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Understanding the State of Your Church’s Finances

Understanding the state of your church's finances

It should go without saying that operating your church effectively isn’t something you put on the back burner…it’s not a goal you put at the bottom of the list. It’s something you and your staff work towards every day.  

Few things scream “operational excellence” more than having tools to plan and execute your financial year. For some churches, the dread of printing and mailing hundreds of giving statements is top of mind; for others, it may be a more calming and humbling experience, thinking about the past year and the financial blessings your congregation has bestowed upon your church. Whether you’re in camp A or B – or a little bit of both – let’s talk about a few ways that churches use Realm to better understand their finances, better ways of producing giving statements, and more.

Pledge Campaigns

Some churches do pledge campaigns and if that’s something your church takes advantage of, those can be viewed throughout the year on the pledge dashboard. Setting up pledge campaigns is not only easy and a great tool for tracking donations, they can also be used as a budgeting tool. For example, your church surely has a yearly budget you adhere to.  Using Realm’s built-in pledge campaigns, they can help you answer such questions as:

  • How far away are we from our goal?
  • How are we tracking from previous years?
  • Who’s been donating to support our church?
  • Who’s behind in their pledge so we can minister to them?

For those behind in their pledge, this isn’t a time for the church to point fingers; but it can be an opportunity for the church to reach out to those who haven’t completed their pledge. Maybe there are personal reasons why they aren’t donating to their pledge that the church otherwise wouldn’t have known about. If that’s the case, the church could add them to a discipleship track so someone could minister to them. In other cases, the church can also remind how important they are to the church and how important their donations are to keep the church afloat.

Giving Statements

The giving statement has been the tried and true method of churches providing every donor with a brief understanding of what they’ve given this year, to what fund, and so on. However, so many churches are still printing their giving statements and mailing them to their donors.  There’s nothing wrong with that process, and if it’s working for you, Realm has a robust solution for printed giving statements. However, Realm also offers a way for your congregation to print their statements, saving your church time and financial resources.

Churches that use Realm can have their donors view and print their giving statements at their convenience. Additionally, they’ll also have a running record of all their giving history and current pledges, viewable at any time throughout the year.  

By logging in to Realm on their computer or simply downloading the Realm Connect mobile app for iPhone or Android, donors can view and print their statements, view their giving throughout the year, give online at any point, and so much more.

Dashboards

Isn’t it always better to have someone guide you when you’re in unfamiliar territory rather than going in blind? This is true with understanding your church’s finances as well.

Realm Dashboards were built specifically for church leaders who need a quick snapshot of their church. From attendance, to pledges, to giving and more, Realm Dashboards help you make sense of your church.  

They’re different from a pre-built report; they’re real-time analytics that help you understand how your church is operating at the moment. Church leaders use Realm’s Giving and Pledge Dashboards to understand which funds or campaigns have been the most successful, see a quick snapshot of online giving, checks, and cash, and so much more. Best of all, they can be filtered on any point in time – weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis. You can even do completely custom dates if that’s what you need.  

Accounting

Last but certainly not least, it’s difficult to truly understand the state of your church’s finances without having a true church accounting solution. To add to that frustration, it’s not a great experience to continuously export your financial data from one solution to another.

That’s why Realm Accounting is not only built specifically for churches, it’s also fully integrated directly into Realm. This means no more importing or exporting your financial data between systems. Since all your financial data is housed in Realm, it’s truly an all-in-one system.

Realm Accounting allows churches to build new budgets, including net income, revenue, and expenses for the coming year and visit past budgets from previous years. You’ll also have access to Realm Accounting’s diverse reports which make reporting so much easier. You’ll have access to 16 pre-built reports, such as a statement of activities, general ledger summaries, and so much more.  

When you pair Realm’s Dashboards and giving tools with Realm Accounting, you’re creating a one-stop-shop for understanding the financial health of your church. Click here to see how your church can benefit from an all-in-one church management solution like Realm.

David is an Associate Product Marketing Manager and has been an ACS Technologies team member since 2011.  

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