4Our generous God calls us to be generous The ultimate goal of the Christian life is communion with God, not power, riches, and influence(National Directory for Catechesis, p. 15)Our generous God calls us to be generous
5Hopes and FearsWhat fears do you have when it comes to discussing money in the Church?What do you hope to get out of today’s presentation?
6Unleashing Catholic Generosity Explaining the Catholic Giving Gap in the U.S.Science of Generosity Survey2010 national survey of 1,997 U.S. adults, 422 of whom are CatholicAsks detailed questions about giving behaviorsAsks about potential factors shaping voluntary financial giving
7The Catholic Giving Gap American Catholics less likely to give ten percent or more of their income as voluntary contributionsOnly about 1 in 5 Catholics report donating to exclusively religious organizationsA full 40% of surveyed Catholics failed to donate to any charitable causes, religious or otherwise, in the previous year.
9Dismissing Economic Explanations for The Catholic Giving Gap Not the economic downturnNeed to be cautious in interpreting the low overall level of giving…But Catholics were not disproportionately effected by the recession.Not due to Catholics’ having lower socio-economic statusHistorically, Catholic immigrants possessed comparatively fewer economic resources…But, as a whole, Catholics are no longer economically disadvantaged.
10Another Rejected Explanation : Church Attendance People who attend more give more; that’s true for both Protestants and Catholics, but the ‘giving gap’ between Protestants and Catholics actually rises with attendance.
12An Alternative Religious Factor Spiritual Engagement with Money“Part of my spiritual life involves using my money and material possessions faithfully to please God”“I believe that all of my money ultimately belongs to God, not to me.”“Money and material possessions don’t have much to do with spiritual or religious issues.” (reverse-coded)
14Indeed, we find that differences in spiritual engagement with money are the single most important basis for the American Catholic giving gap in our study.
15Spiritual Engagement with Money How does spiritual engagement with money impact religious giving, net of other factors? One way to answer this question is to estimate its independent impact through multivariate logistic regression models. We created models that controlled for age, gender, marital status, number of children in the household, level of education, household income, employment status, and religious tradition, as well as the other independent variables discussed in our report.These next few graphs show the independent impact of different factors on tithing and giving to religious causes. The logistic regressions used to calculate these predictions analyze the entire sample, but the predictions I show in these graphs are for Catholics.Shifting from a more dualistic view that separates religion and money to a view that emphasizes the role that money places in one’s spiritual life is associated with a shift from in the probability of giving from .05 to .4. That is, if all Catholics were more dualistic in their thinking, our model estimates that only 5 percent would give to the Church. On the other hand, if all Catholics were more spiritually engaged with money, our model estimates that 40% of Catholics would give to the Church– this translates to a 35 percentage point shift in Catholics giving to the Church
19Parish Cultures: How is money discussed in your parish? What explains the lack of connection between money and the spiritual life of Catholics?What is (or is not) being said and done at the parish level?“Paying the bills” vs. “Living the Mission”
20Paying the BillsFocus on budgetary items identified by need or scarcityTends to separate discussions of money from the spiritual mission of the Church.Priests may avoid the subject of money entirely or seek financial legitimacy through business language or models
21Living the MissionAsks parishioners to fund the mission and vision in which they are spiritually investedOpens people’s eyes to opportunities for spiritual growth and world transformationRequires leaders to communicate the vision and mission of the parishIs associated with a more participatory culture
22How is money discussed in your parish? When your religious congregation talks about giving money, does it tend to talk aboutPeople’s responsibility to help pay the congregation’s billsOrOpportunities for spiritual growth and vision for the religious congregation’s mission
23Catholics are more focused on “Paying the Bills” In our data, Catholics are more focused on paying the bills whereas Protestants are more focused on opportunities for spiritual growth.
