by Jac La Tour

The first three Financial Forums for Ministry wrapped up yesterday. Ministries throughout California gathered together to get answers to their toughest financial questions from finance experts.

Ed Jones, an ECCU ministry development officer, attended the Livermore, CA event and offers us a look at what’s been happening via Twitter. Here are some highlights—ranging from loan renewals to fraud prevention—I learned from following his tweets:

  • If your ministry has gone from mission focused to survival mode, it is time to make decisions to repair your financial health.
  • Typical credit criteria for a ministry loan: Capacity/cash flow, character, collateral, concentration of gifts, and conditions.
  • Why a financial health checkup for your ministry? “Preventative is better than treatment,” says presenter David Lee.
  • 40% of nonprofits reported a drop in income at the beginning of year, while 63% reported an increase in demand for their services.
  • In the 2010/2011 healthcare reform, your ministry may be eligible for the small employer health plan credit.
  • The first step to preventing fraud is: “The tone at the top (leadership).”
  • We should assume all are susceptible to committing fraud depending on pressures in life.
  • Don’t put an employee in a position where it might be perceived he/she is doing something wrong with the finances.
  • One of the key questions in fraud prevention: “What could happen?”
  • People don’t care about your needs. They care about the difference you make in Christ’s mission. Tie everything to impact.
  • “Remember,” says presenter Ron Harris, “donors are not just suppliers of resources. They are co-laborers and friends.”
  • When starting a capital campaign always start a prayer initiative.

If you’re in Colorado, it’s not too late to sign up for the November 30 Financial Forum in Colorado Springs.

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