The Persuasive Purchaser
How to approach decision-makers about big buys.
PAGE 1 of 3Single Page

A big-ticket purchase is creeping up on you. The bus is breaking down. Or the server is malfunctioning. Or the phone system is obsolete. You know you'll have to persuade the pastor, the board, maybe even the congregation, in order to make the buy. The expense likely will be high, meaning the scrutiny potentially will be, too. What steps can you take to help your church make a wise decision and ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible? Here's a plan to help you approach key decision-makers in the best possible way:

The Pastor

1. Get the facts. Before you approach the pastor, be sure you have followed a logical decision-making process:

  1. Substantiate the need. Why is this purchase necessary? What problem currently exists that will be solved by this purchase? How does this purchase relate to the vision and values of the church?
  2. Capture the important criteria in the decision. Some of the important factors you will want to highlight regarding your purchasing decision include the cost, the funding sources, the space needs, the product's durability, warranties, and payback.
  3. Document possible alternatives. Explore solutions other than just your preferred purchase. Be prepared to present alternatives. Would a lease make more sense than a purchase? Is used equipment an option?
  4. Establish the option that best satisfies the criteria. Make sure your solution is the most obvious choice in light of the criteria.

The steps above require time and research, but the data you collect will help you prepare for the board and the congregation.

Posted: September 18, 2009

Like This Article?

If you enjoyed reading this article, get more like it. Become a Church Law & Tax member today.

Learn more

Already a member? .

View All
from our store
Nonprofit Financial Oversight

Nonprofit Financial Oversight

The concise and complete guide for boards and finance committees
Board Member Orientation

Board Member Orientation

The concise and complete guide to nonprofit board service
Talking to Your Congregation About Money

Talking to Your Congregation About Money

Helpful insights on talking about money and encouraging people to become generous givers.
How Churches Spend Their Money: 2019 Executive Report

How Churches Spend Their Money: 2019 Executive Report

This report will give you an inside look at how churches nationwide spend their money.

ChurchSalary

ChurchSalary

Let ChurchSalary do the work. Get personalized compensation reports for staff and pastors.