One of many lessons ministries have learned in recent years is the importance of cash reserves—having funds available when you need them. Without adequate reserves, the pursuit of your ministry’s mission may be in jeopardy.
One source of good guidance about cash reserves for your ministry will be at the 2012 Christian Leadership Alliance (CLA) National Conference in Orlando, Florida. The conference runs from April 10 to 12. ECCU Ministry Development Officer David Lee and Senior Banking Consultant Mark Jones will present a workshop titled Cash Reserves: Why you need them. How to build them.
Between them, David and Mark have been serving ministries at ECCU for more than 40 years. Here’s what you can expect to learn from their session:
- What constitutes reserves and why they’re so important for every ministry
- About the process a ministry goes through to set a cash reserves target
- About the struggles and benefits ministries have experienced as they worked to achieve their cash reserve goals
If you attend the CLA National Conference this year, plan on joining David and Mark for this session on Wednesday, April 11, from 8:00 to 9:30 a.m.
To register for the CLA conference, visit www.claconference.org.
I’ve posted blogs in the past about taking advantage of a provision in the new Affordable Care Act. Ministries that qualify have until May 15 to apply to claim the credit of up to 25% of healthcare premiums paid for their employees. While you always need to read and understand the fine print on measures like this, I want to encourage you to take advantage of this credit if your ministry qualifies.
I’ve found two good videos, one featuring attorney Richard Hammar, that provide a good review of this credit for ministry organizations. The other is from the IRS. Both videos provide a good summary and help you understand whether your organization can qualify for this credit.
With the May 15 deadline fast approaching, now is the time to see if your ministry qualifies for this credit so you’ll have time to complete the necessary forms. Even if your ministry doesn’t file an annual tax return, you may still be eligible for this tax credit as a refund. Check it out.
See the IRS for the applicable forms and information to claim this credit.
The 2012 Christian Leadership Alliance (CLA) National Conference in Orlando, Florida, will be a prime venue for us to demonstrate ECCU’s commitment to investing in ministry. During the three-day event (April 10–12), we’ll present two financial workshops and show videos at two general sessions that illustrate the kingdom impact ECCU member ministries are having.
The two workshops are part of the conference’s educational program:
- ECCU Ministry Development Officer David Lee and ECCU Vice President and Senior Banking Consultant Mark Jones will co-present “Cash Reserves: Why you need them. How to build them.” on Wednesday, April 11, from 8:00 to 9:30 a.m.
- “How to Build a Better Budget,” a panel discussion moderated by Mark Jones, will be offered on Thursday, April 12, from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. The panel will feature three seasoned ministry financial experts: Hugh Burns, vice president of operations for the Denver Rescue Mission; Billy Burnett, executive vice president and CFO with Joni and Friends; and Vonna Laue, audit partner with CapinCrouse LLP.
Conference attendees who register at ECCU’s booth in the conference exhibit hall will be eligible to win a new iPad®. (For the complete Official Rules*, visit www.eccu.org/cla-sweepstakes.)
Are you going to the CLA conference? You can learn more and register at www.claconference.org.
I was in a meeting the other day when one of my coworkers received a text message on her cell phone from the bank where her daughter, a college sophomore, has an account. She looked at her phone and commented, “It looks like there’s some strange activity on my daughter’s account.”
After the meeting she contacted her daughter and discovered that the strange activity was fraud, but thanks to the early detection by her bank, it would be handled swiftly. This experience was a powerful personal reminder of how technology can now mitigate the risk of fraud in our banking relationships.
The message my coworker received is called an alert. Banks send alerts to inform or remind you of important transactions, including those that might place you at risk. Alerts can be sent to an individual, a group, or even a department. Best of all, online banking allows you to set up alerts to meet your specific needs.
For example, you can configure alerts to inform you when:
- All transactions from the previous day exceed a certain threshold
- A check has cleared
- Your balance drops below a pre-selected dollar amount
In addition to helping combat fraud, alerts can also help you manage your account by understanding transaction posting times and balance levels.
At ECCU we offer these types of alerts and more through online banking. To find out more, follow this link.
How have you used alerts on your online bank accounts?
I came across this great reminder of simple but important ways to thank and communicate to donors from Nonprofit Marketing Guide.
I especially love this suggestion: “Write a Greeting Card, Not a Business Letter.” It probably stands out to me because I have been on the receiving end of such a thank-you. One ministry I support does this very well. Even with an automatic monthly donation, I get a personalized thank-you note from a different person in the ministry each month. They tell me how important I am to the ministry and how my gift is making a difference. Even though I still get a receipt, it’s the personalized note that really makes me feel connected with the individuals and ministry as a whole. This is certainly a different feel than when I just get a generic thank-you letter from another ministry I give to.
Have any of these nine ideas been used at your ministry? Do you have other meaningful ways to thank your donors?