It should answer questions such as, “What happens to the offering when it is collected? Who is in charge of it? Is it ever left alone and/or under what circumstances? What is the process from the time it is received until the time it goes into the bank? Are there multiple ways to give? Are there multiple types of giving funds? There are many other questions, but you can get the idea. You want to think it through and involve people in every step of the process. In setting up our ministry, I developed several different teams through which we accomplish various aspects of this ministry. Because of this structure, I have been able to involve a larger amount of people on these teams. The teams are described below:There was a time when I thought the stewardship ministry consisted mostly of receiving the offering on Sunday and making sure the bills were paid. But over the past couple of years, I have been able to realize that there is much more to it than this. In developing a Stewardship Ministry at my church I realized that one of the priorities of this ministry should be developing a system that promotes integrity. This can only be accomplished by having a system that has checks and balances in it. It requires having multiple people involved in the process and having a well thought out plan for every area that involves church funds.
- Collecting, Counting & Processing: This is always done by no less than two people. There is also a detailed cash-out process including a balance sheet.
- Accounts Receivable: On a weekly basis this team would enter receipts of tithes, offerings, etc. into the system and prepare deposits.
- Weekly Contacts: First time giver follow up contacts and other necessary follow up.
- Quarterly Donation Statements-These would be sent out in April, July, and October and in January. They are cumulative (the January mailing would be an annual donation statement.) This will help members be able to have quarterly overviews of their donations.
- Payroll: This person would be responsible for getting payroll out on the 10th of each month. If the 10th falls on a weekend it would be out the Thursday prior to the weekend. Payroll period would run the first day of the month through the end of the month. (This would give time between the end of the pay period and the time the checks actually go out.) The person would also submit quarterly 941 statements, taxes, etc. In addition would print and distribute the W-2’s at the end of the year. We have outsourced this portion to a Payroll Company (Paychex).
- Accounts Payable: This person would handle all of the monthly bills, reimbursements, process payments and make sure that they are mailed in throughout the month.
- Reconciling: This person would reconcile all accounts. This would be done on a monthly basis. It is good for accountability purposes to have this person be someone different than the accounts payable and accounts receivable people.
- Credit Cards: We have moved away from church based credit cards and have developed more of an accountable reimbursement system for ministry expenses. This has been more effective at tracking expenses.
- Budget Accountability/Management
- Finance Planning
- IRS Issues
Giving Central Team
- Free Financial Resources on Sundays/Web
- Ways to Give: Including automated, online, mail-in, on-site
- Promotional Material (Envelopes & Brochures)
- Giving Campaigns
- Big Giver Follow-Up & Development
- Stewardship Process & Vision Casting
- Financial Small Groups, Studies, Messages
- Development Classes (Membership, Maturity, etc…)
- Tithe Challenge