by Ferdinand J. Burger
Author of 'Church Management Basics'
In the normal day-to-day running of a church or mission, the available funds are sometimes not sufficient to cover general expenses, much less 'nice-to-haves'. Functioning in a seculiar world though, a church needs standard business tools and items to meet the basic requirements for existance.
Following is a short list of ways to make funds last longer, get more value for your money and manage the resources more effectively:
1. Set up budgets for all expenses and stick to these.
2. Investigate and evaluate your internal resources first, before looking elsewhere.
3. Investigate the possibility of depositing unused/surplus funds into bank accounts that offer better interest rates. You may only receive 2-3% more in interest, BUT this is 2-3% more than what you would have had.
4. When ordering goods from suppliers, find out if you will get discounts for quick payments. When getting quotes from suppliers, ask for itemized quotes - that way you may save a lot of money if you are able to provide some of the work yourself.
5. Software manufacturer/distributors can help you save on licensing costs for software - if they know upfront that you are a church/non-profit organization. If, for instance, you have a school/training facility, some companies like Microsoft, offer special rates.
6. Do you need business cards, postcards, letterheads or brochures? There are companies on the internet offering business cards for free - you only pay for the delivery costs. Their prices for other printed material are very good, and the biggest advantage is that you can design everything online (or choose one of their designs). This saves a lot of money when it comes to design and layout costs. One such company is vistaprint.com! Click here.
7. For internal documents, use either recycled paper (bought as such), or your own recycled paper. It is astonishing to see how many sheets of paper end up in the bin, because of print errors. Collect these and then use the back for memos, internal coversheets, or printing draft documents.
8. If you want to have a website, but don't have the finances or know-how to create and maintain a site, visit one of the free hosting companies and register a sub-domain with them. Most of these companies also offer a web design service. If however, you're still not sure how to create a professional looking website, email me.
9. If you need someone to help with the financial tasks in church, like balancing books, etc., ask people in your church to give some advice, or look at the figures and documents before sending these off to the auditors - this way expensive costs and corrections by the auditors can be minimized/eliminated.
10. When you are planning some renovation or repair work at church and you have a number of volunteers, ask them to bring their own tools. It will save you a lot of money. Only then buy tools and equipment when no one has a required tool.
In my book
Church Management Basics, I look at the very basic components of this structure and how to adjust these to suit organizations of varying size, capacity and needs.
On this website I have made available a number of tools and links to help churches, missions and other non-profit organizations. The tools include templates, databases, forms, documents and spreadsheets that can be configured to suit your own needs. Needless to say, these are all free of charge, as most of them were provided by the creators of the associated software packages.
Another section on the website deals with software I personally designed and developed. These applications focus on church management and human resource management. To find out more about these innovative products, click here.
Should you as a church, mission or non-profit organization, require my professional services – either to evaluate your current situation, make suggestions about further growth and development, implementation of new software and/or business solutions, or if you would like me to present my ideas in the form of a seminar, workshop or training, I am available throughout the year.
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