Barna Research Group surveyed 1,114 Protestant churches in the 4th quarter of 2009 to find out what impact the recession had on them in 2009. Barna’s report, in three parts, addresses overall change in giving, how churches responded, and how donors have changed their giving.
The overall impact on the surveyed churches showed that:
- 9% saw their income increase,
- 35% were essentially unaffected and
- 57% saw their income drop — of those with declines in income, 8% reported the impact was very negative.
The overall change in giving across the board was a 7% decline. Of those with an increase, the giving was on average up 10%. Of those with a decline in revenue, the average change was down 14%. Of the churches with a decline in income, 11% saw their income drop 20% or more.
So what does this mean? If you congregational giving was about the same in 2009 as in 2008, you are in the same boat as about one-third of the surveyed churches. If your church’s giving was down around 12% to 16%, you are in very good company — you are at the average change for half the churches in the US.
I recommend the report (three parts linked above!). A lot of good information there, including discussion on how churches have responded. Barna offers a free newsletter twice a month if you are interested. You can sign up on their home page.
Barna published their reports in January. Pardon my very late post, but please understand I just got started with this blog routine.