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PC(USA) reports mid-year growth in congregational giving

Second quarter financials show strong support for mission, decreased spending

by Gregg Brekke | Presbyterian News Service

presbyterian_church_usa_logoLOUISVILLE – Reversing several years of a downward trend in congregational giving, a report today from to the Audit and Finance committees of the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board (PMAB) showed 2016 mid-year giving at $2,794,449, an increase of $1,000,699 over the budgeted $1,793,750, and $610,021 over last year’s mid-year mark.

Denise Hampton, director and controller for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), noted this giving surge is in contrast to recent years in which the denomination averaged a decrease of seven percent annually. Asked if her office knew the source of the increase, Hampton said she didn’t have information upon which she could speculate.

Tony De La Rosa, interim executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, offered that he believed the uptick could be due to increased confidence in the operations and mission of the church, the commitment the PMA has made in offering a balanced budget in 2017-2018, and messaging around inter-agency efficiencies and collaboration.

In addition to better than forecast contributions, the report showed an overall decrease in mid-year spending by $786,873 and an increase in operating net assets of $2,931,317. Some of the largest expense reductions came from deferred grant payments. Other savings were payroll related due to the work restructuring undertaken by the PMAB at its April meeting and program related cost cutting.

Though congregational contributions provide a bright spot in the PC(USA) budget, overall giving was still down by 6.4 percent, largely due to lower-than-expected restricted giving to special offerings and disaster appeals, which showed a net combined mid-year shortfall of 14.2 percent. Emergency disaster relief funding was hit especially hard, posting a deficit of 68.4 percent, or $851,701 on an anticipated $2,695,000 in giving through the end of June.

The Presbyterian Mission Agency Board meets September 13-16 in Louisville where it will receive this report.

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