Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tax Deductions & Church Giving

Do you give at church with tax deductions in mind?
By Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA Today

Do you donate more or less to your church knowing that it's tax deductible? If that income tax deduction went away, what then?

That's one of the concerns probed in a new survey of church giving. The third annual "State of the Plate" survey of 1,507 church pastors, staff and leaders tracks the impact of the economy on churches and church practices on financial integrity.

Among the findings:

* Giving is up: 43% of churches saw increased giving in 2010, up from 36% in 2009
* The decline has stabilized: 39% of churches said giving was down in 2010, 38% last year.
* December offered a boost: Christmas-time generosity often puts church budgets over the top and most churches (64.6%) said that giving met or exceeded expectations.
* Small churches -- those with under 250 in weekend attendance -- suffer more and these are where 80% of American churchgoers attend.

Matt Branaugh of Christianity Today International, one of three sponsors of the survey, ties giving to employment. Branaugh says:

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