THIS IS THE QUESTION FOR FINANCE COMMITTEES:
HOW DO WE EXTEND THE OFFERING PLATE?
Today’s finance committees do not need to be experts in accounting practices. Save those folk for the yearly audit. Today’s finance committees need to:
- Understand their congregation: the ways members give, their capacity, giving habits and philanthropic interests
- Available models for giving, Tithe.ly/elca
- When and how to ask
- Understand the three-fold means of giving: Annual, Special and Legacy.
- Create and update a Ministry Funding Plan that captures all means of giving and directs those gifts toward common goals.
- Have oversight over all three means of giving, and seek ways to inform the congregation how to plug-in to each form.
- Establish and annually review Gift Acceptance Policies and Endowment By-Laws.
- Select online software that connects giving to membership, and offers selective access to different groups who need to be able to segment givers by their interest areas.
- Write, update and implement policies and training for Counters in order to normalize the reporting from week to week and facilitate accuracy.
- Easy breezy. Adopt the “Donor Bill of Rights” (see resources). These guidelines are good and common practice across all not-for-profit organizations. Teach them. Abide by them. Share them. Maintain ethical practices for sharing donor information according to the Donor Bill of Rights.