Dear pastors, missionaries, chaplains and friends,
Steve Jones here… Does your local church make an economic impact in your immediate community? What do you suppose that impact might be?
We live in a time where towns and cities are trying to find tax dollars to pay for the services we all enjoy. Historically our church properties have been exempt from the tax burden. However, this arrangement may not continue.
In an attempt to better educate Town Hall about the amazing social and economic benefits that churches provide to communities across our nation, a study was recently conducted. The intention was to quantify these benefits. The study is called “The HALO Project: Valuing Toronto’s Faith Congregations”, and you can read the summary page from the first phase by clicking > HERE. <
Several of these “HALO Projects” have been conducted in the States, but none in Canada until now. Fellowship National supplied a generous donation to support this initiative.
The Toronto HALO Project (Canada’s first) is a study of the economic effects of ten Toronto area religious congregations. It revealed that the services contributed to the surrounding communities of these congregations valued at more than $45 million every year.
The study clearly showed the substantial and measurable value that faith-based groups provide to local neighbourhoods. In fact, the study discovered that the value to the community was four or five times more than the congregation’s annual budget. That means these congregations provide services to people for a fraction of what towns and neighbourhoods would otherwise have to pay with tax dollars.
This project has completed its first phase of the study. In the second phase, the study team, Cardus, an Ontario-based public policy think tank, will be surveying 50 faith-based groups and congregations across the Greater Toronto Area. When I hear the results, I will let you know.
Have a blessed week,