Passing the Plate in Affluent Churches: Why Some Members Give More than Others

Citation: 
Davidson, James D. and Ralph Pyle. "Passing the Plate in Affluent Churches: Why Some Members Give More than Others ." Review of Religious Research, 36 (December, 1994): 181-196.
Abstract: 

Davidson and Pyle use exchange theory and symbolic interactionism to explain why some members of affluent churches give more money to their churches than others do. Data from 30 affluent Protestant congregations indicate that the most important determinants of giving are income, intrinsic religiosity, and church participation. Exogenous variables, belief orientation, and benefit orientation have smaller effects. Davidson and Pyle conclude that appeals and activities which combine the inherent value of faith with the benefits members derive from religious commitment are more likely to inspire giving than ones which stress faith and ignore benefits or ones which appeal to self-interests and ignore faith. They urge a linkage of exchange theory and symbolic interactionism in future research, rather than stressing one over the other. (SM)

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