If your church hasn’t formalized an annual budgeting process, here’s a simple method to help you get started.
Deborah Ike · May 15, 2018
One aspect of financial stewardship is creating and monitoring a church-wide budget. A budget is a product of leadership deciding how it intends to allocate the church’s finances. If your church hasn’t formalized an annual budgeting process, here’s a simple method to help you get started.
Step #1 – Review Actuals
Before you try to determine what to budget for facilities maintenance, salaries, office supplies and other line items, it helps to know what you’ve spent in the past. Run reports from your financial system to see how much the church spent on various expenses the last 1-5 years. Viewing that time span of data will help you see spending trends such as whether you’re spending 10% more each year on salaries. Use this information as a starting point for the budget of each line item.
Step #2 – Budget by Department
Ideally, the finance director shouldn’t do all the budgeting. Instead, provide each department leader with the actuals information from prior years along with a template for budgeting for the upcoming year. Set a deadline for all department leaders to provide their proposed budgets.
The first time you do this, meet with them to discuss the prior year numbers and explain how the budgeting process works.
Make sure they budget for any revenue generating activities along with expenses (if they’ll host an event and will sell tickets, sell t-shirts or other items, etc.).