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Best Practices for Maintaining a Church Budget

church budget

Best Practices for Maintaining a Church Budget

With careful maintenance, your ministry’s budget can go farther. Of course, many people find difficulty doing this. If you don’t feel you’re excelling at maintaining a church budget, you’re not alone. Fortunately, we’ve gathered some of the best practices for ensuring you always have funds to work with and never run out.

1. Every goal should include a cushion.

Your budget should never use up every dollar you have available. On the contrary, you need to factor savings goals into your plan. Every budget should consider a small contribution to your rainy-day fund every month alongside saving for other goals, like future expansion and new programs.

2. Seek to balance your proportions.

It’s easy for one part of your budget to get out of control, especially if you’re taking on new team members as you continue growing and changing. The fact is, you need to be careful about where your money is going. For instance, personnel should cost, at the very most, 45% of your church’s budget each month. Ideally, the number will be closer to 30%.

You should analyze records from the past 2-3 years and find trends in categories like your faculty and facilities to see where the majority of your money is truly going. Reduce spending where possible, like by making the most of volunteer hours and negotiating expenses.

3. Set realistic goals and share them.

When deciding how to approach your church’s budget, think about stretching faith. In other words, be ambitious in your goal-setting, but no foolish. If you set goals that are too large or outright unobtainable, you will only discourage donors and your congregation at large from trying to achieve them.

Instead, you need to focus on setting realistic goals and finding inspiring ways to present them to your congregation. Talking about your church’s plans and goals is a really important part, as it helps inspire new donations and keep existing donors engaged.

4. Proactively connect donors to your vision.

Another aspect of attracting and engaging donors is proactively connecting them to your church’s vision and finances. At the end of the day, your church’s values and vision should be clearly represented just by looking at an expenditures sheet from any given time period.

If you’re able to be transparent about finances and demonstrate how your values are being put into practice each and every day, your donors will be all the more supportive of what you’re doing. After all, they just want to know that they are making a positive impact with the dollars they give to you.

5. Routinely check performance while maintaining a church budget.

A budget means nothing if you aren’t routinely checking in on it and comparing what you’re doing with what you should be doing. There may be months where you don’t bring in as much as you expected or where an out-of-the-blue expense interrupted some short-term goals. Regardless, it’s essential that you know where you’re at, even if you’re behind.

With that in mind, it can be a lot to handle. It’s a good idea to appoint someone to manage your finances, whether it’s their secondary responsibility or primary responsibility. Whoever takes on the task should be prepared to create reports regularly and brief the faculty on your church’s current financial performance at any given time.

6. Set SMART goals for sustainable growth.

Your church wants to grow as your community grows. However, in order to meet your community’s changing needs, you have to plan ahead. Some expansion plans may even be made years in advance, and for good reason. Your church needs time to save for growth.

You should always be looking ahead at the programs you’re considering implementing and other changes you want to invest in. You’ll need to make budget cuts and donation goals accordingly for the coming months and years so that you can grow sustainably, without relying heavily (or at all) on loans, credit, or similar sources.

7. Use the right software when maintaining a church budget.

Ultimately, maintaining your church’s budget requires you to juggle a lot of things at once. That can be tough if you don’t have the right tools in place to help you.

Use the Right Tools for Maintaining a Church Budget

If you want to make the most of your church’s money, the right software is critical to your success, and DonorWerx is one tool you should add to your stack. With DonorWerx, you can better manage your donors and donations, all while introducing new ways of giving to your congregation. Click here to learn more. You don’t have to get stuck maintaining a church budget on your own!

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