The Offering Plate is Off the Table: the Impact of COVID-19 on Church Fundraising



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In the spring of 2020, the global COVID-19 pandemic caused many churches in the United States to cease in-person services for an unknown period of time. Unfortunately, numerous methods of appeal used by churches relied upon in-person parishioner engagement that was no longer an option. This study used an online survey of churches in Dallas County and interviews of church leaders to examine the impact of COVID-19 on church fundraising. The results of this study indicate that prior to COVID-19, churches primarily relied upon in-person requests made during a sermon or at a church activity. During COVID-19, churches increased their use of social media to keep parishioners engaged and to ensure that parishioners maintained an awareness of the funding needs of the church. Churches also increased their use of other online communication resources, such as websites, YouTube and email, to meet the spiritual needs of parishioners whose motivation to give is based upon their religious beliefs and commitment to the church.



Political Science, Public Administration