Five Financial Resources

April is National Financial Literacy Month, and ECF is offering five resources to help build and strengthen your congregation’s financial knowledge and capacity. Educating ourselves is the first step to being more effective about spending, saving and investing our funds for our congregational mission and ministry.

These five financial resources will enhance your financial education and decision-making.

1. Basics of Church Financial Reporting

In Basics of Church Financial Reporting - Part 1 and 2, Jerry Keucher explains how to write financial and budget reports, and ways to use them correctly to present a clear reflection of a church’s financial health. This spreadsheet is a useful template format for a financial report that can be easily understood. Click here to view sample vestry reports tied to the parochial report, Revenue/Expense Budget and Balance Sheet. You may also wish to view the ECF webinar entitled “Fearless Finances”.

2. Planned Giving

Healthy and vibrant future ministries in Episcopal congregations, schools, and other organizations will be built upon the legacies we leave today. Is your parish looking to jump start your planned giving efforts at your congregation? Did your parish start a planned giving program several years ago, but it stopped being active? ECF has many resources to support your parish at whatever planned giving stage you find yourself in. Take a look at Starting a planned giving program from scratch, one of the many helpful tools from ECF’s comprehensive toolkit Planned Giving on Demand.

3. Capital Campaigns

ECF's Discern-Study-Ask methodology has helped hundreds of Episcopal congregations, dioceses, and other ministries raise millions of dollars in capital funds. Learn more about our spiritually grounded approach to capital campaigns here. Has your parish never conducted a capital campaign? Your leadership may be interested in our webinar “Basics of a Capital Campaign” which can be viewed online here. You can also find answers to capital campaign FAQs here.

4. Calculating Cost of Church Space

Your church space is a valuable asset, and one that can be used to generate income. In How Much is Your Congregation’s Space Worth?, Jerry Keucher provides key questions to consider before renting out space and shares a tool to determine what it costs to operate and how much to charge. Click here to view a spreadsheet you can download that will help you find the answer to what it costs you to use and operate your church space.

5. Endowment Management Solutions

Getting the structure of your endowment right is often the key to its success. If you want to encourage legacy gifts to your endowment you will need to explain how the money will be used, how it will be invested, how much will be spent each year, and who is in charge of making those decisions. ECF offers a complete set of sample endowment policies (as editable Word documents) that have been used in hundreds of Episcopal institutions. Click here to learn more. For a basic understanding of endowments and best practices, watch this webinar.

For more information, please contact Jim Murphy, Managing Program Director for Endowment Management, Planned Giving and Donor Solutions at ECF.