Texas Presbyterian Foundation

First, Answer the Question!

By Jake Wilson, TPF Relationship Manager


What are you going to do with it?

Fact: Church members can be reluctant to leave something to their church because they don’t know what will be done with their money.

This is a topic I often discuss with church leadership—how to explain to congregants that the church genuinely is the best avenue to ensure the donors’ resources go to make the greatest impact for good. TPF encourages churches to highlight the various missions, ministries, and causes in the local community and beyond that the church supports via the generosity of its members. Without a doubt, storytelling is impactful.

It is also important that the church remains fully transparent with where current money is going and to be very clear about what the church’s plans are for future money. Transparency in financial dealings is crucial for any organization, and churches are no exception. Maintaining transparency with donations not only builds trust with the congregation and the community but also ensures accountability and ethical management of funds.

There are a few things that you can do now to ensure you are effectively communicating with your church members.

Tell the real story with narrative budgets. They provide a visual tool that allows you to clearly tell the story of ministry in your congregation. Narrative budgets can be so much more effective than presenting spreadsheets and line items.

Implement governing policies to ensure consistency in how gifts are accepted and managed. TPF has sample investment policy statements, permanent funds policies, and gift acceptance policies that we can share with your church.  These policies are important because they bring clarity and confidence to the donor, but also act as guiding governing documents that can protect the church and limit liability. CLICK HERE to access our library of useful resources.

Talk about it. Whether it’s during a Sunday service, a committee meeting, or content on your website, be sure to openly discuss what your budget looks like, what you need, and how generosity is thriving in your church.

Just like we have always been told, honesty is always the best policy. By implementing these strategies, you can foster a culture of transparency and accountability, which can lead to stronger trust and engagement within your congregation AND the community of those you serve. For additional legacy giving tools, please CLICK HERE to visit our TPF Legacy Builder website.