5 compliance challenges EVERY church leader needs to know about

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The landscape for churches and ministries is filled with pitfalls.

Over the last 20 years, Congress and the IRS have become very interested in the activities of churches, ministries and nonprofits, which has led to the enactment of section 4958 and the creation of the Exempt Organizations Executive Compensation Compliance Project, resulting in increased enforcement presence and millions of dollars in fines.

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Legal dos and don’t for pastors during an election year

VOTE

Since 1954, churches — and other nonprofits in America — have been prohibited from engaging in certain kinds of political activity. While these limitations might be an affront to the moral conscience of many pastors across America, it has become a way of life for 501(c)(3) organizations.

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Background check red flags: what to watch for, what they indicate — and what to do if they arise

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Ministries need to be aware that even the best applicant on paper might not seem so squeaky clean after a background check. It’s important that church leaders have a standardized policy when it comes to identifying “red flags” that will disqualify someone from employment or volunteer positions. Even red flags such as behavior or character traits need to be thoughtfully weighed as they could expose the church to increased risk.

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What to do if your church is subject to a liability claim

BANANA SLIPPER

Accidents happen; it’s inevitable. And when those accidents occur, it can be a scary time for both the injured party and the church. When such events take place and the injured party files a claim against the church, it’s called a liability claim.

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The most expensive form of labor — volunteer labor

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Not infrequently, pastors and their parish / congregational administrators, board and / or committee members are inclined to avail themselves of “donated” labor in the form of volunteers who purport to have the appropriate experience, expertise and equipment required to perform some necessary project work on or within parish buildings.

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Want to move “beyond insurance”?

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You probably noticed that this new series of articles has been retitled to Never Again: Beyond Insurance. But, how does a church organization get “beyond insurance” — and should it even try?

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Time to re-screen? Best practices for the long term

A Virginia church is at the center of every congregation’s worst nightmare: One of its former volunteers is accused of sexually abusing several children he met through the church.

The worst part is that these newest charges come six years after similar allegations plagued the man and the church.

Once a clean record, not always a clean a record.

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Safety Strategies: Safeguard your church — and your people

HOODY MAN

The word “church” typically conjures up an image of a safe, nurturing environment where people go to share and celebrate their faith. But, the reality can be a bit more complicated.

Too often, churches become an irresistible target for criminals because their open-door policies and limited staffing levels can make it easy to pilfer expensive sound systems, audiovisual equipment and artwork.

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What happens after you submit a church insurance claim?

ROOF ON FIRE

Accidents happen. Catastrophes are unpredictable. There are many situations a church might encounter that will require submitting an insurance claim.

To a church, the claims process can be overwhelming, as you might have little understanding of what happens behind
the scenes.

To offer insight and make the process easier for you and your insurance company, learn about who you’ll be working with, how you can be prepared after submitting a claim, and the settlement timeline.

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Protecting children in the church: the true cost of stewardship

Ministries have a bold task. You want — and need — to be good stewards of your communities and congregations. That can often lead to conflicting methodologies when it comes to balancing budgets.

While you want to devote the majority of your money to your missions, outreach and education programs, you also understand the importance of recruiting quality volunteers and employees, and prioritizing hiring procedures.

This, of course, has a dollar value, too.

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