Churches Grapple With Loss of Donations as Services Move Online

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On a normal Sunday, many churches would have hundreds, if not thousands of parishioners walking through the door with money in hand to donate during a service. However, now that people are finding ways to worship at home, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, churches are feeling the economic strain.

The Archdiocese of Washington told News4 the average weekly offertory dropped 30 percent from February to March. The first half of March, people could still attend mass so they predict the impact is likely to grow in April and May.

Church leaders said online donations continue and are likely generating between 50% to 80% of normal donations for each church.

In D.C., church leaders said they’ve helped add donation forms and links to all church sites so that donors have a way to chip in.

“Even though public mass is discontinued, costs still continue. They still have to be heated, the lights have to work and they need to be cleaned. Now more than ever,” said Deacon Eric Simontis of the Archdiocese of Washington D.C.

Church leaders region-wide are rapidly increasing their online communication with parishioners. They have added thousands of new people to their text and email distribution lists, another way to reach people since they can't physically be in religious spaces.

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