Three graphs in connection with the Watch Tower's current financial situation
by slimboyfat

cofty
Why did the cost of supporting special pioneers, missionaries and travelling overseers more than double in ten years?
Maybe that's how the GB hide their secret bonuses.

slimboyfat
Well if the GB count themselves as "travelling overseers", and their business class air fares are included in the figure, that might explain some of the increase. If they are spending more on themselves now that they did ten years ago, that is.

stuckinarut2
What a rebellious and critical spirit you show by such analysis brother!
You obviously lack faith that Jesus is using the GB as his direct spokesman and channel...so whatever they spend is completely ok!
You almost sound ...wait for it..... Like an apostate!

shepherdless
Excellent data!
The charts for "number of ordained ministers in branch facilities" and "money spent on special pioneers, missionaries and travelling overseer" seem to track well against each other. It is puzzling how one could increase only 35% and the other 113%, though. That would be over 7% p.a. inflation.
It looks like "ordained ministers" cost around $9000 p.a. on average when back in 2006 they cost $5,500 p.a.
Why is it necessary to have 27,000 "ordained ministers in branch facilities"? If I compare that to the Catholic church, I note that around the same number of priests serve the hole of Mexico and Brazil where there are around 320 million Catholics. And those priests do a lot of the work equivalent to what an elder might do at a Kingdom Hall. There are gross weaknesses in that comparison, but 27,000 seems a large number to look after a religion of 10 million.

slimboyfat
shepherdless please note however that the financial figure and the branch staff number, strictly speaking, have nothing to do with one another. The Watch Tower neither gives the total number of "special pioneers, missionaries and travelling overseers" nor does it give the amount of money spent on branch staff. These are two different things. They give the personnel number for one and the money spent for the other, so we can't correlate per capita spend for either, unfortunately.
Another thing I find interesting is that they have become progressively more vague on the amount spent on "special pioneers, missionaries and travelling overseers".
Until 1996 they gave the figure down to cent: $60,932,324.26.
Then until 1999 they gave it to the nearest dollar: $64,475,225.
Then until 2002 they gave it to the nearest millions dollars and one decimal point: $74.2.
Since 2002 they have simply said they spent "over" a certain amount, the latest for 2015 being "over $236 million".
I wouldn't be surprised if the figure has become a rough estimate in recent years.
And I wouldn't be surprised if they stop publishing the figure altogether.
This graph shows the figure for the last 30 years. What's interesting is that it has been increasing at a time when JW growth has slowed, cutbacks have been announced, and general inflation has been low. The only year when there was a reduction in the amount spent was 2008 to 2009, and branches started to close shortly after that. Maybe the financial crisis caused them to tighten their belt. But not for long because expenditure began to rise again sharply the next year. If they are facing another financial crisis, the personnel and financial figures for the coming years will be interesting: if they are published and published accurately

dropoffyourkeylee
SBF, what is the scale of the last graph (Cost) is it in millions of US dollars?

slimboyfat
Yes millions of $s.
The reason I put the decimal after millions is because that was the practice between 1999 and 2002.

slimboyfat
As far as I can tell, the Watchtower only started to publish the "number of branches" in 1991, which I found surprising. The number of branches increased until the financial crisis of 2008 and has declined since. I think this is a historic graph in terms of JW growth because it is the very first measure by which JWs have published a significant decline over more than a couple of years. If other measures also start to show sustained decline, such as congregation numbers, memorial attendance, publisher numbers, baptisms, and so on, the branch figure decline will have shown the way. The beginning of JW decline in terms of branches in 2009 could be truly a historic turning point.

keinlezard
Hello,
I seems to me that WT tells to bethel and pionneer to go back in "congregation" and that the "congregation" must / should take care of these "fired" (from bethels and Brooklyn )
Then, are theses figures uptodate ?
I mean that how now WT really spend for pionneer and bethelits ?
Another point of view is WT / GB are liars ... how trust their declaration ?
As read on this forum, is the actual situation de cause of change ... lack of money ... but many JW ...
or , lack of JW that cause lack of money , that cause change ... are really JW 8 millions ? or less ?
The same as Scientology ... WT says "we are growing as never before" she cannot print less JW in yearbook statistics :)
( Sorry for my poor English .. hope you understand :) )
Greetings

slimboyfat
The figure for the amount spent on "special pioneers, missionaries and travelling overseers" goes back to 1985. But for such a long period of time inflation becomes an important factor. Does anyone know how to correct such a graph for US$ inflation over the relevant period?
In 1985, when there was a total of 3,024,131 publishers and 49,716 congregations, they spent a total of $20,827,314.57 on "special pioneers, missionaries and travelling overseers".
In 2015, when there was a total of 8,220,105 publishers and 118,016 congregation, they spent "over $236 million in caring for special pioneers, missionaries and travelling overseers".
So over that period publishers increased 172%, congregations increased 137% and the amount spent increased 1034%
That's up from spending $418 per congregation to spending $2000 per congregation.
An online inflation calculator says that $418 in 1985 is equivalent to $920 in 2015. So Watch Tower spend on "special pioneers, missionaries and travelling overseers" has increased 117% per congregation in real terms taking inflation into account.