Sacred Places Summer 2022 - Page 15

$ 109,275 Community Serving Progams ( 15 %)
$ 116,764
$ 9,719 Open Space ( 1 %)
$ 140,738 Magnet Effect ( 20 %)
$ 186,095 Direct Spending ( 25 %)
$ 165,208
Partners and UNC Charlotte conducted extensive interviews with leaders of 87 rural churches and then monetized and assigned a numerical value to six areas . These areas include direct spending , education and childcare , the spending of visitors in the community , a positive impact on the lives of individuals and families , and community-serving programming .
The study found that Methodist churches are not just for Methodists alone . One of the most important implications of this reality is that civic leaders — including mayors , foundations , business leaders , arts organizations , community groups — should see their churches as places that have a larger public value . The research also showed that :
! Seventy-two percent of those benefiting from programs housed in UMC churches are not members of those congregations . In effect , rural Methodist churches are de facto community centers , just like their sister churches in cities .
! UMC congregations make great economic contributions to their towns and counties , with an average annual contribution to the economy valued at just over $ 735,000 per congregation . If extrapolated , we might conclude that the 1,283 rural UMCs in North Carolina eligible for Duke Endowment ’ s Rural Church program generate an overall economic impact of $ 944 million annually .
! Congregations generate value because they spend locally and hire locally ; they host events that bring people to the community who spend money there ; they sacrificially share space in their buildings , at low cost or no cost ; and they provide needed resources and services to the community .
! Many congregations are community hubs , providing a variety of flexible and affordable space that encourages neighbors to come together to solve problems , serve and be served , and build social capital .
! Congregations are important supporters of early childhood education and provide valuable childcare services in areas underserved by child-care centers . Congregations counsel , support , and make referrals for individuals and families struggling with a range of issues .
! UMCs are also a magnet for visitors , attracting on average , 195 visits to its town or locale each week . Only half of these visits ( 53 %) were for worship activities , while the other half were by individuals attending an event or participating in a program .
Components of Economic Halo

$ 735,800

Average annual Economic Halo value per congregation
$ 109,275 Community Serving Progams ( 15 %)
$ 116,764
Individual Impact ( 16 %)
$ 9,719 Open Space ( 1 %)
$ 140,738 Magnet Effect ( 20 %)
$ 186,095 Direct Spending ( 25 %)
$ 165,208
Education ( 22 %)
SACRED PLACES SUMMER 2022 15