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  • Board Committees

    Boards, especially in congregations with 100 or more members, find that delegating part of their fiduciary work to committees and/or task forces helps to free them up for big-picture and visionary discussions. The board reserves decision-making authority.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 11/24/2019
  • Money Matters Resources

    Consulting, Publications and Connects for Congregational Finance staff and leaders.
  • Endowment Funds

    Endowments need special handling to ensure transparency, accountability and impact.
  • Money Matters: Financial Management for Congregations

    As organizations largely staffed by volunteers who may not have a business or accounting background, congregations will want to establish systems, policies and procedures to reinforce financial health and vitality.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 7/29/2019
  • Embezzlement

    Embezzlement from congregations is not unusual, and it almost always occurs when one individual has been granted such a high degree of trust with no safeguards.
    By Kim Sweeney | 7/29/2019
  • Audits

    Rarely can congregations pay for a full-blown audit of the church books by a CPA. An alternative is a management review of the congregation’s cash management procedures, which can be done by any other accountant or experienced church bookkeeper.
  • Tax Exempt Status

    UU Congregations are churches, and exempt under U.S. Tax Law. There may be advantages to seeking 501(c)(3) such as sales tax exemption.
    By UUA Ministries and Faith Development: Office of Church Staff Finances | 7/29/2019
  • Financial Reports

    Financial reports help the finance committee and the board assess the financial health of the congregation so they can make adjustments or decisions as needed.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 7/26/2019
  • Minister’s Discretionary Fund

    A Minister’s Discretionary Fund is an account that the minister or pastoral care team can use to provide confidential assistance to those facing emergency financial need.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 7/26/2019
  • Cash Reserves

    A congregations’ income ebbs and flows, so it is a good idea to have some cash reserves that can help keep the bills paid in the summer when attendance and pledge payments fall off.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 7/26/2019
  • Operating Budget

    Your operating budget helps your congregation live its mission in the world. How you allocate your resources reflects your values and goals.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 7/26/2019
  • Restricted Accounts

    A portion of the money in the church’s checking accounts may represent money that is held for specific restricted purposes, including various religious education accounts, social action accounts, the minister’s discretionary fund, etc.
  • Payroll

    Once the salary and benefits are set by the appropriate church leadership based on recommended practices, it’s important to make sure the payroll is handled accurately and confidentially.
    By UUA Ministries and Faith Development: Office of Church Staff Finances | 7/26/2019
  • Rental Income

    There are nuanced tax rules regarding income derived from renting your building and/or parking lot, depending on its relation to your core purpose.
    By UUA Ministries and Faith Development: Office of Church Staff Finances | 7/25/2019
  • Gifts and Gratitude: Reporting Contributions and Record Keeping

    When it comes to tracking financial gifts from members in the form of pledge payments and other donations, it's important to remember that the gifts of money are a form of relationship, not just another financial transaction.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 7/25/2019
  • Electronic Giving

    If dropping a check or cash into the basket is the only way your congregation invites financial gifts, many in your pews can’t participate in the offering even if they feel called to do so.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 7/25/2019
  • Avoiding Scams

    Because relationship, compassion and trust are all qualities that congregations are trying to cultivate, church members and staff can fall prey to bad actors and con artists.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 7/25/2019
  • Staff Credit Cards

    Many congregations supply a credit card to more easily segregate work-related expenses. Staff members would only use the card for professional or church expenses.
    By UUA Ministries and Faith Development: Office of Church Staff Finances | 7/25/2019
  • Expense Reimbursements

    Employees and volunteers should be reimbursed for approved church related expenses upon submission of receipts and accurate expense reports that conform to the annual budget and IRS requirements.
    By UUA Ministries and Faith Development: Office of Church Staff Finances | 7/25/2019
  • Professional Expense Allowances

    US tax law provides that staff may consider certain items as usual business expenses that are reimbursed beyond the compensation paid to individuals as a necessary expense that is not reported for income tax purposes.
    By UUA Ministries and Faith Development: Office of Church Staff Finances | 7/25/2019
  • Paying Bills (Disbursements)

    When making sure that your bills are being paid efficiently, accurately and on time, your congregation also needs safeguards to make sure no one has the opportunity to use your system to embezzle funds.
    By UUA Ministries and Faith Development: Office of Church Staff Finances | 7/25/2019
  • Church Financial Management Software Safeguards

    In setting up church financial management software, it’s important to provide safeguards to prevent tampering with the electronic records
    By UUA Ministries and Faith Development: Office of Church Staff Finances | 7/25/2019
  • Segregation of Financial Duties

