March 29, 2012
The recession has caused a decline in church offerings in recent years, but a new study shows that giving to U.S. congregations bounced back in 2011, the Religion News Service reports. According to the fourth annual "State of the Plate" survey released March 27, 51 percent of churches last year saw an increase in giving, up from 43 percent in 2010 and 36 percent in 2009. " is the first time we're seeing an upswing after three very hard years," said Brian Kluth, founder of MAXIMUM Generosity and the "State of the Plate" research. The survey included small and large churches, although more than half had fewer than 250 members. Church leaders attributed the increase in giving to better attendance, which was reported by half the churches surveyed. Many others also cited their efforts to address giving and generosity with the congregation.