Contributions to the Protestant Church of Geneva (EPG) have been reduced by 40% in six years. It is a continuous decline which could force a review of its structure, because the EPG is only financed by donations from its members and various foundations, unlike the other Romandie churches, with the exception of Neuchâtel. The Catholic Church is also experiencing a drop in donations.
“Donations are down 40% compared to the average of the last six years,” declared Joël Rochat, treasurer of the EPG, to Protestinfo on October 14, 2022. In 2021, the EPG spent 9.1 million francs for its payroll, i.e. three quarters of its budget, while this year the donations are only 8.7 million. “Our parishioners are getting older and are always fewer in number,” notes Stefan Keller, secretary general.
Silvana Bassetti, head of information for the Roman Catholic Church in Geneva (ECR), told the Swiss agency cath.chthat donations decreased by 335,000 Swiss francs in 2021 compared to 2020. “For about five years, the number of donors has been falling,” she explains.
Despite this, income from investments and extraordinary products (including bequests), as well as income from real estate, led to a positive final result of 2.7 million Swiss francs in 2021. However, for 2022, the committee presented a deficit budget of 945,000 Swiss francs. The operating result for the third quarter of 2022 shows a deficit of 1,450,000 Swiss francs.
“Operating expenses are in line with the budget, as well as the property results. But in general it is donations and contributions that are down sharply,” notes Silvana Bassetti. Financial investments are also undergoing a crisis. The result for the third quarter is down by 600,000 Swiss francs compared to the budget.