Search the Leadership Resource Library
  • Congregational Staffing and Finances for July and Beyond: An Overview

    This page provides highlights from - and contains links to - a comprehensive memo that provides recommendations for staffing and finances during longer-term virtual operations due to the pandemic.
    By Jan Gartner, Richard Nugent | 6/10/2020
  • Electronic Giving

    Offering many ways to give is imperative during times of physical distancing.
    By Stewardship for Us, Rachel Maxwell | 3/31/2020
  • Don't Let Scammers Take Advantage During Anxious Times

    Scammers like to strike when people are anxious. Be sure to take a breath, then remind yourself, YOUR MINISTER WILL NEVER ASK YOU TO BUY GIFT CARDS!
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 3/19/2020
  • Congregations as Employers During the COVID-19 Pandemic

    How can your congregation be a good employer during the COVID-19 pandemic? Caring for staff is an opportunity to model your values and spirit for the congregation, to demonstrate the kindness, creativity, and interdependence that these days ask of us.
    By Jan Gartner | 3/19/2020
  • Options for the Back Office

    A big part of keeping a congregation going could be called “Back Office” tasks. These are important but hidden tasks, like emailing the newsletter and paying the bills. Doing these well can help a congregation stay healthy and vital.
    By Sarah Movius Schurr | 1/8/2020
    Filed in: LeaderLab
  • 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
  • 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
  • Electronic Giving in Congregations

    First Unitarian Society in Minneapolis recently started an electronic giving program and share with us what they are learning. Presented by Allan Callander, Former Finance Director at First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis. Host: Rev. Sharon Dittmar
    By First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis, Minneapolis, MN, Sharon Dittmar, MidAmerica Region of the UUA | 10/3/2018
  • How to Read Congregational Financial Documents

    This video walks you through the basics of reading Congregational financial documents.
    By David Pyle, Beth Casebolt | 9/14/2018
  • Help Keep Your Board Out of the Weeds with "Dashboard" Financial Reports

    It's hard for boards to operate with a 30,000 foot view of the congregation's finances when they are given detailed spreadsheets of tracking the minutia of the budget. A much more useful tool is a "dashboard" report.
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 8/16/2018
  • Talking About Money as People of Faith

    The power of money in our own lives often goes unexamined. This plays out in our congregations in all sorts of ways. What would it mean to your congregation to be able to talk about money in ways that are life-giving and healing?
    By Jan Christian, Kay Crider | 5/30/2018
    Filed in: LeaderLab
  • The Unique Finances of Your Minister

    You’ve probably heard that there are special tax rules for ministers. Most church leaders don’t need to be experts on ministerial compensation, but it’s important to understand the basics of how payroll and taxes for the minister differ from other employees. ...
    By Jan Gartner, UUA Ministries and Faith Development: Office of Church Staff Finances | 2/23/2018
  • Planning for Building Maintenance

    "Deferred Maintenance" and "Building Reserves" are terms that are often tossed around when talking about the budget, but what do they mean?
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 1/29/2018
  • Creating a Purpose-Based Budget

    We often claim that budgets are moral documents, and that congregational budgets should reflect our values. But line item budgets that include "office supplies, utilities, salary" and other such descriptions don't show how these line items serve the mission of the congregation....
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 1/5/2018
  • Green Eyeshades and Rose Colored Glasses

    Congregational budget-makers frequently divide into two camps that approach the task in different ways. The first camp is likely to include children of the Great Depression, experts in finance, elementary school teachers, and persons anxious about their own money situation....
    By Dan Hotchkiss, UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 3/20/2017
  • May Day! Budget Crisis! What To Do

    One of your top donors moves to be closer to their grandchildren. Another major donor gets a new job two states away. And then two or three of your oldest members pass away. When your annual stewardship drive comes along, your finance folks discover that--in spite of an overall...
    By Patricia Infante | 3/14/2017
  • Covenantal Faith in a Transactional World

    Because our congregations run on money, it's tempting to bring--along with it--assumptions about how money operates in other parts of our lives. We go to work and we get a paycheck. We pay the electric bill and the power company keeps our lights on. We pay at the first window...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 9/1/2015
  • There's a Hole in the Bucket...

    It happens more often than you think it should. The church seems to be vital, even growing, but the money in the collection plate doesn't keep up with the growth, or there seems to be a shortfall every month. There might be grumbling about how the new folks aren't pulling their...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 10/14/2014

For more information contact

Like, Share, Print, or Bookmark

Section Menu