Small churches feel financial squeeze

Religious News Service via beliefnetnews:

Almost all U.S. churches witnessed a change in the financial giving they received in 2010 compared to 2009, with smaller churches feeling the squeeze but larger churches faring relatively better, according to a new report.

Only 12 percent of churches reported unchanged giving from 2009, according to the State of the Plate survey released Wednesday (March 30), while 43 percent of churches experienced a giving increase and 39 percent reported a decrease.

Smaller congregations were more likely to see a decrease in giving, said Matt Branaugh, an editor at Christianity Today International, which helped gather the data for the State of the Plate for the past two years.

“We do see smaller churches continuing to struggle, it seems more so than larger-sized churches,” Branaugh said.

The report found that about 40 percent of churches with fewer than 249 attendees experienced a drop in giving. Only 29 percent of megachurches, with an average weekend attendance of more than 2,000, reported a decrease in giving, according to the report.

The percentage of churches that reported a drop in giving in 2010 rose slightly from 2009, from 38 percent to 39 percent. Churches that reported an increase in giving rose from 35 percent in 2009 to 43 percent in 2010.

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