Building Better Budgets

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No one likes talking about budgets.  Well, I shouldn’t say no one, because some people actually do.  I fall somewhere in the middle.  I don’t really want to talk budgets, but I respect the value of a budget.  Budgets give us parameters.  This is what I have, and then as a team we decide how we are going to use it.  Budgets make decisions for us, either we have enough money or we don’t.  Budgets move us, either we are given the ability to dream big… or we are given the motivation to think creatively.

Budgets are parameters, but they are not without compromise.  If you have too much money in the budget, you can get really creative or use those funds to bless another ministry.  If you have too little you can fundraise the difference, to meet your needs.

But what happens if you have zero budget?  You’ve requested, or been told, that there are no funds for your ministry… then what?  It may be tempting to think that no budget is a finite answer, but I would disagree.  I believe there is compromise even in the NO.

A lifetime ago, when I was working in retail, something I was taught was that very rarely is NO a permanent answer.  In most cases, NO really translates into “no, now now”.  This may not be the right time, I may not have the additional funds available, I may be too distracted to consider this opportunity, etc.

The response of NO to getting a ministry budget, doesn’t mean that your church or overseeing organization is unwilling or unable to give at all.  It doesn’t mean you can’t present your request for a specific item, training, or resource.  Particularly if this is something that can benefit the whole church.

Your church may say no to an annual ministry budget because they do not see the need to provide funds for ongoing potluck brunches.  But, if you were to ask for funds to specifically start up a discipleship program for the women… that may get one time support.

You may not be getting funds because you have failed to show how the funds are being used.  Maybe the finance committee members don’t understand that even a potluck brunch can have an expense of $100 or more.

In July, our local WMC Training event will cover the topics of budgets and fundraising.  We hope you can make it.  If not, look forward to more on the topic of Building Better Budgets after the training event.  We will also post direct links to resources, and share some of our favorite fundraising suggestions.

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