Valuable information from the Alban Institute:
On March 5, the Lake Institute on Faith & Giving at the Indiana University School of Philanthropy in partnership with the Alban Institute, the National Association of Church Business Administration, the Indianapolis Center for Congregations, and MAXIMUM generosity released the 2013 Congregational Economic Impact Study (CEIS).
Responding congregations displayed distinctive characteristics regarding personal finance and charitable giving issues. The following key findings illustrate trends among respondents that may have implications for the future of many American religious congregations.
Nearly half of responding congregations reported budget increases for 2012 compared with 2011. Increases were likely to be allocated toward salaries, outreach programs, mission activities, and revenue-generating activities.
Two-thirds of congregations offer congregants some type of electronic giving. This allows for more consistent revenue than do traditional methods such as offerings during services. More than four in 10 respondents receive direct deposits from congregants; three in 10 receive checks or transfers from congregants’ online bank accounts. About 10 percent receive contributions through their website.
Nearly three-quarters of the congregations have an annual stewardship or pledge campaign (72 percent); slightly more than half (53 percent) have an endowment. About one-third (36 percent) of responding congregations offer specific courses, workshops, classes or seminars on personal finance or charitable giving.
You can find Alban Institute author Michael Durall thoughts on creating generous congregations by scrolling down on this page.
How is your congregation or diocese doing financially? Do you have stewardship problems? Have recent upticks in the economy been helpful to your parish?