The financial integrity of many churches has been challenged in recent years by changes in the environment. Declining membership, declining participation, and the global pandemic have created unprecedented financial pressures. Yet very few churches have adjusted their budgeting and financial planning for this new reality. This three-part series will review church budgets and budgeting in light of today’s conditions and suggest changes you may want to implement in your budget process for 2023 and beyond.
Session I: Mission and Money
- Mission, mission statements, and their impact on budgeting
- Philanthropy and generational preferences
- Lessons from the secular nonprofit world: the example of charity: water
Session II: The Traditional Why and How of Church Budgets
- The utility of budgets
- Budgets and fundraising
- Incremental budgets in today’s world
Session III: Budgeting for 2023
- Practical opportunities
- Lessons from the church world: the example of Bethlehem Lutheran
James L. Elrod, Jr. serves on the faculty of Yale Divinity School and teaches courses in financial sustainability and managing crisis for churches and nonprofit organizations. He has served on the governing bodies of a variety of nonprofits, including Berkeley Divinity School, Christ Church Greenwich, and Yale New Haven Hospital. Elrod has extensive experience with churches facing financial challenges, particularly those with governance issues.
Jim Elrod holds an AB from Colgate University, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and an MAR from Yale Divinity School. He is the author of Creating Financially Sustainable Congregations (Church Publishing, 2021.)