In times of recession, churches remain the number one recipient of all
household dollars given to charity.
In the 12 recessions since 1967, giving to religious organizations fell on
average only 0.01% when adjusted for inflation.
In the four recessions that lasted eight months or more, giving to religious
organizations fell by 1.4% when adjusted for inflation.
Donors with incomes under $50,000 may stop giving when their personal
economic circumstances worsen.
* All statistical data cited on the page, unless otherwise noted, are from “Giving USA: Spotlight,” Issue 3, 2008,
written and researched by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University and published by the Giving USA
DEVELOPMENT DURING UNCERTAIN TIMES
Maximize good stewardship development practices in both annual giving
and in capital giving by utilizing the services of a professional stewardship
Prior to undertaking a capital project, use a pre-campaign feasibility study
conducted by a professional stewardship consultant to determine the
congregation’s willingness to proceed.
Lead and act from your strength. What do you do well? How is the
mission and ministry of the church making a difference locally, nationally
Create a compelling case. Be a “share the vision” church – not a “meet the
budget” church – by emphasizing the needs you meet rather than the need
you have to raise money.
Remember, people want to give to address human needs; they are not keen
on funding a bureaucracy or giving to a budget. Put “faces” on the budget
or the capital project. Talk about issues of the heart. What is God doing in
your midst? Tell stories about the difference your congregation makes in
meeting the needs of hurting people.
Be sure to say “thank you,” at least quarterly, to your donors. Remember,
your donors are also experiencing tough times. Let them know that their
gift is making a difference.
Communicate simply, thoughtfully and candidly your mission and ministry.
Keep the ministries visible throughout the year. Do not assume your people
know what services the church offers.
This is not a time for the church to be selfish and self-centered; this is a
time to reach out and address the hurting and needy in your community.
Remember, God is as much present now as when the economy was stronger. God is the owner of everything, including the economy, and He calls us to live by faith and not fear.