Research on the Financing of American Religion

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With increasing evidence of a mounting financial crisis in all of the nation's religious institutions, concerns are being raised about the long-term stability and viability of religious denominations, institutions, and nonprofit organizations. Operating costs are outstripping resources, health care and retirement benefits for employees are in jeopardy, and liability insurance and administrative costs are soaring. The Conservation Company, a Philadelphia-based national consulting firm which provides long-range planning counsel and program development to foundations, non-profit institutions and government agencies, proposed to assist the Religion Division staff at the Lilly Endowment in identifying appropriate and important priorities for its work in the 1990s. The company conducted a comprehensive review of the "state of the field of religious financing," which included extensive research, preparation of a summary of issues and challenges faced by religious organizations, and an inventory of individuals and institutions engaged in research and planning on the financing of American religion. (SM)