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  • Completing W-2 Forms

    Guidance and resources for completing W-2 forms for both ministers and other congregational staff.
    By Jan Gartner | 12/6/2019
  • Exempt or Non-Exempt?

    The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law that protects employees by establishing standards for a minimum wage, overtime, recordkeeping, and youth employment. Every employee needs to be properly classified as exempt or nonexempt. Make sure you are in compliance!
    By Jan Gartner | 12/5/2019
  • Ministerial Compensation 101

    Is the minister an employer or independent contractor? Who is considered a minister?
    By Richard Nugent, Jan Gartner | 12/5/2019
  • Housing Allowance for Ministers

    The Ministerial Housing Allowance enables ministers to exclude some of their salary from certain taxes. For most active and retired ministers, it is their most important tax benefit.
    By Richard Nugent, Jan Gartner | 12/5/2019
  • UUA Compensation Consultants

    We know that learning about staff compensation can be confusing. UUA Compensation Consultants are here to help! Compensation Consultants are trained volunteers who work under the direction of the Office of Church Staff Finances.
    By Jan Gartner | 12/5/2019
  • Salary Recommendations for Congregational Staff

    Salary Recommendations should guide, but not limit, congregational compensation decisions. Retain excellent staff while aligning with your mission and values as a UU Congregation.
    By Jan Gartner | 12/5/2019
  • Inquire: Develop Feedback Loops for Leaders

    All systems need feedback loops and organizations like congregations are no different. Your Leadership Development program will be more responsive if you develop assessments and other tools to help you learn and adjust as needed.
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 12/5/2019
  • Core Leadership Trainings

    Effective Leadership Development teams focus on recruiting and relationship building. By using our suite of four leadership development trainings, you can spend less time on content and more on connection. All of our courses have discussion questions that you can use for in-...
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 12/4/2019
  • Copyright Policy

    Congregations need to follow copyright laws and ensure their leaders and staff are aware of these laws.
    12/2/2019
  • 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
  • Starting a RACI Conversation

    RACI charts are helpful to be clear about shared process, especially the part about which body gets to have “final” say.
    By Jonipher Kūpono Kwong | 11/18/2019
  • Further Accessibility: Closed Captioning of Services via WiFi

    The technology in our pockets now makes it possible to provide live translation of speech to text at church.
    By Bob Renjilian | 11/6/2019
  • Denominational Affairs Committee

    The denominational affairs committee provides a liaison between the congregation and both the Unitarian Universalist Association and the region.
    10/17/2019
  • Congregational Membership in the Unitarian Universalist Association

    A list of the documents and procedures you need to apply to be a member congregation of the UUA.
    By Heather Bond | 10/17/2019
  • Process Observation

    Healthy groups provide feedback loops so they can learn and grow as a group. One practice is to designate a "process observer" who takes notes on group process.
    By DRUUMM (Diverse & Revolutionary UU Multicultural Ministries) | 10/6/2019
  • Radical Hospitality Theology

    I believe that the theological basis for hospitality – radical hospitality –is the concept of the Creative Interchange as expressed by process theologian Henry Nelson Wieman. In Wieman’s theological model, the source of human good is what he calls the Creative Interchange. You...
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 9/29/2019
  • Whose Work Is It? Thoughts on Non-Violent Communication, Dominant Culture, and Power Dynamics

    Any tool, including NonViolent Communication, can be dangerous if it is used as a weapon, so let’s use the best tool for the job – and let’s use it in a way that doesn’t hurt anyone, including ourselves.
    By Lisa Bovee-Kemper | 9/25/2019
  • Sparking Creativity: Creating Abundance

    Every congregation I go to has a list of things they have to do or want to do that they just can’t do because they don’t have the resources – money, volunteers, energy, space, whatever it is. Maybe it’s time to change your framing so that you can create abundance.
    By Megan Foley | 9/11/2019
  • Sparking Creativity: Yes We Can If...

    When thinking about needed or wanted change, congregations can sometimes feel stymied. And, let’s face it, human systems like religious communities don’t tend to like to change. In a way, we need to trick the system in order to allow in energy and creativity.
    By Megan Foley | 9/11/2019
  • Communicating Changes to Bylaws

    Bylaws changes require approval by the congregation in a meeting of the whole. Like any significant change, changes to bylaws should be communicated as clearly as possible with lots of opportunity for questions and comments.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 9/11/2019
  • Employee or Independent Contractor?

    Each individual you compensate is either an employee or an independent contractor. This is a critical legal distinction, with implications for benefits, taxes, and more.
    By Jan Gartner | 8/13/2019
  • Social Media Policy

    A congregation's web presence is often its first chance to make a good impression. Design policies that balance accountability with creativity and engagement.
    8/13/2019
  • Showing Films in Congregations

    Planning to Show a Film? You are legally and ethically required to follow public performance laws.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 8/13/2019
  • Sharing Photos or Video with the UUA

    Your UUA staff loves to use photos from our congregations on the UUA website! Here's how:
    By UUA Information Technology Service Staff Group: Web Team | 8/13/2019
  • Sample Photo and Video Permission Form

    Congregations and other Unitarian Universalist (UU) organizations should adopt a permissions policy for photos and video. Here is a sample.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 8/13/2019
  • Photo and Video Permissions Policy

    Even with the wide sharing of photos and video on social social media, congregations still need policies that enable them to follow copyright law, protect the vulnerable and follow the core value of consent.
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 8/13/2019
  • Website Policies

    In most cases, a communications vehicle that represents a congregation should be owned and operated by the congregation as a whole, and be used to further the mission and values of the congregation. Along those lines, here are some specific areas that might be helpful for...
    8/13/2019
  • When Thinking About Fundraising, Think "Pockets"

    Giving to the annual operating fund is the “monthly expenses” pocket, giving to the capital campaign is the “home renovations” pocket. What other pockets of giving do we see in congregations?
    By Renee Ruchotzke | 8/13/2019
  • Staffing and Interdependence: When a Staff Member Changes Congregations

    When a staff member changes congregations, these values and suggestions can help uphold sound processes and healthy relationships.
    By Jan Gartner, Jonipher Kūpono Kwong, UUA Ministries and Faith Development: Office of Church Staff Finances, UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 8/4/2019
  • Assess Your Hospitality Using Secret Seekers

    Almost all of our visitors come hoping that they will find their spiritual home. They have not just wandered off the street and into our sanctuaries, they have done their homework: They know what Unitarian Universalism claims to be, and are now seeing if a particular...
    By Pacific Western Region of the UUA | 8/2/2019
  • Money Matters Resources

    Consulting, Publications and Connects for Congregational Finance staff and leaders.
    7/29/2019
  • Endowment Funds

    Endowments need special handling to ensure transparency, accountability and impact.
    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.
    7/29/2019
  • 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.
    7/26/2019
  • 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

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For more information contact conglife@uua.org.

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