A new Barna Group study reveals how the economic duress of recent years as affected Americans' charitable giving.
In the study, released May 10, 77 percent attested to being personally touched by the nation’s financial difficulties. About one-quarter (28 percent) indicated they have been affected in a “major way.”
Following the economic crisis of late 2008, 20 percent of Americans reduced their giving to churches and religious organizations, and 31 percent downsized giving to other nonprofits. Fourteen months later saw a slight improvement in giving trends, but the latest research from Barna, conducted in April 2011, indicates that the numbers of reticent church givers are still hovering at 30 percent. While for the last decade, between 5 and 7 percent of Americans tithed, this number has dropped to 4 percent of the adult population in 2011—significantly lower than last year’s rate of 7 percent.
“The economic downturn influenced donations later than it affected other aspects of our spending,” noted David Kinnaman, president of the Barna Group. “Once it kicked in, though, donors have cut back significantly in their giving to churches and nonprofits. Now, even as the economy shows some signs of improvement, donors are still reluctant to return to their previous levels of generosity. They may be less shell-shocked than 15 months ago, but they are still cautious."
Kinnaman suggested that, rather than attempting to get their financially struggling members to increase their giving, churches and nonprofits with the most effective response to the downturn are those that have "reduced their operating costs without undermining their impact, enabling them to remain effective with less revenue." A diminished capacity for programming and building campaigns has led churches to instead invest in relationships and be creative in serving one another in the midst of financial stress.
— The Barna Group
Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
Dr. Mark Rutland's
National Institute of Christian Leadership (NICL)
The NICL is one of the top leadership training programs in the U.S. taught by Dr. Mark Rutland. If you're the type of leader that likes to have total control over every aspect of your ministry and your future success, the NICL is right for you!
FREE NICL MINI-COURSE - Enroll for 3-hours of training from Dr. Rutland's full leadership course. Experience the NICL and decide if this training is right for you and your team.Do you feel stuck? Do you feel like you’re not growing? Do you need help from an expert in leadership? There is no other leadership training like the NICL. Gain the leadership skills and confidence you need to lead your church, business or ministry. Get ready to accomplish all of your God-given dreams. CLICK HERE for NICL training dates and details.
The NICL Online is an option for any leader with time or schedule constraints. It's also for leaders who want to expedite their training to receive advanced standing for Master Level credit hours. Work through Dr. Rutland's full training from the comfort of your home or ministry at your pace. Learn more about NICL Online. Learn more about NICL Online.