offices and at our world headquarters, including those making up the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, are unsalaried members of a religious order.
“As is the case with all the activities of Jehovah’s Witnesses, religious funding is handled on a voluntary basis, each one personally determining the amount and frequency of his religious ‘donations.’”—European Court of Human Rights, 2011
Donated funds are also used for disaster relief. The early Christians were pleased to share in relief measures for victims of adversity. (Romans 15:26) We likewise assist the afflicted by rebuilding their homes and places of worship and by providing food, clothing, and medical treatment.