Only 42% of churches accept online donations — new survey results


Only 42% of churches accept online donations. This stat was one of the eye-opening revelations uncovered by Dunham + Company in their latest church survey. Perhaps more startling though, is that of those churches who do offer a digital option, they only see 11 percent to 13 percent of their total contributions come through that method, on average. To better understand these numbers, and what churches can do to improve upon them, I jumped on a call with Rick Dunham, president and CEO of Dunham + Company.


Best practices: insurance review and planning


The loan underwriting process is centered on determining the level of risk associated with each ministry. As a part of that risk management process, we inquire about the amount of debt, cash reserves, as well as the limits and type of insurance coverage the ministry maintains.


Intelligent church giving: making sense of marketplace mumbo jumbo

Data and technology provide church leaders with new ways of thinking about how to overcome financial challenges or fund growing ministry opportunities. Consequently, there are a lot of new concepts and topics being discussed across ministry circles. Before you write off the ideas as “marketplace mumbo-jumbo,” let’s consider a few reasons why they might be applicable to your ministry.


Does it make sense to refinance right now? (Even though you might be facing a prepayment penalty)


If you haven’t already heard while listening to the evening news, the 15-year historic graphs indicate that while interest rates are still relatively low, they might have bottomed and be on their way up. While many think rates are likely to increase in the future, no one knows how much they will rise or when. Now might prove to be a good time to refinance existing debt and secure a long-term fixed rate if possible.


Internal controls keep fraud at bay


“What happens in accounting, stays in accounting.” If your finance team’s motto goes something like this, you might have an internal controls problem. Internal controls are put in place to clearly define proper procedures for finance and accounting team members, to minimize risk, and to alleviate suspicion. Even churches must mitigate risk and ensure that policies and procedures are in place and functioning as intended.


Planning for retirement: it’s your choice


“Do I buy a car or lease one?” “Do I work to pay for my education — or my children’s — or do I take out a loan?” “Do I rent an apartment or buy a house?” For each of these questions, making the right decision depends on a number of factors that are unique to you. But one financial question leaves us with very few choices: “Do I save for retirement?”


PHASE 4: Commitment


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.


Religious institution financing truths—regardless of the lending climate


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.


Proof that adding mobile giving won’t increase your church’s budget


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.


Hail Mary or holy moly: there’s got to be a better way to fund ministry


Many church leaders have realized that data and technology provide new ways of thinking about how they can overcome their increasing financial challenges.