Monday, October 15, 2007

Weekly Giving

A few weekends ago we were given the “State of the Parish” report. (You can find the Report here and the Presentation here).

What struck me was the difference in weekly giving expected between the church we used to attend (non-Catholic) and here. I'm NOT saying the people of St. Michael should or shouldn't be matching this rate of giving, just thought some may be interested in looking at the numbers.

To show you what I’m talking about, here is a little table comparing the current giving and target WEEKLY giving for the two:

Current ParishFormer church

Current

Goal

Current

Goal

Per Week$ 19,000$ 23,777$ 300,000$ 400,000
# of Families2155215522002200
Avg / Week$ 8.82$ 11.03$ 136.36$ 181.82
Avg / Month $ 35.27$ 44.13$ 545.45$ 727.27
Avg / Year$ 458.47$ 573.74$ 7,090.91$ 9,454.55


The numbers still amaze me.

6 comments:

Laura The Crazy Mama said...

That is interesting. I often think about how some of the mega churches can fund some of the things they do or the missions they go on in third world countries, and how they can afford such huge "worship spaces". Now I know. It's because their congregation really believes in their church and it's goals (and some are convinced by their pastors that they will be "blessed" for more giving or sort of "cursed" for NOT giving.). I prayed for the last captial campaign, but inside, wondered if anybody could stand behind another, big building project when it seemed as if the current one wasn't quite finished or that we couldn't afford it.

J. Thorp said...

I love our church, our new building, and our old building. But I'll tell you that I know of people -- people I believe to be good Catholics -- who have said:

1) I switched to another church because it seemed like every Sunday, they were asking for more money.

2) It is a beautiful church, but I wouldn't want to be responsible for paying for it.

3) How do we justify spending so much on a building? Wouldn't we be doing our Christian duty by worshiping in a lesser space and spending the millions we're trying to raise to help the needy?

I'd like to see giving trends mapped against parish growth (diffusion of responsibility) and construction projects ("do we need this?") ...

Serviam! said...

I've also heard these same types of comments, but to be honest I have a problem with a couple of them.

(1) "I switched to another church because it seemed like every Sunday, they were asking for more money."

It could be that after spending 7 years in a church that spent 15-25 minutes talking about "giving" each Sunday I have a skewed perspective, but to be honest if they are asking for money that often I'm just not hearing it.

(2) "It is a beautiful church, but I wouldn't want to be responsible for paying for it."

Fair enough. I think this is the only argument that is really an honest one. People who are part of a parish should feel a proportional amount of responsibility when it comes to parish debt. If that amount is higher than they want to, or are able to pay, for something they don’t feel is worth it, I can see where they may feel this.

(3) "How do we justify spending so much on a building? Wouldn't we be doing our Christian duty by worshiping in a lesser space and spending the millions we're trying to raise to help the needy?"

Oh … I hate this argument. In my opinion very, very few people can use this argument with any sort of credibility. How big and fancy is the house they live in? Could they not downsize to a smaller, simpler house and give that money to the poor? Would that not be the most Christian thing to do? How much of what they make do they actually use to help the poor and needy? Giving money to help those in need IS extremely important, and I think the parish does a great job of doing this. Maybe the parish should try harder to let people know.

J. Thorp said...

Regarding that last question -- you're quite right. I don't think my own family is over the top with houses, cars, etc., but when I've asked if we couldn't make do with less ... everything ... the outcry is always tremendous! It's hard, right? That's why it's called a sacrifice!

J. Thorp said...

(I'd still like to see those numbers, though -- especially household giving alongside numbers of households. Just curious ...)

Holy Water said...

Catholic Churches traditionally do not.

A Catholic Church not far from us, incorporated tithing
3 years ago, and have run into major problems.
Income is falling short of plan.
The same problem we have.

Our urban Catholic Churches tend to be large. We have a feeling, reguardless
What is told us, there is enough in the till.

It has been my experience, that Protestants who are active in their church,
Are more generous, and give the suggested amounts.