For church leaders, preparing for a capital campaign “commitment service” is similar to football coaches preparing for the Super Bowl. Here, Paul Gage weighs in on how to maximize this giving experience.
As the business administrator of a religious institution, you don’t need to be an experienced commercial developer to get a construction loan — you just need an expert ministry bank.
A few months ago, I sat down for coffee with a young executive pastor. He was technologically savvy, ambitious and full of positivity as his church had seen triple-digit growth in the last few years.
As soon as the topic of church software came up, his countenance changed.
Many church leaders have realized that data and technology provide new ways of thinking about how they can overcome their increasing financial challenges.
Depending on your role at the church, you’ll hear the word “audit” and come to one of two conclusions:
If you’re the finance manager, you understand the need for the substantiation of the integrity of the data — even though an audit can add to your already busy workload.
If you’re the pastor, it comes down to one word: “Why?” The financials are written in what appears to be a foreign language, and they don’t seem to help as you try to make good, mission-critical decisions, anyway.
It’s a rare person who doesn’t feel like they’re navigating rocky terrain when negotiating salary and compensation. This can be especially true for clergypersons.
Now more than ever, all organizations are exposed to risk, including cyber security breaches and internal fraud. Religious institutions — which strive on building a trusting relationship with their members and employees on the foundation of religious beliefs, coupled with tight budgets and limited financial oversight — are even more vulnerable to fraud and abuse.
The statistics on Americans and retirement planning are staggering. More than half of us do not know how much we will need to live a comfortable retirement, and 60 percent have saved less than $25,000. For clergy, the economics of retirement can be even more challenging.
For most of my professional career, I have been anti-performance and payment bond-oriented. To me, they seem like such a waste of money. In short, they’re just an insurance policy (although the Surety industry would say they are not “insurance” but rather a “guarantee” — semantics!) in the unlikely event the general contractor on a job is unable to complete the project (usually due to a bankruptcy or other major catastrophe related to the contractor). In theory, that sounds great. It almost feels like the proverbial “Get Out Of Jail” card. But is it really?
Televangelist Creflo Dollar recently came under fire for asking that 200,000 of his followers donate $300 each to buy a $60-million luxury jet for his use. In the wake of bad publicity associated with the request, it appears that he may have cancelled the campaign before reaching his goal. The problem is: What happens to money already collected?