Does our church need a whistleblower policy? Is our conflicts-of-interest policy adequate? Determining which policies to create—and appropriately crafting them for a specific church—is an exercise that requires discernment. A policy that is not appropriate for a particular church, or a policy that is poorly drafted, may create more problems than it solves.
In determining whether a church’s board should adopt a particular policy, the church should consider several factors. Among them are:
- Whether the policy would be helpful in ensuring compliance with the law,
- Whether the policy could help protect the church or its constituents,
- Whether the policy will enhance the effectiveness of the church in carrying out its mission and purpose, and
- Whether the policy fosters confidence and trust on the part of congregants or members.
Additionally, many key areas of day-to-day financial operations can be governed by staff-developed procedures without the need for board-adopted policies. For example, staff can adequately create and oversee procedures for reimbursing business expenses, managing accounts receivable collections, and implementing specific internal control practices.