When dealing with financial topics, running the numbers help me think more clearly. Running the numbers can be a dry subject, but at Holy Trinity, our numbers are amazing.
According to a US Census Bureau report, median annual household income in Florida dropped from $50,709 to $45,040 between 2000 and 2012, using 2012 inflation-adjusted dollars. Nationwide, the change was similar with a drop from $55,030 to $51,371. Overall, although there was not a statistically significant change between 2011 and 2012, 2012 is the first year since 2007 that median income did not show a statistically significant decrease.
To count our households, we know that we have actually received 43 pledges for 2014, a very high number for a congregation of our size. There are also a small number of additional households who are known to give offerings at Holy Trinity that did not submit pledges. For the sake of “running the numbers,” let’s use the number 50 for active households because it makes the math easy enough to do in your head.
Assuming that the 2012 Florida median household income also applies to us (it would probably be a low estimate), then a median household tithe would be $4,504. Let’s round that to $4,500. If 50 active households tithed their 2012 median Florida incomes, our 2014 estimated giving would be $225,000. If we used 45 households (we know we have more households than that), the estimated giving would be $202,500.
So, how are we doing at Holy Trinity? Consider this: only four percent of American Christians fully tithe their income, and that the average adult donates less than $20 a week to their church. Holy Trinity’s total 2013 income (tithes and offerings plus special gifts, but not including payments made on pledges for the capital campaign for the building) was just under $174,000. That’s really close to my contrived measuring stick. Our numbers are amazing.