Archive for Stewardship

Aug
03

Congratulations, DSM, Ames!

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Barna Research has released it’s latest report, focused on the top 50 most generous cities in America. I am not surprised to find Des Moines/Ames ranks number seven on the list. The report shares two interesting insights from their findings.

First, four of the top five cities have a larger “downscale” population than an “upscale” population. Downscale is defined as those with a gross income of less than $20,000 per year who do not hold a college degree. Upscale is define as those with a gross income in excess of $75,000 who hold a college degree. This affirms what data has claimed for some time: wealth does not have a direct impact on generosity.

The second observation is that the majority of donations among the top 50 communities are directed toward churches and religious institutions. This insight is interesting to me given the general feeling that churches are continuing to cleave along the lines of the haves and have nots.

If you would like to read the full report or see the top 50 list in its entirety, you can find it at www.barna.org.

Categories : Barna Group, Stewardship
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Jan
05

Breaking Even

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Giving USA recently released their report on Philanthropy for the year 2014. Among the items reported was a disturbing trend regarding giving to churches and religious organizations. While religious organizations still lead the way with receiving 32% of all charitable donations, giving in 2014 was static compared to the previous year. Numbers can be deceiving and we can read what we wish into any statistic. Giving to churches and religious organizations in 2014 increased 2.5% from 2013. However, when you adjust for inflation, that number diminishes to 0.9%.

Churches usually think of contributions in two ways. One, of course is to encourage committed members to increase their contributions. The second is to create additional giving units through new members. Somehow we are barely holding our own.

One of the challenges pastor’s face is preaching stewardship sermons. There is a fear that people will accuse the pastor in specific and the church as a whole as “only talking about money.” I believe stewardship sermons are important and usually preach two or three a year. But we need to rethink our education and broaden it beyond the reach of the pulpit. Last year we incorporated a letter to the congregation, Sunday School lessons for children, youth and adults, testimonies from members and more. Sharing the load in stewardship education will ease the tension and the pressure from the pulpit. And among the many positive messages about stewardship we need to acknowledge that yes, even the church needs a cost of living raise.

Categories : Stewardship
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Andrew Blackman has published some research in the Wall Street Journal on the relationship between charitable giving and tax deductions. There is some interesting stuff here, and if you’re interested in philanthropy this is a good read. You can find the article HERE.

Categories : Stewardship
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The Association of Fund Raising Professionals (AFP) has released its own interpretation of charitable contribution trends from last year. Please click HERE for details.

Categories : Stewardship
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According to a report published by Religion News Service, charitable contributions to the arts, education, and environmental concerns increased in 2013. Although religious organizations still claim the majority of charitable gifts, organizations providing religious services saw a 1.6% decrease from the previous year. You can read the study by clicking HERE.

Categories : Stewardship
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Here’s a simple and concise post by Rick Warren on the 8 Reasons Believers Give to Your Church. I think he’s spot on with this article, right down to the title. This is well worth your time, especially if your church is preparing for next year’s budget promotion or stewardship campaign!

Categories : Rick Warren, Stewardship
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Aug
16

The Future of Giving

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One of our members who has not for profit board experience shared this infographic on THE NEXT GENERATION OF GIVING. If you are involved in fund raising at any level you need to check this out!

Categories : Giving, Stewardship
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Check out this article from Church Executive Online. Do you write checks to your church? If not, how do you give? Does your church offer online giving or provide a giving kiosk?

Categories : Giving, Stewardship
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Here are some more findings regarding tithing in America gleaned by Brian Kluth via STATE OF THE PLATE.

Categories : Stewardship
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I came across an important article this weekend that is worth your time. Barna has released yet another study on charitable contributions in America, including comparative numbers between evangelicals and other faiths as well as other useful information. If you have interest in church finances either as a minister or a volunteer you need to check out these IMPORTANT STATISTICS.

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