5 Ways to Handle Funds During a Crisis

By Christine Bove

It is easy to get caught with the wave of panic that comes with a worldwide pandemic. There are so many unknowns involved, such as family’s health, being out of work, and for many, a lack of finances.

There are many life scenarios that can cause a change within one’s regular routine, including finances. However, we must take these changes in stride and seek wisdom in how to best handle situations as they come. 

One of the largest focuses during a time of crisis is how to shrewdly handle finances. 

Here are five ways to handle funds for your ministry during a crisis:

  1. Prioritize your spending 
  2. Invest in a social media strategy 
  3. Lean on your community
  4. Lean on your FPA
  5. Apply for grants and local opportunities 

5 ways to handle funds for your ministry during a crisis

1. Prioritize your spending

No one really enjoys having to re-budget during a time when resources seem scarce, but that is exactly what must be done in a time of crisis. Your finances should reflect the change in culture, where people are going, and what are the core needs for the time. 

Prioritizing your spending can look like a lot of different things. One of the biggest strategies to implement during a time like this is to not be afraid to make hard decisions. 

Financially, it could mean not starting a church campaign that you were planning on doing. It could also mean letting some staff go. It could be rearranging finances to reflect the new priorities. However it looks, have the courage to make the necessary decisions to steward your finances well.

Create a new budget for your ministry and pick the priorities. This will help with making those hard decisions. Prayerfully consider what the priorities should be in a time of crisis (such as the present). Tangibly seeing where your church’s finances are going helps hold accountability and “gives each dollar a name;” give each dollar a purpose even before it’s spent.

Need help with your budget? Do you need help sorting priorities and rearranging your finances? I encourage you to check out our bookkeeping serviceCall us today to learn more about our bookkeeping service and we'll give you a free chart of accounts for you to edit as needed.

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2. Invest in a social media strategy 

One way to encourage giving is to stay connected with your congregation. Just because you and your church don’t meet at a physical location at present doesn’t mean they aren’t able to honor God with their first fruits.

It’s not about money. God provides in every season, especially in times of crisis. However, as spiritual leaders, we need to remind people not to panic and that honoring God should fall to the wayside even though there are issues going on in the world. However, you can’t effectively communicate that to your community without having a relationship first. 

Stay connected to your community and keep them up to date on everything happening within the ministry. People long to be a part of something bigger than themselves. 

Invest in Facebook and Instagram ads to invite more people to your online service. You can create social media graphics that your congregant members can share and invite their friends. 

Investing in social media keeps your community alive, even through a digital platform. Since you and your congregation can’t meet in person, now is a great time to invest in social media and connect with everyone digitally.

In the end, it’s all about relationships. So, once you show that you are invested in your congregation’s lives, you are freed up to use your online presence to encourage people to give.

You can learn more about staying connected with your community online by checking out our blog, “How Churches Can Prepare to Go Mobile.”

3. Lean on your community

To help with your finances, look to your sister churches and organizations. Build authentic partnerships with other churches and organizations so you can all lean on each other during times of crisis. 

There are larger churches and other organizations that will partner with your church to help fund and care for each other in times of need.

People also love giving to a greater cause. Use partnerships to inspire people to invest back into their communities. Don’t let the panic make anyone less generous, and don’t let it prevent people from reaching out to others. 

By setting an example of reaching out as a church and partnering with other churches and organizations, you will inspire your congregation to do the same.

4. Lean on your FPA

If you have started a for-profit arm, this would be an excellent time to lean into your business for financial support. 

A church-owned business creates an entirely independent source of revenue from just tithes and offerings. 

The church owns the business by owning the business’s shares of stock. As the business makes money, the church receives payment in the form of dividends. 

What dividends the church receives is tax-free to the church. So leaning on your for-profit arm during a time of financial scarcity is a good support to have. 

Look to your documents and shares you have purchased to see how your for-profit arm can continue generating income for you.

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5. Apply for grants and local opportunities

Your church or ministry can also look into grants for another financial resource. While grants are specifically designed for nonprofit ministries, there are denominations and organizations out there who desire to support both churches and nonprofit ministries. 

Look to our Capital Suite for ideas on how to write a grant.

While we don’t recommend debt, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is potential for receiving a loan in different states for small businesses and non-profits.

Find out if your ministry or for-profit arm qualifies by researching here.

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Encouragement for today

Matthew 6:30-34 says, 

"If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

In this season of crisis, I want to encourage you that God knows exactly what you need in this season. He will provide because he is the ultimate provider. 

When we live out our faith believing that God will honor his promises to us, we are freed up to live generously, without worry, and we can focus on what truly matters: the Kingdom of Heaven.

While everyone is facing unique issues, remember that this pandemic did not come as a surprise to God. He knew this was going to happen, and he will sustain you through it. 

“So, therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.”

If you need some encouragement today, or want to learn more about how StartCHURCH can serve your ministry, please call us at 877-494-4655.

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