    All financial best practices depend on reducing the risk of embezzlement or theft by increasing transparency and detection by creating systems and roles that segregate key duties.
    By UUA Ministries and Faith Development: Office of Church Staff Finances | 7/24/2019
  • Handling Petty Cash

    Any petty cash kept in the building should be in a locked file cabinet or safe and should be disbursed only upon submission of a written request.
    By UUA Ministries and Faith Development: Office of Church Staff Finances | 7/24/2019
  • Securing the Sunday Offering

    The Sunday offering is fairly vulnerable to theft or embezzlement unless good checks and balances are in place.
    By UUA Ministries and Faith Development: Office of Church Staff Finances | 7/24/2019
  • Congregational Financial Health

    Having a healthy culture around money will help a congregation have less anxiety and more open communication around money.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 7/24/2019
  • Typical Board Role Responsibilities

    Some responsibilities are held in common by all officers and and trustees, and some duties are specific to a particular office. The bylaws should give an general description.
  • Crowdfunding UU Dreams Through Chalice Lighters and Faithify

    Presented during General Assembly 2018 as one of the poster sessions. Crowdfunding Programs available in Unitarian Universalism.
    By Andrea Perry Lerner | 6/4/2018
  • Innovation and Inspiration for UU Stewardship

    Part of the Wi$dom and Generosity Track at the 2016 General Assembly, this workshop equips lay and ordained leadership for effective stewardship in our congregations. It is a "flash” presentation of the most innovative and successful fundraising ideas.
    By Mary Katherine Morn, Vail Weller, Amy Shaw, Darcy Roake, Eric Kaminetzky, Laura Randall, UUA Stewardship and Development Staff Group | 6/24/2016
  • Multi-Site Ministry: Lowering the Walls Between Us

    Satellites, multi-site, yolked ministries and partnerships can explored by all types of congregations - tiny, large, urban, rural, clustered, or isolated. Might multi-site be right for you?
    By Scott Tayler, Tandi Rogers | 6/27/2014
  • Living Your Purpose II: Aspirational Values and Vision

    Once a congregation understands its mission, the next step is to discern how it wants to deepen and grow as a congregation. This workshop outlines processes for discerning aspirational values and ways to create and use a vision statement in devising a strategic plan and annual...
    By Patricia Infante, Douglas Taylor, UU Congregation of Binghamton, Binghamton, NY | 6/26/2014
  • Living Your Purpose I: Core Values and Mission

    Purpose-filled people are misson-driven. Workshop participants will explore discerning congregational core values, how to articulate them as mission, and how to make a mission "portable" to provide alignment for all of its ministries, strategies, and resource allocation.
    By Joe Sullivan, UU Congregation of Binghamton, Binghamton, NY, UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 6/26/2014
  • Rude Awakenings: Practicing Civility in Our Congregations

    Is rudeness a quality of Unitarian Universalism? How else to explain the lack of hospitality exhibited by many congregations toward unbidden guests? This workshop will explore the prevalence of rudeness in our society, how it is seeping through the walls of our congregations,...
    By Mark Bernstein | 6/26/2014
  • Radical Relationship II: The Theology of Covenant

    Our choice to organize around our promises among ourselves and with that which invokes our ultimate commitment is our greatest strength. Using Process Theology, we offer a framework as well as practical spiritual practices showing how living in covenant can create space for...
    By Renee Ruchotzke, Jeanelyse Doran Adams, Douglas Zelinski | 6/21/2013
  • Radical Relationship I: The Science of Covenant

    If Unitarian Universalism’s crux were reduced to a few points in space and time, they would be those potent moments just before and just after we keep promises, or break them. The power of those moments is simple, shocking, and science-based. Explore that power—its science,...
    By Douglas Zelinski, Jeanelyse Doran Adams, Renee Ruchotzke | 6/20/2013
  • Founding and Sustaining a UU Military Support Group

    Practical advice about successfully founding and sustaining a group to provide fellowship and support for our active duty service folx, reservists, veterans and their families.
    By David Pyle, Seanan R. Holland, Cynthia Kane | 6/19/2008
  • Senior Minister as Head of Staff

    If the minister is going to be held responsible for staff performance , it's only fair that the congregation authorize the minister to supervise the other members of the staff.
    By Stefan Jonasson | 3/22/2006
  • Church Office Basics

    An efficient office requires creative management and close adherence to deadlines. It also requires close cooperation between staffs and volunteers.
  • A Guide to Creating a Board Policy Book

    To help your congregation be nimble and effective, consider putting only the essentials in your congregation's bylaws, and put the rest into board policies. No matter the size of your congregation, policies can help to build institutional memory and structure, but can have the...
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 7/24/1999
  • Staff Benefits

  • Grants and Loans


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