Monday, February 23, 2009

And now you know, and knowing is half the battle.

I wrote the post below on Saturday because our annual church business meeting was scheduled for yesterday and I knew that I wouldn't have time to write anything last night. I was correct. The meeting started at 4pm and ran till 7:30 then we had a time of worship and took communion. I left a bit before 9 and went to fill a prayer slot for our 24-7 prayer. I made it back home around 10:20 to exhausted to even think about writing. Actually I didn't even turn my computer on which is saying something for an internet addict such as myself.

Anyways, the meeting went well. It took forever mostly because of the financial report. I ended up fielding a lot of the questions myself because I've been so involved in getting our finances sorted out. Things are still not great but we are going in the right direction with getting separation of duties and such taken care of. There have also been a lot of other changed in the way we record various transactions.

None of that was reflected in the report given at the business meeting and so there were a lot of questions about exactly what specific expenses were and why we had money we can't use and such like that.

Just so you know, if you make a donation to a non-profit organization please make your donation as general as possible so it can be used where it is needed. If you write a letter with your donation explaining that the money can only be used to buy a very specific piece of property that the organization is never going to buy then that money will sit in a bank account untouchable as far as the IRS is concerned.

I don't mind explaining these things I just wish it didn't take so long. I felt like I was having to teach the first couple classes from my church finance course in college. The annoying part is that I gave the same lesson last year. I think this year I'm going to write a short manual on how we handle our money and what it can be used for legally. I figure I can write say 10-20 pages on the subject to cover the highlights. That is pretty good considering the book on my desk right now covering the ins and outs of church finance is 544 pages.

Oh well, thank God this meeting went as well as it did. Last year was kind of nasty so we are moving in the right direction.