Leading the list of the top 20 most effective organizations making a difference in culture, based on a survey among Christian conservatives, were the American Center for Law and Justice (35 percent) and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (33 percent). The list was compiled through a study conducted by the California-based American Culture & Faith Institute.
The online survey asked 700 participants during January 2017 to identify organizations, of any type, that they believe made the most positive impact on American society during 2016. Respondents overwhelmingly identified nonprofit organizations as the entities making the greatest positive difference in American society last year.
SAGE Cons - an acronym for Spiritually Active, Governance Engaged Conservatives - within the survey also indicated that eight out of every 10 of the culture-influencing organizations were Christian nonprofits.
SAGE Cons are identified as adults who are registered voters; conservative on political matters; have accepted Jesus Christ as their savior; are active in pursuing their Christian faith; and are actively engaged in politics and government. They represent about 8 percent to 10 percent of the national adult population, which constitutes a segment of some 20 to 25 million individuals.
Other groups on the list were Fox News (listed by 19 percent), Heritage Foundation (17 percent), National Right to Life (16 percent), Judicial Watch (14 percent), Hillsdale College (13 percent), Liberty Counsel (9 percent), Wikileaks (9 percent), Tea Party (9 percent), Salvation Army (8 percent), National Rifle Association (8 percent), Colson Center (7 percent), Ravi Zacharias Ministries (7 percent), Susan B. Anthony List (5 percent) and Habitat For Humanity (4 percent).
The American Culture & Faith Institute is a division of United in Purpose, a non-partisan, nonprofit organization. The mission of United in Purpose is to educate, motivate and activate conservative Christians to engage in cultural transformation in ways consistent with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
George Barna is the executive director of the American Culture and Faith Institute. He founded the Barna Research Group in 1984 (now The Barna Group) and has been president of Metaformation, a faith development organization, since 2009. He has served several hundred parachurch ministries, thousands of Christian churches, and many other nonprofit and for-profit organizations, as well as the U.S. military. He has also been a pollster in three presidential campaigns.
Barna has written 50-plus books, mostly addressing cultural trends, leadership, spiritual development and church dynamics. He claims to have sold more books based on survey research related to matters of faith than any author in American history. After graduating from Boston College, Barna earned two master's degrees from Rutgers University and has a doctorate from Dallas Baptist University.