Churches Report Decreased Giving, Increased Use of Technology

To document the impact of COVID-19 on church life, Ministry Brands, a provider of software, services and information platforms for churches, ministries and those they serve, released new data from a recently completed national survey of churches across multiple denominations. The report, Coping with COVID-19: Insights from Church Leaders, is available here.

“This new research shows that church leaders remain understandably concerned about the financial and operational impact of COVID-19,” said Pat O’Donnell, managing director of Ministry Brands. “But we’re also seeing parishes rise to the challenge by maintaining services in line with local restrictions and increasing digital communications.”

The online survey was completed by over 1,400 church leaders from across the country. Survey findings include:

• Overall, almost 60% of respondents indicated that a reduction in giving income is one of the top challenges facing their church. This was particularly noticeable among Catholic churches, a full 67% of which expressed concern about reduced giving.
• Across all denominations, 74% of responding churches are holding some combination of online services and in-person, socially distanced gatherings.
• Among Catholic parishes, 83% are offering in-person and online services, while 64% of Protestant churches have maintained both forms of worship.
• As services continue and capacity levels increase based on state and local guidelines, churches are exploring options for COVID-19 contact tracing and communications. Overall, 57% of respondents selected this as a challenge facing their church.
• Social media is also now a widely accepted and utilized engagement resource for all denominations, with 80% of respondents highlighting Facebook or other channels as a significant way to build engagement with members.

A summary view of the report is also available as an infographic and can be found here.

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