The State of Church Giving through 1992

Ronsvalle, John L., and Sylvia Ronsvalle. The State of Church Giving through 1992. Champaign, IL: the empty tomb, inc., 1994.

This volume, part of "The State of Church Giving" series, analyzes giving trends in Protestant churches in the United States. The analysis is based mainly on data collected and reported by 29 denominations that together include about 100,000 of the estimated 350,000 religious congregations in the U.S. and 30 million full or confirmed members. Major findings include: For the first time in the 1968-1992 period, per member contributions in constant 1987 dollars declined two years in a row, both in 1991 and in 1992. For total contributions, as well as in the subcategories of congregational finances and benevolences, giving as a percentage of income was lower in 1992 than in 1968 for these denominations. Giving as a percentage of income to the category of benevolences continued to decline at a faster rate than that directed to congregational finances. An analysis of a subset of 11 denominations for which data was available from 1921 through 1991 found that per member giving as a percentage of income was lower in 1992 than it was in 1921 and lower than it was in 1933. The last section of the report considers consumer spending patterns, and possible implications for church member giving patterns. (SM)