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Giving Remains Low for a Third of Churches

In 20% of Protestant churches their offerings declined in the past year, while a third failed to meet their budget. Among those who were surveyed, 13% shared that the economy had improved giving in their congregations. This shortfall of 32% is better than 2010 when 46% of churches reported that they failed to meet their budget. Larger churches tended to meet their budget more often than smaller churches.

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Why this matters for church leaders:

As you track giving and plan for future expenses, general trends can help keep your church in the black this year.

  • Shortfalls and Positive Trends: Although 32% of pastors reported that giving had fallen short of their projected budgets this year, the overall trend is positive, as 80% of pastors said the economy had hurt their churches in 2010, but that dropped to 56% in 2014.
  • Financial Security Is Hard to Find: Only 26% of churches exceeded their budget, meaning that the majority of churches are living on the edge financially with limited capacity to build up savings.
  • Planning for Shortfalls: If you’re among the 32% of pastors who saw a shortfall or the 39% who landed right on target, take some time to establish contingency plans if there are unanticipated declines in giving or unexpected expenses that add strain to your budget.

How can your church better insulate itself from the ups and downs of the economy?

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