Now that we have passed the midpoint of the year, it’s a good time to examine your financial health. For many congregations and nonprofits, this is the first full year in a post-pandemic environment. How do the finances look in your organization today?

Money isn’t everything when you’re trying to do faithful ministry or provide a service, but knowing where the money is going and where it’s coming from is one of the essential responsibilities of leadership. 

If you haven’t done so already, it’s a good time to get ahead of your annual fund appeal for 2024 and the corresponding budget preparation cycle. Use this time before the busyness of the fall is upon us to take a deep dive into the financial narrative of your congregation or organization. What valuable insights can you discover as you get ready to plan for the upcoming year?

When we tell our story, we often point to a vision or mission statement, but our finances tell a story too. Knowing how much money is coming in, and from what sources, informs a leader about who their stakeholders are. It’s been said that people vote with their pocketbooks and wallets. Sometimes a decline in giving indicates a growing concern about the direction of the church or organization. Sometimes a decline in giving reflects anxiety that has nothing to do with us.

Closely examining your expenses can reveal areas where your commitments need to change. Are there nonoperational programs still taking up space in the budget? Or, is there something missing from the budget?

Budgets are vision-funding plans. Do you see the vision represented in your budget? If not, this might be a good time to make a change.


   John V. Clark, President/Partner
The James Company
(815) 353-8997