According to the ECCU, churches spend 82 percent of their yearly fiscal budget on administrative and maintenance costs which include personnel, facility maintenance and administration.
Jeremy Mika · March 2, 2017
There are good reasons to dust off this article from a couple of years ago. As we delve into 2017 we need to be every mindful of our finances. This story is meant to help your second largest budget - facility, get fiscally fit.
Consider these numbers for a moment: Eighty-two; three; two; one. These are all percentages in an average church budget. According to a study performed by the Evangelical Christian Credit Union, that anomaly in the set, the 82 percent, is not being used for children’s ministry, adult ministry or outreach as one might think.
Unfortunately, those ministries are actually occupied by the three, two and one percent respectively. According to the ECCU, churches spend 82 percent of their yearly fiscal budget on administrative and maintenance costs which include personnel, facility maintenance and administration. Of the 82 percent, 53 percent is allocated towards staff salaries and benefits, and 18 percent is for facility expenses including mortgage/rent (eight percent), utilities (six percent) and maintenance/upkeep (four percent). Aside from this 82 percent of the budget, another four percent is used for the ambiguous “other” expenses, leaving the average church with a paltry 14 percent of its income with which to perform actual ministry.
There has to be a better way to allocate funds for today’s churches. Facilities and administration are important facets needed to do church, no doubt, but are they 82 percent important? What can churches do to decrease the amount of funds that this albatross eats up from faithfully given tithes and offerings?
Budget Planning Pays Dividends
The place to start is obviously the budget planning room. Some churches avoid budgeting entirely, but generally the process of budgeting seems to pay dividends as it allows church leaders to tell the church’s money where to go, rather than simply wondering where it went. This is especially significant when it comes to budgeting for administrative costs like the maintenance of a facility.