Property and donations
In addition to tax revenue, parishes fund their work by selling forest, collecting rent, taking up collections and accepting bequests.
Parishes have property holdings. In 2014, roughly two-thirds of parishes (281 out of 412, to be specific) owned land, with most of the forest property belonging to parishes in Northern and Eastern Finland. Cemeteries also fall under the category of land owned by parishes.
Due to increasing pressure on parish finances, many parishes have sold land in recent years to fund their work.
The property owned by parishes is largely tied to church buildings, chapels, parish halls and camp centres. In total, parishes own roughly 800 church buildings.
Parishes also own dwellings that provide income from rent. Due to the marked increase in the number of asylum seekers in 2015, some parishes have lodged refugees in these dwellings.
A collection is a voluntary gift of money offered at a service or mass, the sum of which is gathered in a dedicated collection bag and determined by the person himself or herself. Finns are eager to give alms: collections and other gatherings bring in almost 10 million euros annually.
Collections are often gathered for the parish’s work, for example going towards youth work, but also for international aid work and missionary work. In 2016, parishes were instructed to take additional collections particularly for international aid work.
A bequest is a beautiful way to help both locally and internationally. Parishes receive funding also through bequests in wills: in 2015, parishes received a total of 2.5 million euros in bequests.
These days, many people also will money to charitable organisations.