Budgeting is considered a necessary and sometimes frustrating process. Here is a plan to be more effective in creating the guardrails for your ministry.
Deborah Ike · May 31, 2015
What expenses remain about the same each month (utilities, salaries, etc.) vs. which do you incur during key times of the year (conferences, special events, etc.)? Account for those variations in your budget for the next year.
As Bobby Hart notes, “Another key is staying on top of historical receipts to ensure your budget is realistic. We always leave room for the Lord to work, but we base any increases or decreases on what we know. It’s a lot more fun to see God bless a ministry you have planned conservatively for than to pull back ministry plans because funding isn’t available. Finally, we always ask our ministry leaders to dream. Don’t simply repeat the same ministry plan as last year with a slight increase. This stretches them to think creatively about ministry and allows the Finance Committee a glimpse into where ministries are heading, even if we don’t approve all of the ‘dreams’.”
Step #2: Consider what will be different this year
Chances are you’re not going to do exactly the same things every year. Here are a few areas to consider:
- Do you have any facility maintenance activities due this year?
- Does the parking lot need to be repaved?
- Does your HVAC system need to be replaced?
- What about your technology?
- Is your software due for an upgrade?
- Are your computers outdated and need to be replaced
- Do you plan to hire any additional staff this year? If so, in what role(s) and when? Don’t forget to budget for the hiring process.
- Have any laws or regulations changed that would impact the budget? Consider insurance, compensation packages, housing allowances, etc