24How is money discussed in your parish? When your religious congregation communicates to its people about money and finances, does the message tend to beMore about need and scarcityOrMore about vision and opportunityThe survey also asked the following question:When your religious congregation communicates to its people about money and finances, does the message tend to beMore about need and scarcityMy religious congregation says nothing about moneyMore about vision and opportunity
25Again, Catholics are more focused on “Paying the Bills” Again, Catholics are more focused on “paying the bills” with about half of Catholics indicating that the message about money and finances is more about need and scarcity. This compares to less than 30 % of Mainline Protestants and only 20% of Evangelicals who report a focus on need and scarcity. Instead, they emphasize that the message is about vision and opportunity
26More Measures of “Paying the Bills” vs “Living the Mission” My religious congregation does an excellent job at communicating its overall mission and priorities to the congregation.My religious congregation does an excellent job at communicating about its financial goals, priorities, and budget to the congregation.I personally feel part of the planning of the vision and mission of my religious congregation.I feel a lot of personal “ownership” of the process of developing the priorities, vision, and mission of my religious congregation.We also asked additional questions to measure these cultures. Here are four additional statements that we examined. These items focus on parish communication and empowerment. You cannot have community without communication and empowerment is a hallmark of a more participatory culture:My religious congregation does an excellent job at communicating its overall mission and priorities to the congregation.My religious congregation does an excellent job at communicating about its financial goals, priorities, and budget to the congregation.I personally feel part of the planning of the vision and mission of my religious congregation.I feel a lot of personal “ownership” of the process of developing the priorities, vision, and mission of my religious congregation.I am not going to show graphs for all of these measures, because they all exhibited similar tendencies in comparing Catholics to Protestants, but if people want to see them, you can ask me to show them during the Q&A.
27Catholics Differ from Evangelical and Mainline Protestants So, looking at the statement, “I feel part of the planning of the vision of my congregation” we see that Catholics are less likely than Protestants to feel a part of the planning of the vision of the their congregation.
28People’s responsibility to help pay the congregation’s bills Table 2: Percentages who report donating to religion in the previous 12 MonthsWhen your religious congregation talks about giving money, does it tend to talk about:People’s responsibility to help pay the congregation’s billsOpportunities for spiritual growth and vision for the religious congregation’s mission33.7%42.1%When your religious congregation communicates to its people about money and finances, does the message tend to beMore about need and ScarcityDoes not talk about moneyMore about vision and opportunity37.9%27.4%46.3%My religious congregation does an excellent job at communicating about its financial goals, priorities, and budget to the congregation.Strongly AgreeMostly AgreeSlightly AgreeNeutralSlightly DisagreeMostly DisagreeStrongly Disagree53.2%39.5%41.7%21.0%46.6%60.3%0.0%My religious congregation does an excellent job at communicating its overall mission and priorities to the congregation.53.5%44.9%23.1%14.6%36.1%48.7%11.4%I personally feel part of the planning of the vision and mission of my religious congregation.61.2%46.7%44.3%25.1%34.5%28.8%29.3%I feel a lot of personal “ownership” of the process of developing the priorities, vision, and mission of my religious congregation.59.1%54.2%40.0%30.8%33.9%26.4%How important is this for giving? In this table, we see 61.2% of those who strongly agree with that statement reported donating in the previous 12 months, as compared to 29.3% who strongly disagreed. All of these percentages are higher than earlier percentages, because this question was only asked of people who regularly attend at a congregation or parish.
29Parish Cultures and The Catholic Giving Gap Partly a result of congregational cultureA focus on “paying the bills” fails to engage people and it fails to impart a belief that proper stewardship of money is a deeply spiritual matterOur results suggest that the American Catholic giving gap is, in part, a direct result of congregational culture: Catholic parishes are less likely to nurture participatory cultures compared to other Christian congregations. Parishioners are more likely to focus on giving as “paying the bills” rather than “living the vision” when thinking of money. Because many Catholics are more concerned with “paying the bills,” they lack spiritual engagement with money—the belief that proper stewardship of money is a deeply spiritual matter—which further reduces Catholic financial giving.A key insight from our report is that people support ideals and not simply needs. People buy into the ideal, and then into the need.
30A Sample ScenarioThe Parish School is running a 100k deficit. Previously, a commitment had been made by the parish to provide tuition assistance for all parishioners, and there was a clear sense that the parish viewed the school as important. A growing portion of the students are not members of the parish (and some are not even Catholic). How do we respond as Parish Leaders?
31Creating Mission-Driven Support Can’t act the same and expect higher givingTo raise more = engage morePeople are motivated by mission and vision, not by maintenance and mundanePeople invest in the mission, especially when they can see the vision and feel they are part of it
32Mission Budget vs. Maintenance Budget What can be vs. what is wrongHelping people vs. scarcity of resourcesInvesting in lives vs. paying for programsInvestments vs. costsStewards vs. spendersInvestment lines vs. cost linesWorship space vs. buildingsMission development vs. fund raising
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