Are Your Banking Practices Growing with Your Ministry?

(Originally published as an article within ECCU’s former e-publication, Ministry Banking Today.)

It's not uncommon for the banking practices of a growing church to take a back seat to pressing ministry opportunities. But failure to properly manage rising weekly income could actually mean fewer funds for effective ministry. You can reduce this risk by taking several key concepts to your banker or prospective financial services provider.

Seek a financial partner, not a transaction manager. You need a bank that cares about and understands your church. Is your bank familiar with church giving and expense cycles, and are they willing to provide lines of credit to see you through the traditionally low giving months?

Evaluate the total relationship, not just the rates. Are there credits to offset transaction fees? Are minimum balances required? When you need to finance an expansion project, will your banker support your vision? Just as ministry isn’t about buildings and programs, but people, the same can be true of banking. Instead of focusing only on the rate or fee of one product or service, it’s important to consider the cost/value ratio of the total banking relationship.

Maximize earnings on all your funds. Expect your financial institution to recommend cash management options to maximize your earnings, not only for operating accounts but also for reserves and capital campaign funds.

Communicate regularly with your banker. Take the time to communicate your needs and expectations to your banker. Ask questions and ask for ideas to meet your banking objectives. By providing creative new banking and financing options, your banker can truly partner in making your ministry more effective.

For more detailed information on how your ministry can stay ahead on its banking practices, read Vital Information You Can Take to the Bank that was featured in the January 2007 issue of Church Executive.

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