Preserving the Public Value of Sacred Places Partners for Sacred PlacesParishes and their buildings play a key This role can be called therole in the life of our communities… “public value” of sacred places.
Why Should We Sustain Historic Sacred Places?• Older churches help anchor our streetscapes, mark our skylines and offer the best artistry and architecture in our neighborhoods• Research data shows that urban congregations open their buildings to serve people in need, often sacriﬁcially• Parishes and related entities such as schools add to the economic health and vitality of neighborhoods
Why Help Sacred Places NOW?• Many community-serving congregations face serious repair issues costing more than they can afford• Some are at risk of closure or dismantling piece by piece• Partners’ work in Pennsylvania, Texas and Illinois demonstrate how a program serving historic churches can attract public and private funding
Research: Documenting Public Value• In the mid-1990s, Partners embarked on a major public policy study with Dr. Ram Cnaan and the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice• 115 congregations surveyed in Philadelphia and ﬁve other cities• First study in America to document how congregations serve the public, including contributions of space, staff and volunteer time, cash, utilities and in-kind support.
Research:Sacred Places at Risk Findings 19% 81%
More Sacred Places at Risk Findings • 93% of urban congregations open their doors to serve outside members of the community • Each congregation provides, on average, 5,300 hours of volunteer service annually • Value of space and resources put into programs is estimated at $200,000 per congregation • 76% of all services provided are located within a congregation’s own building
Who Congregations Serve Most OftenMost Frequent Programs• Clothing Closets and Food Pantries• Music performances• Partnerships with Neighborhood GroupsGroup Served Most Often• Children and Youth
Research Made Practical: The Tool Kit and New Dollars •Makes Sacred Places at Risk methodology available to congregations •Helps congregations write and communicate a new case for their community valueThe toolkit was developed in 2002; New Dollars began in 2003
“Economic Halo Effect” of Sacred Places A Pilot Study• Funded by the William Penn Foundation, this project is looking into over 50 factors that describe a sacred place’s contribution to the community• Factors range from the value of green space to the leveraging effect of capital projects.• Partners is working again with Dr Ram Cnaan, University of Pennsylvania
“Economic Halo Effect” of Sacred PlacesParticipating Parishes and Congregations Congregations: • Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church • Arch Street United Methodist Church • Visitation B.V.M. Church • Gloria Dei Church • Congregation Rodeph Shalom • First Baptist Church of Paschall • Jones Tabernacle A.M.E. Church • Shiloh Baptist Church • The Church of St. Luke and the Epiphany • St. Marys Episcopal Church, Hamilton Village • Calvary United Methodist Church • Summit Presbyterian Church
“Economic Halo Effect” of Sacred PlacesEconomic value of social services and culturalprograms sponsored or hosted by congregations• Value of clergy, staff, and volunteer time, space provided, in-kind support, utilities, and cash support for community-serving programs supported by and/or housed by congregationsEnvironmental Factors• Community value of outdoor space, trees, gardens, etc.
“Economic Halo Effect” of Sacred Places Impact of Congregational • Support for local municipalities Spending via payroll or income taxes for• Congregational impact on local employees jobs, including janitorial, building maintenance, • Impact of regular repair projects food/catering services; banking; and occasional large capital funeral home/ﬂorist services; projects musicians; printing services, etc.• Spending by congregation members who commute to their sacred place from the wider region, patronizing local businesses after worship, meetings or events.
“Economic Halo Effect” of Sacred Places Congregations as catalysts for economic activity and development • Impact of visitor trafﬁc to congregation-hosted artistic• Incubation of small businesses performances, family reunions, and non-proﬁts in affordable and other ‘life events.’ space within the sacred place.• Impact of stable, active sacred places on adjacent business districts.• Economic impact of CDCs and other non-proﬁts formally afﬁliated with congregations.
Case Study:Visitation B.V.M. • Total Halo effect calculated at $21,823,359 • Nursery School and Daycare impact: $4,817,250 • Individual Impact: $4,153,270
THE CHALLENGE NOW To follow the pilot with a more comprehensive research project so that we can continue: • building a constituency of civic leaders and donors who support community-serving sacred places • building the capacity of congregations to manage their properties, fund their care, and use them well in service to their missionPartners for Sacred Places