Tuesday, May 26, 2009

This Year's Budget Challenge

Each year putting together the church budget has its own unique challenges. But this year the challenges were highlighted for two reasons:

First, we are projecting that we will miss our budget income goal for our current year by $238,000. That makes it sound like we had a bad giving year, doesn’t it? The truth is that we are on track to have the best giving year we have ever had. In fact, we are projecting at this point that are actual giving this fiscal year will be up 5% over last.

So then how did we miss the projected giving goal so drastically? The answer is twofold. We took the actual giving from the previous year and added 10% to it to get our project giving goal for this year. Unfortunately, that figure included two things it should not have included because they would not be repeated this year. First, it included the Super-Size giving offering which was part of our McWorship message series which resulted in the one time largest offering in the history of our church. Second, the previous fiscal year was a rarity of having 53 Sundays rather than the normal 52. When you take into account these two factors which would not be repeated in our current fiscal year and add 10% to them, you have the reason why we missed our projection by so much. The problem wasn’t a giving problem at all. Where we blew it was in our projections.

The good news, however, is that once we realized our error about halfway through the fiscal year, Pastor Tim did a masterful job of leading our ministry staff in cutting out of their remaining budgets anything that was not mission critical. Due to this and the increase in offerings, our expenses for this fiscal year should come in under our income.

The bad news, however, is that to have a workable budget for this fiscal year, it meant that we were going to have to make sizable cuts from our current fiscal year budget to have more reasonable giving projections. We also felt that this was important due to the uncertain economic times of our nation. So here is the bottom-line:

We have lowered projected expenses in our proposed budget by $126,420 from our current budget. We have also lowered our projected giving to the General Fund in our proposed budget by $114,300. The amount of our giving goal in our proposed budget does, however, include a 5% increase in giving to the general fund over the projected actual giving from this year. Though this amount is equal to the increase we have seen in giving this year, it is still a step of faith because though we are up 5% in giving, we are also up 15% in attedance over last year. This means that though giving is up, the amount of giving per giver has decreased. This is somthing we will be watching ovewr the course of the next fiscal year.

The proposed budget still includes paying a significant portion to ourselves as we have been doing since the mortgage was retired. However, it does lower that amount from $300,000 to $150,000. Because we had to cut well over $250,000 out of the budget due to the faulty figures we used last year, we did not want to take all of this out of ministry and programming. This budget allows us to cut our weekly General Fund giving need back from $52,154 to $49,956 while still accomplishing our entire ministry plan and still paying ourselves a significant amount for future growth and expansion.


Anonymous said...

What a Great Worship Service it was on Sunday Lisa MCcoy and the Choir did an Awsome,fantastic job.They should be really proud of themselves To bad it was the last Sunday for the Choir they will be missed.Keep[ up the great work Lisa your the best......

Pastor Scott said...

You are so right. Hopefully Lisa reads my blog and will see your comment. The choir always take the summer off but they will be back in the Fall.