Year-end tax & portfolio planning for pastors

ThinkstockPhotos-504545525

November and December are a busy time of year for most pastors. Following the Thanksgiving holiday, the liturgical calendar begins anew with the season of Advent. As preparations are made to celebrate the coming of the Christ child, extra services need to be planned, multiple sermons need to be written, rehearsals are in full swing for the Christmas pageant, and pastors are also ministering to those for whom the holidays are not such a joyous time.

Amidst all these preparations, pastors need to set aside some time to focus on year-end financial details that have tax implications for 2015 and 2016. Don’t let the following items slip past you.

Share

The CE Interview: Chris Hodges

Chris Hodges has a heart for training and equipping pastors and leaders. Every year, he and his team host the Grow Leadership Intensive where they provide practical training for church leaders from around the world.

In February 2001, Chris Hodges founded Church of the Highlands with a launch team of 34 people. Today, nearly 15 years later, around 30,000 attendees gather to worship each weekend in its multiple locations throughout Central Alabama.

Share

How messaging tech can drive fundraising efforts

Did you know that everyone with a mobile phone — even if it’s not a smart phone — has access to SMS (text) messaging? And, virtually everyone knows how to use it.

Share

CAPITAL PLANS 101: What they are. Why you need one.

“We’re an old church; we just replace things when they break.”

This is the common response when I ask church leaders throughout the nation about their long-term capital planning strategy. While this statement might be true for many worship facilities, for many years, that doesn’t mean it’s the wisest form of stewardship for a church’s physical assets.

Share

Investing with purpose: the rise of responsible investing

COMPASS

More than ever before, individuals are aligning their finances with their personal beliefs. The noted increase in charitable giving in the United States, as shown in recent findings from the National Center for Charitable Statistics, is a great example of this positive shift. But, individuals are not only trying to use their finances for good by helping others; they are investing in companies that align with their values, too. For example, last year, one out of every six dollars invested under professional management — $6.57 trillion or more — was invested in a socially conscious investment strategy, as reported in the 2014 Report on Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing Trends in the United States by US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment.

While the strategies go by various names — environmental, social and governance investing (ESG), socially responsible investing (SRI), biblically responsible investing (BRI), ethical investing, impact investing and many more — the goal of these fund managers is to reflect the beliefs of the investors they serve.

Share

Church accounting basics: EMPLOYEE — to be or not to be

200341856-001

If your church is anything like mine, you are constantly trying to navigate the requirements of our nation’s employment laws. When researching the topic of “employee versus independent contractor,” what I find is consistently inconsistent. It’s easy to get lost in the lack of interpretation.

Share

It’s time to work smarter, not harder

Simple church can feel incredibly complex at times. There are always more people to reach. There is always more ministry that can be done.

Share

What are banks looking for?

Long-term interest rates appear to have bottomed out and are projected to increase by year-end. So, now is the time to consider borrowing funds to undertake important building initiatives or refinancing existing debt.

Share

Finance & lending trends: time to expand to new location(s)?

As unemployment has declined and consumer confidence has grown, it appears that the post-meltdown reluctance to solicit donors for capital pledges for religious institution expansion is abating.

This is giving way to pent-up demand for worship space.

Share

3 myths pastors believe about church giving technology

Imagine a church experience where the pastor stands before the congregation, casting a vision. There’s a family in need. A building needs repairs. A project requires a bit more funding. All the things that your church loves to get behind because it makes a huge difference in the community.

Share