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CORRESPONDENT

Donations Down in Two-Thirds of US Churches Due to COVID-19

a sign saying there is worship via livestream and no public worship is shown outside the window of a church
(Cindy Ord/Getty Images)

John Gizzi By Thursday, 23 April 2020 06:11 AM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

Sixty-five percent of U.S. churches have experienced a decline in donations since March because of the coronavirus, according to a just-completed survey by the National Association of Evangelicals.

The NAE's annual State of the Plate survey also found that nearly a third of churches are down 30 percent or more from their normal rate of giving.

If there is any good news for houses of worship from this poll, it is that the news of a dramatic upswing in online viewers of Sunday services — twice as many viewers as before COVID-19 forced the closing of most American churches, and, in some cases, five times as many tuning in.

“We’ve seen nothing like this decline, and never a shift in donations that dramatic,” Brian Kluth, director of NAEfinancialhealth.org and national spokesman for the NAE's Bless Your Pastor movement, told Newsmax on Wednesday.

Kluth explained that the sharp decline in donations began in March, just as COVID-19 was beginning to spread and lockdowns began in various cities and states.

“Major industries were affected, incomes were down, and there has been a major economic aftershock,” he said. “And that has meant that the budgets of churches have declined and payrolls of churches have declined.”

The severity of the impact of COVID-19 on U.S. churches is underscored by how differently American churchgoers acted following the stock market crash and resulting recession of 2008. 

According to the State of the Plate survey of 2010, the number of churches experiencing a decline in giving the previous year was 38 percent — compared to 29 percent in 2008, before the financial collapse in September. 

But the same survey from 2010 showed giving was actually up in 35 percent of churches and was flat in 27 percent of houses of worship.

In striking contrast, the State of the Plate survey of 2020 showed giving up in only eight percent of churches, steady in 27 percent, and down in 65 percent. 

In those churches in which giving was down, the poll found a reported drop in contributions of 10 to 20 percent in 34 percent of churches, a drop of 30 to 50 percent in 22 percent of churches, and a decline of 75 percent or more in 9 percent of churches.

Kluth believes that the rise in online viewership of church services may become a continuing pattern of worship after the coronavirus crisis is over.

In his words, “Scarcity leads to clarity, clarity leads to priority, and priority leads to creativity.” 

The State of the Plate poll was conducted among over 1,000 churches throughout all fifty states and among various denominations. 

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


John-Gizzi
Sixty-five percent of U.S. churches have experienced a decline in donations since March because of the coronavirus, according to a just-completed survey by the National Association of Evangelicals. The annual "State of the Plate" survey also found that nearly a third of...
churches, evangelicals, State of the Plate, donations
452
2020-11-23
Thursday, 23 April 2020 06:11 AM
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