Determinants of Religious Giving in Urban Presbyterian Congregations

Zaleski, Peter, Charles Zech and Dean Hoge. "Determinants of Religious Giving in Urban Presbyterian Congregations." Review of Religious Research, 36, no. 2 (December 1994): 197-206.

Zaleski, Zech and Hoge used a sample of 320 urban Presbyterian congregations to test four factors usually assumed to affect contribution levels: socioeconomic level of the congregation, the stewardship approach used, the types and numbers of programs sponsored, and the extent of democratic participation in congregational decision-making. The researchers found that the strongest relationships were not with raw contributions but with the square root of contributions as a percentage of overall household income. The most important predictor appears to be the economic level of the membership (the higher the income the lower the percent given to the church). Other predictors were church size (the larger the church the lower the percent given), the number of new members, the use of stewardship programs, the effectiveness of congregational programs, and the extent of participatory decision-making. (SM)