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Finance Committee
Finance Committee

The Finance Committee assists the board and financial officers (i.e. the Treasurer) in monitoring and managing the congregation's financial resources by providing reports and making recommendations. The authority to make decisions from this information rests with the board.

Some finance committees are comprised of representatives from different financial groups or functions within the church (e.g. Treasurer, Pledge tracking, endowment, stewardship, facilities, administrative staff). Others are appointed by the board to provide oversight for the different financial roles, groups or functions. Whatever the structure, the responsibility and accountability should be outlined in board policy.

Potential Finance Committee Responsibilities

  • Developing a draft annual operating budget in conversation with other committees and ministry teams that is in alignment with the mission and vision of the congregation
  • Developing a Purpose-Based Budget for use with the annual stewardship campaign
  • Assisting the annual stewardship campaign team
  • Tracking pledge and other income against trends in previous years
  • Monitoring the congregation's income, expenses, and pledge payments, and it makes regular reports (both detailed and dashboard) to the board 
  • Recommending and/or approving additional fundraising activities in the congregation
  • Recommending Property, Liability and other forms of insurance
  • Recommending Financial Policies and Procedures
  • Recommending Rental Policies
  • Provide for an annual financial review or audit

Sample Finance Committee Charter Policy

The Board of Trustees of _____ charters the formation of a Finance Committee.  The Finance Committee will hold the responsibility and authority to monitor and advise the Board of Trustees on the fiscal health, financial operations, and the stewardship of the church.  The Finance Committee will make decisions that are resonant with Unitarian Universalist values and the church's stated vision and mission. The Finance Committee will be accountable to the Board of Trustees.

The Finance Committee will consist of _____ voting members, including the Treasurer and (give details of members).  All voting members must be members in good standing of _____.

Finance Committee Chair

a)The Finance Committee Chair will be appointed by the Board of Trustees to a # year term.  The Finance Committee Chair should have a minimum of # years experience as a member of the Finance Committee.  The Finance Committee Chair is a voting member of the Finance Committee.  The Finance Committee Chair may be removed from the position at any time by a vote of the Board of Trustees. 

Treasurer

The Board of Trustees Treasurer is voting member of the Finance Committee.  The term and election procedure for the Treasurer is set in the by-laws. 

Senior Minister

The Senior Minister is an ex-officio member of the Finance Committee. 

# Board-Appointed Members

The Board Appointed Members of the Finance Committee are voting members who are to be experienced lay-leaders of the congregation, jointly nominated by the Treasurer and the Finance Committee Chair.  They serve alternating # year terms, and can be re-appointed to one additional # year term. 

Administrative Staff

The (Administrative Staff Book-keeping Position) will be non-voting staff support to the Finance Committee. 

Decisions

Decisions of the Finance Committee will be by consensus.  If consensus cannot be reached, the Finance Committee Chair may call for a vote.  In the case of a vote, the decision will be reached by a majority vote.  Decisions taken by the Finance Committee will be communicated to the Board of Trustees and the Congregation by the Treasurer.

Authority and Responsibility

The Board of Trustees delegates the following authority and responsibility to the Finance Committee:

  • To monitor the fiscal health of the congregation, including but not limited to all reports from the church’s contracted accounting service.  The Finance Committee, through the Treasurer, will regularly report to the Board of Trustees on the fiscal health of the congregation.
  • To develop and maintain procedures for all efforts at fundraising within the church, excepting (name any exceptions) 
  • The Finance Committee may recruit and supervise a Fundraising Team for the specific purpose of organizing and coordinating fundraising events and programs for the benefit of the church. 
  • To develop and maintain procedures for the Stewardship program of the church.  The Finance Committee may recruit and supervise a team to conduct the church’s pledging program. 
  • To approved an annual budget for each fiscal year, to be approved by the Board of Trustees and submitted for congregational approval at the Annual Meeting. 
  • To review all over-budget and off-budget expenditure proposals and provide guidance to the Board of Trustees as to the feasibility of said expenditures.  The Finance Committee has the authority to decide what account, fund, or line-item such expenditures are drawn from. 
  • To ensure that the financial accounts of the church are balanced and well maintained.  This includes but is not limited to advising the church’s accounting service and the office manager on how to maintain the accounts.  The Finance Committee and the Treasurer share responsibility for maintaining proper banking accounts and savings tools.  The Finance Committee will produce and maintain proper procedures for church bookkeeping.
  • To develop and maintain proper procedures for monitoring and notifying members and pledging friends as to the status of their financial pledge.  All members and pledging friends should receive a written notification of their pledge status no less than twice per year.  These procedures will include but not be limited to how to regularly contact members and pledging friends who are behind in their pledge. 
  • To develop and maintain procedures for the counting of donations, and to recruit, train, and supervise an Offering Team to ensure the offering is counted. 

Accountability

  • The Treasurer will provide a dashboard and detailed report to the Board of Trustees’ consent agenda or agenda monthly.
  • The Finance Committee will provide an annual report to the Congregation at the Annual Meeting.
  • The Finance Committee is accountable to all decisions of the Congregation at the Congregational Meeting. 
  • The Finance Committee is accountable to all policy approved by the Board of Trustees.
  • The Finance Committee is accountable to all direction of the Board of Trustees. 
  • The Finance Committee will produce and maintain all necessary procedures to fulfill these responsibilities.

The email list UU-Money is for information sharing among society finance leaders.

About the Author

  • The regional Congregational Life staff are congregations' local connection to the UUA. All of the program Congregational Life staff have expertise in most aspects of congregational life and each also has a few program areas of expertise. See the UUA Congregational Life Staff...

For more information contact conglife@uua.org.

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