by Dave Schowalter Stewardship Team
Wait… Something from the Stewardship Team in September?? I thought we didn’t talk about money until March!
Here on the Stewardship Team we want to talk about money all the time! Today, it is where the church’s operating money comes from, and where it goes, very broadly.
Church Operating Expenses
It may be surprising to some that our operating expenses are largely made up of staff salary and benefits–about 80%. And this is as it should be, right? Our staff is the backbone of our church and its most valuable asset.
Next comes building and maintenance. This makes up about 10% of the church budget annually. Office and program expenses–supplies for the church office and Religious Exploration, make up about 5%, and another 5% is for Outreach–things we do for the community and for promoting ourselves.
Church Operating Income
So where do we get the money to fund these expenses? The largest, not surprisingly, is from pledges, the money that active pledgers promise to deliver over the coming church year, and make in whatever installments are most convenient for them. 60%-70%. The next largest income source is income from church investments, or what some refer to as our endowment, usually between 20% and 25%. This endowment fund is made up of gifts from donors throughout our history, many from bequests upon a donor’s death.
The remaining is made up of building/use fees (~5%), fundraising (~5%), the offertory plate (~2%), and miscellaneous gifts (1% – 5%).
In summary, one way of looking at our church finances is that pledges and investment income pay for the staff plus outreach, building and use fees pay for our office and program expenses, and fundraising and the plate cover building expenses.
As we welcome one another back to in-person church, fellowship, and programs this year, it is an opportunity to appreciate the community we have all created and supported, with our hearts, our talents AND our treasures.