Browsing articles in "Church Finance"
Aug
19
2011

Finance Fridays: Vision and Your Budget

charts and graphs

In many churches across the country the fiscal year is coming to a close and preparations for next years budget are being made.  Over the next several weeks meetings will be had, proposals will be made, and budgets will be set.  While many church leaders that I know dread this time of year, wanting nothing more than to endure this necessary evil and get on with the rest of their lives, some have begun to lean into […]

Aug
5
2011

Finance Fridays: Cut Costs or Rethink Models?

Change

This week I have been thinking a good bit about the church in America, and where we manage our finances.  It started because of a story from The Tennessean about the number of churches in the state that have been closing their doors over the last year due to shrinking congregations or dwindling finances.  Later in the week Andrew Jones’ post about potential topics for The Nine’s conference this year really crystallized the thoughts that I have […]

Jul
29
2011

Finance Fridays: Cash Reserves- What’s Enough?

Safe Piggy Bank

Over the past few years I’ve seen a lot of struggling churches. I’m always looking for the common problems. One recurring problem I’ve seen with almost every struggling ministry I’ve worked with is a lack of adequate liquidity management. We all know it’s prudent to have some savings, but the ministries I’ve seen get into the most trouble have lacked the willingness or ability to set aside savings and live below their income. Once you make the decision to […]

Jul
22
2011

Finance Fridays: Check Card Dangers

check card

One of the more difficult conversations that I have with churches in my role with Dime is about church check cards.  Over the last several years check cards have become an increasingly lucrative revenue stream for banks (one source I read states that banks receive nearly $1.50 per check card purchase), resulting in a push to put check cards in the hands of as many people as possible.  Until I began my time at Dime, […]

Jul
15
2011

Finance Fridays: A Culture of Generosity

puzzle pieces

This week I read three different blog posts that have me thinking about the way we handle developing a culture of generosity in the church.  Jeff Brooks wrote a post on his blog called Uncomfortable Fundraising which argues that far too much time is spent making sure that people won’t feel uncomfortable when they are asked to make a gift.  Brooks says that this is exactly the wrong way to go… that you need to be […]

Jul
1
2011

Finance Fridays: Preparing for a Loan

loan document

Church loans, like almost all loans, are more difficult to get today than they were a few years ago. The financial crisis that crippled the banking sector has had a direct impact on the willingness and ability of institutions to fund church projects.  During my time at ECCU I have helped countless churches think through what it takes to be approved for a loan, and advised them how to prepare their finances. So how do […]

Jun
24
2011

Finance Fridays: Stop Being Cheap!

Last Dollar

I like Bob Lutz. I have always enjoyed his candor, and his interview on Colbert a few years back solidified my man crush on him.  Earlier this month Kai Ryssdal interviewed Lutz on Marketplace, where Bob said this: But it is true that giving the customer the absolute finest automobile that General Motors could possibly produce has proven to be the correct approach to the automobile business because this finance-generated effort to skimp and see […]

Jun
17
2011

Finance Fridays: The Summer Dip and Appeal Letters

giving to charity

Last night I had a great email dialog with Marc Pitman about appeal letters and emails. Summer is here and within the next ten days nearly every school district in the nation will have entered the summer break.  The summer is an interesting season for the life of the church.  As families enjoy vacations and take advantage of their kids being out of school, many churches find themselves closely watching their cash flow as the […]

Jun
3
2011

Finance Fridays: Saying Thank You

thank you 2

One of the greatest and most commonly missed opportunities in the church (and most of the non-profit world) is the opportunity to say “Thank You!” Saying thank you needs to be done immediately, often, and enthusiastically. Never assume people know that you are grateful for their contributions, assume that if they don’t hear from you, they will believe that you are not grateful. Here are a few points to consider: On any given Sunday, a […]

May
27
2011

Finance Fridays: Church Planters and Communication

thank you

I spend a good bit of my time working with church planters.  At the end of my first phone call with a planter I ask them all to do the same thing: put me on their email list.  I do this because I am geeky about church plants, and love to watch what happens with them.  I enjoy getting updates on how God is moving in a church and praying for their struggles.  I greatly […]

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