Simple Thought: Budget Allocation

If your church operates on a fiscal budget, you may be heading into 'budget prep mode'. Each year at this time I spend way too much time trying to figure out the best use of the resources our church gives our ministry. Here is my super simple breakdown of what I think may be the best way to spend the money your church provides...we don't do it exactly like this, but I probably would if I could:

10% Tithe/benevolence: Give a portion of your budget to a needy church, ministry etc. or use it as scholarship money.

40% Volunteer appreciation: underwrite the cost of their trips so they can go for free, take them to coffee, pay for a date-night, buy them a Christmas gift.

40% Weekly programs: prizes, decorations, snacks, curriculum etc.

10% Personal growth: training events, conferences, books etc. for the point person of the ministry.


Eric Wakeling said...

Would you put mailings and paper clips under weekly programs? Or is that stuff paid for by another area?

P-Rob said...

one thought for some churches. everyone has a different strategy when it comes to camps, but we try to budget some of our funds specifically to scholarship lower-income students so they can attend a camp. awesome when parents can afford to pay the way, but many of our kids come from families that just can't foot the bill.

Eric said...

You guys get a budget?

P-Rob said...

sure, i get a budget...whatever i place in the offering designated as "youth ministry," whatever receipts i turn in for giving credit, and whatever profit we can make from our fireworks booth every summer. oh, and a little extra along the way but not much. that's my "budget."

Kurt Johnston said...

Eric, I'd probably put a few line-items under each category, so maybe paper clips and pens fall under weekly programs as 'supplies'. I think my four categories are just the four that I think are most important, best use of majority of funding.

kingmedia said...

i like how about 50% of the budget would go towards helping others.

Anonymous said...

I like it! I hadn't thought about tithing. I am a volunteer middle school leader. This is our second year with a budget. Someday I want us to go to a camp and a mission trip.

.justin said...

this is what i'm submitting as a change for the way we break out our budget:

RE: change in YOUth Ministry budget breakdown for 2007.

Currently, the YOUth Ministry budget is broken down by grade divisions:

67 [6th and 7th grade]
89 [8th and 9th grade]
HS [10th - 12th grade]

All expenditure comes out of the specific grade that is participating. This is true for all expenses: retreats/events, scholarships, gas, volunteers, etc. For items like “programming expenses”, we use a “3-way split” between the three accounts.

I propose breaking the total YOUth Ministry budget into 4 general sections:

1. Student encouragement [meetings, scholarships, resources, hang-time]

2. Leader/volunteer appreciation [meetings, gifts, resources, hang-time]

3. Programming expenses [C3 items, YOUth Church supplies, curriculum]

4. Event/retreat expenses [retreats, transportation, rentals, food, etc.]

This would allow us to track where the money is going in a more efficient way.

I think it should be a pretty even breakdown between the 4 categories:
25% each.

It would be nice to see the largest portion of the budget going to students and volunteers, but I think that more realistically, the breakdowns are pretty even because retreats cost a LOT of money and it’s so important to budget wisely. It’s always a risk because they are dependant on how many students will come.

Also programming expenses shouldn’t be all that expensive, but we run all of our upgrades and upkeep items to our A/V and C3 facilities out of our YOUth budget.

that's just something we're RE:thinking in 1bC YOUth Ministry.