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A guide to faith-based financial management

In God we trust one dollar bill

Every congregation needs robust and diverse faith-based portfolios that can help sustain the ministry and its long-term vision. Here are some general tips for building your ministry’s faith-based investment.

    1. Think long-term

All investors hope for a return on their assets. It is about making financial choices alongside time investments as well as keeping an eye on your congregation’s long-term goals without becoming overwhelmed by immediate, day-to-day needs. More than survival, faith-based investment is about helping your congregation thrive, not just in the present, but far into the future.

    1. Outline your goals

When developing an investment plan, it is important to specify the desired results. For instance, what difference will this investment make? Achieving that level of clarity will make it easier for you to decide how to achieve your goals.

It also creates the expectation among church leadership and church members that something will be different, or vastly improved, as a result of supporting a particular initiative or project.

Congregations must make choices about where and how to best allocate their time and resources, and decision-making can be difficult. Having clear goals creates a sense of transparency that inspires trust and stronger commitments.

    1. Overcome your fears

Don’t let fear and anxiety drive decision-making. It is only natural to have concerns around your congregation’s economic model, budget, and expenses. But this only puts you and your congregation into a vicious cycle where the fear of making the wrong investment and losing resources can lead to negative outcomes that perpetuate even more fear and anxiety.

Work with a financial consultant who understands the unique needs and considerations of faith-based organizations. An expert who isn’t part of your congregation can provide a more objective view of your investment strategy.

    1. Identify the desired outcome

Returns are never guaranteed, but when they do manifest, they are easily measured. To manage the expectations of your congregation, you must clearly name the return that is expected on a particular investment, whether that involves borrowed funds for renovation work, lower monthly payments, and so on.

In short, if church members contribute money, what result or outcome should they expect? This ensures that everyone is on the same page. It should be clear that renovation work is meant to increase attendance or that lower monthly payments are meant to ease the burden on church members.

Avoid changing expectations while in the middle of the investment process. Otherwise, you must deal with (and communicate) new expectations about the anticipated return, as well as execute a different ministry plan.

    1. Revisit your investment strategy

It’s necessary to revisit your congregation’s investment strategy as your returns, expectations, and circumstances change over time. When revisiting and developing an investment strategy, it would be helpful to ask which assets are ready to be invested at the present time, and whether a gap exists between assets and potential challenges. You should also address how returns will be identified and measured.

Protect your faith-based investment when buying or selling church-owned properties. A.D. Advisors works with congregations throughout the United States and Canada. We create the best possible outcomes for church leaders and members. You can contact our agents here. You can also reach A.D. Advisors at Info(at)ADAdvisors(dotted)org
and 630.606.9000.