Church Giving – The 55/45 Rule

Leadership Network recently published an insightful article by Chris Willard and Warren Bird focused on giving metrics in the context of congregational ministry.  This piece mentions something I think should be called the 55/45 rule. This rule comes from research conducted by David Thoroughman, CEO of the donor analytics firm MortarStone.  Thoroughman found that, on average, 99% of a congregation's funding comes from giving units that give $200 or more a year but only 55% of all attendees Read More …

Church Giving Decline Continues

In 2011 (the most recent year for which statistics are available) the percentage of a church member’s income given to the church was 2.3%.  This percentage reflects a decline for the fourth consecutive year, marking the longest decline since the Great Depression.  Additional research from Empty Tomb, including reports from 2011 and prior years are available online. As one might expect, the overall decline is impacting congregations affiliated with denominations all across the theological Read More …

Considerable Complexity – Social Marketing

Many congregations are rethinking how they spend their limited marketing/advertising dollars.  In most cases less and less money is allocated for print (phone book, direct mail, etc.) in order to free up additional funds for new media.  While this shift seems logical, the next steps are far less clear.  One of the troublesome aspects of entering this new arena is the considerable complexity of social marketing.  The graphic below, from Buddy Media, illustrates this quite well. So Read More …

Future Church – More Scalable

Church v.2020 - Ten Changes: #9 More Scalable– Less Fixed Costs When compared with the American church of 2012, the future church (v.2020) will be intentionally and strategically more scalable as it progresses toward fewer and fewer fixed costs.  This change in philosophy will be evidenced in many ways, including: A willingness to evaluate the annual operating budget, especially human resources, in light of mission and vision.  In 2012, many congregations spend in excess of 50% of the Read More …