Sunday, 7 April 2013

Presenting the Church Budget

It is the moment that many Treasurers dread:  presenting the budget at the church meeting.  Treasurers are often bearers of bad news.  Church donations are down.  Aging church buildings need major repairs.  Staff salaries inevitably go up.  Church reserve funds (if there are any) are declining.  So, what do you do to engage your audience and obtain their support?

Here are 3 tips to help you make your case:
  1. Recognize that you are not alone.  The budget may be your responsibility, but addressing the needs of the church is everyone’s job.  So, add someone to your team or committee who understands selling and who is comfortable talking persuasively to a group of people.
  2. See the budget document in a fundraising light.  People want to give to thriving organizations with vision and drive.  Propping up a declining organization is not inspirational.  The budget document needs to reflect a strategy that leads to sustainability.  If there is no such strategy, then you need to get the full Board involved early in the planning process.
  3. Focus on the church’s mission.  Highlight the good work of the church and make the case that in order to grow, or even continue, attention needs to be paid to the building and the staff.  People will support administrative expenses when they can put them in the context of successful programs and community outreach.

The Treasurer’s position involves a lot of work and responsibility.  Having a team behind you will ease the burden.