A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.
Recently I had the opportunity to connect with Rob Kuck of Philanthrocorp. We discussed some of the changes that are coming in tax law if the looming 'fiscal cliff' isn't resolved by Dec. 31. Several options are being discussed, including one which would limit and/or entirely eliminate tax deductions for charitable contributions. Additionally, estate tax changes are on the horizon. Here are notes from our conversation.
What possible implications in the charitable tax area that might result from the looming "fiscal cliff" we are hearing about in the news?
Due to the political climate in Washington many pundits agree that it’s entirely possible that no resolution will be reached before the December 31st “fiscal cliff” deadline. Read more »
In the spring of 2011, Andrea and I had reached giving goals that we had set for ourselves the year before. We were feeling great that God had so blessed us that we were able to give at levels we had never attained before. Having given beyond the tithe for years, this marked a new level of generosity for us. And, to top it off, these goals were reached during the same year our youngest entered college. Now we were paying the expenses for two to be in full-time higher education, and yet, giving at never-before-seen levels! Thank you God.
As it happened, I went to the Exponential Conference in Orlando that spring, feeling really good about where we were with our giving. I wouldn’t go as far to say we were ‘proud’ of our accomplishment, but we were enjoying the satisfaction of reaching a goal. OK, maybe we were experiencing a small bit of pride. Well, not for long. Read more »
- Generally speaking, pastors don’t like to talk about money. So many don’t.
- That seems to work out just great because most church attendees don’t want to hear about money anyway.
- Except . . . money is a spiritual issue, so the church can’t exactly ignore it.
Week in and week out, churches collect an offering. That might look a bit different depending on the context—from gold-plated trays passed with usher-assisted formality to “joy boxes” at the back of the room—but the great majority of worship experiences include a time to “give back to God.” The money’s collected, scurried away to a lockbox or safe . . . and then what? Other than a letter and a few bar graphs included with annual giving statements (if that), the church family never hears a word about how the money was spent. They just get asked to give more.
Now, if you’re looking to maintain the status quo, that’s a fine strategy. But if you’re looking to accelerate generosity and empower your church family to experience what it’s like to trust God with their finances, we have to think differently. Enter story. Read more »
Every client I serve employs some form of internal church management system - Church Management Software, or ChMS. Some are dedicated to tracking financial information while others do that and much more. From simple systems (Excel spreadsheets - yikes! and/or Quickbooks) to complex models, there are many choices in the landscape from which to choose.
One of the best I have seen is Church Community Builder (CCB), a web-based solution that offers a vital component that others don’t - the ability for not only staff, but ministry team leaders and volunteers to access the system at any time from any place. To better understand the system and it’s advantages, I recently sat down with my friend Steve Caton, Vice President of Sales and Marketing to discuss what to look for in a ChMS solution.
I see a lot of things happening in the church database arena. What are the advantages of the online system CCB provides? Read more »
Now that you have a solid list of reasons to produce an annual report, what does an effective report look like?
Here are links to three reports that are easily accessible through the church’s respective websites. You will note in all three that the reports are colorful and engaging. They contain images reflecting changed lives, and graphs that reflect a growth in ministry impact.
Example 1 - Community Christian Church
Example 2 - Elevation Church