Volunteers are an important part of church. They provide essential support for a variety of ministries, including small group leaders and nursery workers. However, not all churches agree if volunteers should be allowed to count money and perform other financial tasks.
When working on an article on financial teams for the August issue of Church Finance Today, we asked church leaders from the Church Law & Tax LinkedIn Group if their financial teams included volunteers, and if so, how they screened and selected them. They answered:
"Volunteers are used for counting the offering and posting contributions to individual giving records. Volunteers selected typically have former experience in a financial field and are known for their attention to detail. They are also selected based on their spiritual maturity because they see individual giving records and must be able to handle what they see and keep that information confidential. Open positions are not publicized for just anyone to apply. Rather, suitable candidates are approached individually and invited to volunteer. The volunteers work in pairs and their work is monitored by the church treasurer. Controls are in place to help prevent and detect errors."
—Christina Knight, treasurer at Central Church of the Nazarene in Tulsa, Oklahoma
"We do not use volunteers for our ministry. There is a lot of work to be done accurately, so we pay individuals to ensure everything is 100% on point."
—Derek Johnson, CFO of Teen Challenge of Oklahoma
“Volunteers are a vital part of the finance/administration office! Resumes are received for volunteer accounts payable and finance secretary support clerks. The office administrator/finance secretary and senior pastor review the candidates and appoint volunteers who present favorable qualifications and experience. The office administrator/finance secretary trains, oversees, and monitors their work.”
—Debbie Choplin, operations manager/bookkeeper at Wake Forest Presbyterian Church in Wake Forest, North Carolina
"The count is done by a volunteer team, which is headed up by a CPA volunteer. The donor database is maintained by the team under the supervision of the Financial Secretary, another volunteer. The office manager generates checks and inputs the weekly deposit summary and I control the general ledger, make any adjustments, and produce the financials as a paid position. I also receive a deposit verification weekly. I report to the Church Treasurer and there is a Finance Committee that reviews financial results, approves the budget, and makes policy. The Finance Committee has experienced financial professionals. There are strong internal controls in effect. A Personnel Committee reviews resumes and approves new hires, and church officers are appointed by the Session (Board)."
—Charles Andrew, CPA at La Crescenta Presbyterian Church in Glendale, California
What about your church? Does it use volunteers for financial tasks and, if so, how are volunteers screened and selected?
Learn the best way to perform church financial tasks in Church Finance.
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