2008 Giving Data Released

Leadership // June 16, 2009

The article headline reads “Charitable Donations Fell by Nearly 6% in 2008, the Sharpest Drop in 53 Years.” Many church leaders will read the headline and assume that this statistic also applies to their church. Often times statistics like these do not include faith-based charities in their reporting.

It is important to read the entire article to learn the specifics that apply to our specific area of interest.

This update from the Giving USA Foundation as reported in the recent article found in The Chronicle of Philanthropy, does include faith-based charities in the report.

Here is the good news that can be found if you read far enough through the report:

“Religious organizations and umbrella charity campaigns like those run by United Way Organizations were the only ones that saw an increase…”

While charitable giving was down 5.7% in 2008, giving to religious causes (mostly churches) was actually up 1.6%. The increase is small, but it is an increase!

“In the context of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), giving is as strong historically as it’s ever been. The estimates for 2008 indicate that giving was 2.2 percent of GDP. In 2007, giving was 2.3 percent of GDP.”

As a church leader, you have a tremendous opportunity that other charities would love to leverage…you get to have face-to-face contact with your constituents 52 times per year. What an advantage over those charities whose only contact with potential donors is through the mail or online!

Are you leveraging those multiple opportunities to your advantage so that giving is not only maintained during tough times, but enhanced? There are those who are seeing growth in their giving through these times.

There are strategies you can and should be employing throughout your calendar year that will buoy your operating revenue while growing your church family in this area of discipleship.

If you would like to explore those strategies together, contact me today. This is the sandbox I play in every day!

About Rusty Lewis

As a church leader, there’s nothing more frustrating than not having the funding to do what God’s calling you to do. But when you think about trying to address that problem, you feel overwhelmed, you dread the potential pushback from your congregation, and you’re not sure where to turn for help. Over the last 18 years, I’ve helped more than 120 churches close the gap between their current financial reality and what they need to move forward in ministry.

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