3 Tips for Managing Your Church Funds

Written by Kenice Patterson on Mar 05, 2020 in Finance Management

When it comes to church finances, being a church leader, and doing it the correct way makes an incredible impact on your congregation. 

Statistics say about 73% of churches are currently in debt. With that being said, it’s very important to stay on top of your budget and expenses so that your church can avoid financial trouble and focus on fulfilling the purposed mission of the church. 

What can we do to meet our financial objections in difficult days? Allow me to suggest a “back to basics” approach. 

Here are three best practices to help with managing your church finances:

  • Frequently revisit your current budget.
  • Always stay on top of your expenses.
  • Keep track of your donations.

1. Frequently revisit your current budget

Every couple of months, your church’s board of directors should meet to have a “check-in.” By doing so, you can be sure you’re sticking to the budget you set at the beginning of the fiscal year. 

Maintaining and keeping your budget organized will help your church’s administration and board understand how much money your church needs on a monthly and yearly basis, as well as how much to save for the future. 

Here is a blog with tips on creating your budget from the beginning. 

The more your team is involved in setting and abiding by your church budget, then it is less likely your monthly or yearly expenses will fall off balance.

Revisiting the budget on a regular basis allows you and your team to make important decisions like whether you need to cut back on some expenses, or if you need to make staff cuts. Things can change after you look at the budget, and that’s okay! 

A church’s outlook on ministry is locked into its budget. Your budget will either suppress or accelerate any attempts to move your congregation toward the financial health that you dream of for your church. That means your church budget is a far more potent pastoral tool than many church leaders or pastors realize. Use it wisely!

2. Always stay on top of your expenses 

Church leaders who are in charge of tracking and working out the organization’s expenses have to keep many factors in mind. Things like summer camps, local outreach events, special events that happen throughout the year, missions trips, and more all come with an array of expenditures that must be recorded, approved, and reconciled. All of the different processes can all take considerable time out of a church leader’s day because they have to be taken care of the correct way.With that being said, it’s incredibly helpful and important to have an expense reporting solution or a bookkeeping service in place to establish these responsibilities and provide more time for a church leader to serve the community and fulfill their mission and purpose. When seeking out a solution for your church, tracking and reporting the things that happen is one of the most important factors. 

In the case that a staff member takes a trip to a store to make a church-related purchase, or at an event you are needing to pay a vendor or another location, the church must have a way to quickly and easily report their expenses. Advanced expense reporting solutions enable users to report spending from anywhere it happens, at any time.

The best part of having something like this in place is that it means nothing falls through the cracks where expense reporting is concerned.

Hire a Bookkeeper to Manage Your Finances!

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3. Keep track of your donations

It is said that the best practice for a church or ministry is that you, your staff, or a volunteer will need to keep track of how many donations your church receives for income. Donations and tithes are your church’s financial lifeblood, so you must stay on top of this! I'm not saying that generating income should be your only driving force, but you do need funds to operate and maintain your church or ministry.

I am a firm believer that to get the income you want and need for your organization to thrive, you must educate your members and be honest and upfront with them about giving. Talk to your church members about giving and illustrate that the church can only operate with their support. Teach giving as an act of worship, implement stewardship campaigns, provide many giving opportunities throughout the year, preach stewardship sermons so that they understand the importance of giving to the church. 

To make it easier for your members to give, you should consider providing a way for members to donate online. Online giving allows people the chance to give whenever they feel led to. If your primary means of collecting funds involves passing a physical plate at church in hopes of people dropping in physical checks and cash, you’re missing out. Digital giving is on the rise, and fewer and fewer people carry checkbooks or cash with them. 

The best way to provide an online giving platform for your church or ministry is to create a website. I encourage you to check out StartSITES if you don’t have a website yet. Through StartSITES, you can create a website in one hour or less and see your giving increase. 

Create a Church Website in One Hour!

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You can do it!

Yes, managing your church’s finances can be stressful. It can definitely be a lot to handle at first. But following these three tips will help you operate successfully and to navigate your way through all of the numbers and trials that may come your way.

As you lead your ministry, remember that you are not alone! Every year, we serve hundreds of pastors, just like you, with their budgeting and managing church finances with our bookkeeping service. 

Our experienced CPAs and accountants know churches and the best practices on thriving in your finances for your organization. If you have more pressing questions, give us a call at 877-494-4655 and ask to speak with one of our helpful specialists. We would love to find out more about how we can serve you. 

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Raul Rivera

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