A new report co-authored by Dr. Sean Payne of the Presbyterian Church (USA), Dr. David King of Lake Institute on Faith and Giving, and Dr. Susan Barnett of the Presbyterian Church (USA) sheds light on trends in the financial futures of congregations based on data from our Faith Communities Today (FACT) 2020 study.
The report focuses on economic trends in U.S. faith communities and offers deeper insight into how congregations receive, manage, and spend resources. In addition to looking at finances in relationship to congregational size and religious tradition, the report also looks at online giving trends, an increasingly important source of income. Comparisons are also offered across 20 years of FACT studies, which demonstrate how the financial health of faith communities has changed over time.
Among the many interesting findings the report reveals are:
- Most congregations are small and have budgets under $100,000.
- Slightly more than half of American worshipers (51%) attend large congregations with budgets over $1,000,000.
- The median income or gifts was $120,000, which is a 20% decline from 2010.
- Congregational budget size is closely tied to attendance and participation.
- Smaller congregations have larger per capita incomes and expenses.
- Congregations with shrinking attendance have much higher per capita incomes and expenses than stable or growing congregations.
- Eighty-five percent of revenue is from participant contributions.
- Salaries are the largest share of expenses at 44%.
- Buildings make up another 26% of expenses.
Explore the full range of trends, data points and comparisons in the full report: