Finance

Why Your Salary May Not Be All You Want It to Be
A church administrator’s perspective.
Why Your Salary May Not Be All You Want It to Be
Image: Ben White / Unsplash

After serving on church boards for decades and helping set salaries for dozens of church staff members, I’ve learned that setting compensation fairly is one of the most difficult tasks for church administrators and board members. Many factors might prevent a pastor or ...

Paying Your Pastor
Tips and insights for setting compensation
Paying Your Pastor
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Setting a pastor’s compensation is a complicated issue, says CPA Stan Reiff, a partner with the accounting firm CapinCrouse. A number of factors—the size of the church, the local cost of living, the experience level of the pastor—play a role. Reiff recently ...

Retirement Savings and the Rule of 72s
What pastors and church staff can learn about the power of compounding.
Retirement Savings and the Rule of 72s
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Pastors and church staff often are overwhelmed by the thought of setting aside money for their future retirements. But the sooner they start, the quicker they can make the money they save and invest work to their advantage.

This is because of the concept of compounding. It works ...

How to Finish 2017 Strong
Get a head start on year-end tasks.
How to Finish 2017 Strong
Image: Glenn Carstens-Peters / Unsplash

The holidays are just around the corner—and unfortunately, the rush of the season can shift the focus away from essential tasks that need to be accomplished before the New Year.

This year, don’t be caught off guard when the end of December rolls around. Instead, jump ...

How to Recognize and Confront Fraud
Two telltale signs, and the best and worst ways to respond to suspected stealing.
How to Recognize and Confront Fraud
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Nathan Salsbery, a partner and executive vice president with the accounting firm CapinCrouse, is an expert at detecting and rooting out fraud in churches. ManagingYourChurch.com talked with Salsbery about what churches can do to better protect their finances from internal theft. ...

Responding to Injuries at Church
What to do when employees or volunteers get hurt.
Responding to Injuries at Church
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A pastor falls off a ladder while hanging a banner. A volunteer trips while playing with second-graders in the kids ministry. A staff member gets injured during an on-site church activity.

Injuries are surprisingly common at churches. Responding quickly to them can help get an ...

Statutes of Limitation Removed • Opposition to Johnson Amendment Repeal • Misusing Church Accounts: News Roundup
This week’s headlines that affect churches and church leaders.
Statutes of Limitation Removed • Opposition to Johnson Amendment Repeal • Misusing Church Accounts: News Roundup
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Statutes of Limitation for Sexual Abuse Removed in Illinois. “Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has signed legislation that will remove the statutes of limitation for sexual abuse crimes. . . . Statutes of limitation restrict the time when authorities can charge someone after ...

Church Embezzlement Statistics • Mobile Medical Outreach • Property Dispute: News Roundup
This week’s headlines that affect churches and church leaders.
Church Embezzlement Statistics • Mobile Medical Outreach • Property Dispute: News Roundup
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Research Shows 10 Percent of Churches Have Suffered Embezzlement. “Churches and other faith groups collect tens of billions of donations each year. Chances are some of the money goes missing. About 1 in 10 Protestant churches has had someone embezzle funds, according to ...

Ministerial Exception • Tax Fraud Allegations • Church Protests Liquor Store: News Roundup
This week’s headlines that affect churches and church leaders.
Ministerial Exception • Tax Fraud Allegations • Church Protests Liquor Store: News Roundup
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Court Dismisses Gender Discrimination Claim Due to Ministerial Exception. “In Fratello v. Archdiocese of New York . . . the US 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals held that the principal of a Catholic elementary school is barred by the ‘ministerial exception’ doctrine ...

Hiring Involves Strategic Planning and Careful Budgeting
Don't hire before you ask a few key questions.
Hiring Involves Strategic Planning and Careful Budgeting
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As a partner with the CPA firm CapinCrouse, Stan Reiff guides churches and other nonprofits through various parts of ministry, including strategic planning and ministry operations. Reiff recently talked to ManagingYourChurch.com about key issues related to hiring practices.

Where ...

5 Tips to Increase Giving This Summer
Practical ways to encourage donations during these typically slower months.
5 Tips to Increase Giving This Summer
Image: Kupono Kuwamura / Unsplash

Giving is often a difficult topic for pastors to discuss with their congregations. The common worry is that no one likes to be told how to use their money. But donations are vital to keep the local church running effectively.

The Barna Group shares that only 5 percent of the ...

Church Cell Tower Leases and Zoning Laws
How to navigate the process smoothly and with minimal problems.
Church Cell Tower Leases and Zoning Laws
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Kevin Donohue spent decades building networks for wireless companies before switching sides to represent landowners through his work with Tower Genius—a consultant firm that helps churches, businesses, and private citizens with lease agreements. He spoke with ManagingYourChurch.com ...

Church Parking Lot Shooting • DOJ Hate Crime Task Force • Parking Lease Lawsuit: News Roundup
This week’s headlines that affect churches and church leaders.
Church Parking Lot Shooting • DOJ Hate Crime Task Force • Parking Lease Lawsuit: News Roundup
Image: Martin Sanchez / Unsplash

Kentucky Church Security Cameras Record Parking Lot Shooting. “Louisville Police continue to investigate a shooting that happened Saturday night . . . Security cameras at the Church of Truth . . . captured the moment when the victim's car crashed into senior pastor ...

The Tricky World of Copier Leases and Purchases
What a church must consider before buying or leasing.
The Tricky World of Copier Leases and Purchases
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Vonna Laue is an expert on church finances. She served 20 years with a CPA firm focused on churches and ministries and is an editorial advisor for Church Finance Today. Here, she offers advice on navigating the complex world of copier leases and purchases.

What advice would you ...

Largest US Protestant Denomination Reports Rise in Pastor Salary, Decline in Benefits
What a study from the Southern Baptist Convention shows about changes in pastors' pay.
Largest US Protestant Denomination Reports Rise in Pastor Salary, Decline in Benefits
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The Southern Baptist Convention’s (SBC) biannual “SBC Church Compensation Study” revealed that compensation for full-time senior pastors within their denomination increased by 3.4 percent over the past two years, placing it well above growth rate for the consumer ...

Supreme Court Denies Church Case • Oklahoma Church Lawsuit • Bethel Church Gift: News Roundup
This week’s headlines that affect churches and church leaders.
Supreme Court Denies Church Case • Oklahoma Church Lawsuit • Bethel Church Gift: News Roundup
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Supreme Court Denies Review in Lutheran Church Retirement Plans Case. “The US Supreme Court today denied review in Evangelical Lutheran Church v. Bacon. . . . In the case, a Minnesota state court of appeals held that the First Amendment does not prevent a civil court from ...

How You Can Help Church Staff Determine Fair Pay
Take this survey that will provide data for the Church Law & Tax compensation handbook.
How You Can Help Church Staff Determine Fair Pay
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Many pastors and church staff members don’t know whether their pay is fair—but you can change that. If you work for a church, you can help by taking the National Church Compensation Survey (and encouraging others to take the survey, as well!).

Church Law & Tax’s ...

Salary Reductions • Boundary-Setting • Unliked—and That’s Okay: Management Roundup
Trends, tips, ideas, and stats to help church leaders manage well this week.
Salary Reductions • Boundary-Setting • Unliked—and That’s Okay: Management Roundup
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1. Exercise caution with salary reduction agreements. “Many churches have established ‘salary reduction agreements’ to handle certain staff expenses. The objective is to reduce an employee's taxable income since only the income remaining after the various ...

Five Free Tax Articles for Churches and Clergy
Available for a limited time.
Five Free Tax Articles for Churches and Clergy
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"The preparation of ministers’ tax returns presents a number of challenging issues that often are not well understood," writes Richard Hammar in "Avoiding Costly Tax-filing Mistakes." "This can lead to innocent mistakes, which in turn can lead ...

Church Pay • Co-Worker Conundrum • Saving Time: Management Roundup
Trends, tips, ideas, and stats to help church leaders manage well this week.
Church Pay • Co-Worker Conundrum • Saving Time: Management Roundup
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1. Setting fair pay for church pastors and staffs. Setting compensation packages for pastors and staff is a bit like Goldilocks' experiences with seeking perfect porridge. Churches can't pay too much (too hot!), given the budget constraints they often face and the potential ...

Essential Guide to Law and Tax for New Ministers

Essential Guide to Law and Tax for New Ministers

Essential knowledge to ensure legal and financial clarity and integrity in ministry.
Sex Offenders in the Church - Part 1

Sex Offenders in the Church - Part 1

How to respond to sex offenders in the church.