Why Easter Might Be the Most Important Time for Church Donations
When spring arrives so do flowers, rain showers, the Easter bunny—and a wave of people attending church for the first time since Christmas.
Regular church-goers are undoubtedly well-aware of the sharp increase in church attendance around the two most significant Christian holidays, Christmas and Easter. It's such a common occurrence that the they have even earned a nickname to mark their occasional appearances: "Chreasters" (Christmas + Easter= Chreasters). According to the Pew Research group, more Americans search for the word "church" around Easter than at any other time, even more than around Christmas. That's because Easter is Christianity's oldest and most important holiday, marking the resurrection of Jesus—and it is the first big holiday after Lent, and the self-denial that goes with it, ends, meaning it's a good day to celebrate. Plus, as The Huffington Post notes, Easter is just a single day, while Christmas lasts an entire season filled with family visits, office parties, and school events and it can be hard to squeeze church into the schedule.
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While the pews may be crowded and it might be harder to get your hand on a hymnal on Christmas and Easter, many churches rely on the influx of crowds to help fill their coffers. When people come to church only once or twice a year, they may try to alleviate their slightly guilty conscience by putting a fair chunk of change in the offering plate. The Huffington Post points out that people may have more money to spare around Easter, too. Christmas can be a costly time of year what with all the presents, holiday tips, and elaborate Christmas decorations. By comparison, Easter is a relatively inexpensive holiday requiring only eggs, chocolate, and Marshmallow Peeps and maybe new dresses before the annual church visit.
That means that come Easter there are more people in the pews with perhaps a little more money to donate. Those extra donation can make all the difference for a church trying to replace railings, buy a van for their youth group, get new microphones for the pastor's sermon, or eager to make a difference in their community in the form of food pantries, soup kitchens, hospices, and community centers.
As England's The Telegraph newspaper notes, giving and love lie at the heart of Christianity, so its most sacred holiday, Easter, "should encourage us to think about the ways that we can help the less fortunate." After all, the holiday's meaning hinges on a man who gave his life for others, purely out of love. "We would all do well to consider the wonder of self-sacrifice and selfless giving – values key to building a healthier, happier society." While we all hope to have time to volunteer at soup kitchens or with Meals on Wheels, the reality is that most of us are far too busy and donating money is simply easier, especially if you're a Chreaster church-goer.