A new survey of more than 1,500 church leaders shows the negative effects of the Great Recession eased for some during 2010, with more churches reporting giving increases compared to 2009.
In the 2011 State of the Plate, co-sponsored by Christianity Today International's Church Finance Today, Maximum Generosity, and the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, 43 percent said collections at their church rose, compared to 36 percent who said the same the prior year.
But 39 percent reported giving declined, virtually unchanged from the 38 percent who indicated the same in 2009, meaning challenges remain for many congregations. The Southeast and Pacific regions struggled most, as did small congregations of 250 people or less, according to the constituency survey, which did not involve random sampling and contained no margin of error.
Beyond actual collections, the survey also asked churches how their giving affected budget priorities and planning: