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How to Get Started Collecting Congregational Data

The UJA-Federation of New York developed a great resource on how congregations can begin and continue to collect data and make decisions based on the data collected. Check out their free report, Data Maturity for Synagogues: Incorporating Data into the Decision-Making Culture (you have to provide your name, email address and some other information to download the free research guide). While this guide is clearly designed for Synagogues and Jewish leaders, it translates well to other religious and non-profit leaders too.

One of the most helpful aspects of this guide is to discuss basic things congregations can do to either start collecting data or continue to collect more data. Most congregations collect data on attendance, and may ask attenders to fill in an attendance record. Some congregations may be able to link that data with financial contributions. But what about asking individuals to answer a survey about interest in volunteering and the types of volunteer positions that would be of interest? The next time your congregation has a particular volunteer project, you would have a ready list of potential volunteers!

Check out this resource if you’re curious about ways to get started. Let us know what you found useful. The UJA-Federation of New York has a number of other useful guides.

Ellen Childs
About the Author
Dr. Ellen Childs holds a Ph.D. in sociology from University of Notre Dame. She is Website Director at