Less Than One-third of Congregations Report Decline in Giving in First Half of 2009
Just 6.8 percent of congregations reduced the number of full-time staff in response to the recession. Slightly more, 10.7 percent, laid off part-time staff. Nearly 16 percent did not increase staff salaries, while almost 15 percent cut utility costs and 13.6 percent reduced program costs.
“While many congregations have been hit hard by the recession, this study underscores the remarkable resilience of congregations, as evidenced in the extraordinary and imaginative ways they are reaching out to meet the needs of their parishioners and people in their community,” said William Enright, director of the Lake Institute on Faith & Giving at the Center. “We frequently hear about the experiences of larger congregations and how they are coping with economic challenges, while the story of average and smaller congregations often has been wrapped in silence. This study breaks that silence.”