In a survey by the Association of Financial Professionals
, 98% of financial professionals say that the safety of principal is their organization’s most important short-term investment objective. Yield is second.
This survey makes clear that a mixed economic outlook is still impacting investment decisions. Perhaps most telling is that 51% percent of these organizations feel bank deposits are their safest choice for short-term investments. This is up from 23% in 2006, which is not surprising given the fragility of the stock market. And this number may continue to rise, according to survey respondents, if pending regulations by the SEC on money market mutual funds (MMF) make it less attractive to hold cash in MMF accounts.
Is this true for your ministry? Is protecting donor gifts your highest investment priority? It should be.
Preservation of your principal investment is always the most important goal, whatever the economic or rate environment. With MMF and treasury rates at historical lows for the foreseeable short-term future, bank deposits continue to offer safety and provide some of the best yields.
(You know we aren’t going to leave you wondering. ECCU offers some excellent account options to help keep your ministry’s money safe while it earns a competitive return.)
A key distinction between a financial cooperative like ECCU and other banking institutions is the difference between credit union members and bank customers: Customers simply conduct business at a bank. ECCU members don’t just bank at the credit union—they are the credit union. Because of this, our staff’s role is to partner with members to help them fulfill their missions. Ministry conferences are one good illustration of this distinction. We often work with member ministries and others to provide educational opportunities. In metaphorical terms, we see this as “fueling” ministry.
Our next opportunity to fuel ministry is at the WFX Conference and Expo inAtlanta(Sept. 19–21). The conference’s ambitious theme is: “Preparing churches of all sizes to meet evolving leadership, technology, and facility needs.” ECCU will help deliver on that theme by presenting two educational sessions, one featuring the senior pastor of an Atlanta-area church and the other featuring generosity expert Brian Kluth.
ECCU Regional Director Jeremy Moore will present one of the conference’s hands-on training sessions. His session, How to Increase Giving in Any Economy, is scheduled for 1:30-2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 19. Co-presenting with him will be Stan Lester, senior pastor of Crosspointe Church in Dalton, Georgia.
Kluth will co-present with Moore at an educational, invitation-only breakfast hosted by ECCU. They will discuss Purchasing and Financing Existing Facilities Today. Ministry leaders who attend will be eligible to win a new iPad®, as will conference attendees who register at ECCU’s booth in the conference expo. (For the complete Official Rules*, visit www.eccu.org/wfx-sweepstakes.)
Are you going to the WFX conference? You can learn more and register at www.wfxweb.com/atlanta-2012.
*OFFICIAL RULES SUMMARY: NO PURCHASE IS NECESSARY TO BE ELIGIBLE TO WIN. EACH SWEEPSTAKES ENTRY WILL HAVE AN EQUAL CHANCE OF WINNING. The iPad® Breakfast sweepstakes ends on Sept. 20, 2012, at the end of the breakfast; the iPad® Booth sweepstakes ends on Sept. 21, 2012, at conference closing. See the “Consumer Disclosure” section of the Official Rules for odds of winning. Only one entry permitted per person. By entering this drawing, you agree to be bound to the Official Rules. For the complete Official Rules, visit www.eccu.org/wfx-sweepstakes. Apple® is not a participant in or sponsor of this promotion.
Our friend Paul Clark, executive pastor at Fairhaven Church in Ohio, blogged recently about what makes up a healthy church. One metric he lists in 13 Measures of a Healthy Church is, “Leaders are being developed and placed in ministry roles.” Another is, “Our budgetary needs are being met.”
That one’s timely since you can still sign up for ECCU’s Advanced Budgeting webinar. It’s an hour long. It’s free. It’s tomorrow, August 23, at 10:00 a.m. (PT). Check out the details here.
Have you identified ways to measure the health of your ministry?
Today’s changing world brings increased risks to churches and nonprofits in the areas of finance, tax, legal, and operations. Responding well to change begins with a fuller understanding of these risks. CapinCrouse LLP and ECCU have teamed up to offer a series of financial seminars to help churches and nonprofits better steward the resources and people entrusted to their care.
These daylong seminars will be offered in three locations in October:
- October 2 at Denver Seminary in Littleton, Colorado (This seminar is for churches only.)
- October 3 at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas
- October 4 at The Hope Center in Plano, Texas
Come learn from experts like Frank Sommerville, noted ministry legal and accounting expert, and David Lee, ministry development officer for ECCU.1
Learning objectives for these seminars include:1
- Better comprehend your ministry’s exposure to legal risk through an examination of timely and relevant court cases and learn how to address any risks that are identified
- Become aware of the latest tax changes and regulatory developments that impact tax exempt organizations and churches, including how to identify potential unrelated business activities
- Understand areas of your ministry that may be susceptible to fraud and how to prevent, identify, and respond to fraud if it does occur
- Learn the differences between financial audits, compilations, reviews, and consulting engagements and how to make your ministry’s next financial audit go more quickly and smoothly
- Increase your knowledge of how to use ratios, benchmarking, and dashboard reports to better monitor and measure your ministry’s financial health
- Learn how the Affordable Care Act applies to churches
The registration fee for each seminar is $59; lunch and materials are included. This program allows you to earn up to 5 CPE credits2 and 0.5 NACBA CEUs3.
For more information, visit www.eccu.org/resource/events. If you have questions, please contact Carina Hill at 678.518.5301, ext. 100, or by email at email@example.com.
1 Presenters and topics covered will vary by location.
2 CapinCrouse LLP is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA), as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be addressed to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: http://www.learningmarket.org/.
3 CapinCrouse LLP is a National Registered Continuing Education Provider (NRCEP) with the National Association of Church Business Administration (NACBA). This program is a premier comprehensive continuing education program related to administration in the local church. It is designed to enhance the ongoing professional development of NACBA members and other ministry professionals, through the offering of quality learning experiences. 0.1 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) will be granted to persons who properly register and attend one contact hour of a minimum of 50 minutes of lecture, presentation, or discussion on approved topics.
If you’d like to do a better job of budgeting for your ministry, there’s still time to register for the budgeting webinars being offered by ECCU. Here are the details:
Budgeting 101, for ministries with annual revenues up to $2 million, will be presented on August 16, 2012. It will cover:
- Different budget approaches
- The importance of aligning your budget with your mission
- Specific steps for creating, approving, and implementing a budget
- How and why to monitor budgets carefully
Vonna Laue, audit partner with CapinCrouse LLP, will present with Ingrid Robinson, founder/CEO of LenShaw Financial Services, and Mark Jones, ECCU vice president and senior banking consultant.
Advanced Budgeting, for ministries with annual revenues of more than $2 million, will be presented on August 23, 2012. It will cover:
- The importance of accurately projecting revenue and how to do it
- Why and how to align money and mission
- How to use your budget to stay on mission
Arthur Wilson, CFO of The Park Ministries (Charlotte, North Carolina), will present with Billy Burnett, executive vice president/CFO with Joni and Friends International Disability Center, and Mark Jones, ECCU vice president and senior banking consultant.
These webinars are free. Follow this link for more information and to register.