Financial Resources for Congregations

Being treasurer of your congregation is an important responsibility. Whether you are new to the office or have served for years, the task can sometimes seem overwhelming. But take heart! -- help is available from many sources.

MNYS Resources

MNYS Compensation Guidelines for Pastors 
Calculating the compensation package for your pastor is a complex task. These guidelines, which are updated every year, take you step-by-step through the process. All congregations are encouraged to use these guidelines when calling a new pastor or when performing the annual review of their pastor’s compensation.

Pastor’s Discretionary Fund Guidelines 
These guidelines address funding and disbursement issues, as well as accountability and tax consequences of discretionary funds. A sample "Discretionary Fund Policy" is included for congregational use.

ELCA Resources

The ELCA’s Finance webpage is a good resource for establishing sound financial practices. You will find these documents and more:

Congregational Audit Guide
Every congregation should have an annual audit of its financial records. What should be included in an audit? Who can perform it? How do you audit a congregation’s system of internal controls? This guide will tell you.

Congregational Treasurers Financial & Accounting Guide
What are the responsibilities of a treasurer? How do you create a chart of accounts? What financial reports should be prepared on a regular basis? Both new and experienced treasurers will benefit from this excellent resource.

Program Budget Presentation
How do you present your congregation’s budget so that it best reflects your programs? This resource will get you started.

Internal Control Best Practices
Congregations are responsible for exercising good stewardship and care of the resources entrusted. To accomplish this, it is critical to set up adequate internal controls and accounting policies. This brief document explains primary financial activities and what controls should be in place to monitor them.

IRS Publications

Publication 517
Social Security Guidelines for Members of the Clergy and other Religious Workers

Publication 1828
IRS Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations

Publication 598
Unrelated Business Income Tax

You may also contact Karen Falco, MNYS Chief Operating Officer, if you have questions.