Religious Organisations are not businesses, they are Non-profit and therefore thrive on subventions and donations from members. However, they somewhat differ from NGOs and Foundations for the fact that majority do not really have a physical motive as common with the aforementioned.
Let’s break this down, when you donate to a Charity Organisation for instance, you are contribution to that organization goal of perhaps helping the needy, feeding the poor etc. These are specific goals. Typical religious organisations eg A church may have included charity as part of its objectives but this is not a primary reason why it was founded. Churches and religious organizations are created for the spiritual well-being of their members.
The preamble above is not meant to stoke up reactions as to what religious organizations are meant to be or not. So we will leave it at that. The Church survives on contributions from its members, donations and more. By that we can safely assume that for the church body to realise its objectives, both primary and secondary. Donations from the members need to be encouraged. The dilemma however is being able to convince members to give without sounding too persuasive.
The recent social media outburst on Tithing and leaders handling of members’ donations have put many churches in awkward positions when it comes to giving.
Increased level of financial stewardness and transparency is needed to build trust in the system and dispel mere-say observations and rumors surrounding leaders handling of the common purse. Many antagonists of religious Leaders have painted them in bad light all because there is no-existence of proof or proper financial records as to what the church finances are.
This is a problem that has plagued both the Big and the small churches.
Accountability builds confidence in any system both secular and spiritual. Leaders need to create a system of proper and periodic financial reporting in-order to portray spiritual and physical transparency and also to assure members that truly their sacrifice of giving is not only accepted by God but also administered wisely by men.
Religious leaders have always been potential targets and will continue to be in the limelight for issues relating to financial responsibility.
While it is safe to assume that the repercussion for financial dishonesty and recklessness will be addressed by God on those who work directly in his places of worship. Recent trends have shown that the general populace are probing further and also finding a balance between the lifestyle of their religious leaders and their own expectations of what it should be.
Church leaders are human beings who are entitled to their tastes and mode of lifestyle. However, their fiduciary positions demands they need to prove that this has no bearing on the Church purse.
At BookKeeper, we understand the added burden this could bring to religious organisations. Many religious leaders are not accountants and really do not have to be involved in preparing the financial reports.
We have professionals versed in Church Accounting and Financial Reporting. At a cost you wont feel in your pocket, we could help build confidence and trust in your organization.