Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Parish Survey Results

In case you have not formulated your own opinion of our parish survey, let me give you the view from the pew.

As background, this survey was done to find out if it is feasible to undertake major renovations at this time. The survey consisted of 27 personal interviews with "leadership" and 130 mailings to parishioners.
Survey respondents appear to be the people who attend 2-4 times a month.
Attendance has been flat for 5 years, but giving is up by $100,000 over 5 years (pages 3-4). My question is "Will the well be running dry soon?"
We have an amazingly high 297 potential giving units (do couples count as 2 units or 1?)38 had No giving, 131 gave < $1000. So 44% of the potential giving units are doing most of the giving. My question is "What potential is there for the 56% to increase giving substantially?

24%(Parishioners)-33% (leadership) have moderately low to very low enthusiasm about the work and programs of ECoOS. The question did not have a "neutral" option. This is one of those glass 1/3 empty or glass 2/3 full issues, but it is very worrisome to me that leadership has such low enthusiasm. (page 9)

Only 4% of leaders feel we meet our financial obligations very well. (92% note some degree of difficulty) Only 60% of Parishioners appear to recognize this difficulty. (page 10)
Then we read the unexpected finding on page 11 that only 55% of leaders feel that adequate financial information is available without asking.
So, if there is inadequate knowledge of the financial situation, this might explain why on page 14 "retiring the debt" ranked last in people's list of priorities.

Next, I have an issue with the goal of the 3 year capital stewardship program being 900,000-1,200,000. Is this because of the response of leaders and parishioners? My response is that the survey did not go low enough in the options presented, especially since the vast majority of people chose the lowest option. I was looking for a 500,000-600,000 choice so I was counted as "No Response" when I believe I penciled something in. (page 15)
Only 70 families indicated a dollar amount they might commit to this campaign. The total was 453,000 (remarkably close to the Pewster's prediction) and remarkably close to the amount needed to pay off the outstanding debt.
On page 25 one person comments "Seven hundred families should be able to support 900,000 to 1,000,000." With informed respondents like that, do you trust the results of the survey?
Charlie should have seen the Bishop wince when he announced the goal of the campaign was in the $1,200,000 range. The last time we carried that much debt we had to withhold our diocesan pledge!

For the text of the report follow the link in the title of this post by clicking the title.

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