How to Develop a Church Building Fund

by Karen Hollowell

Churches establish building funds to raise money for a specific project such as a new sanctuary or a fellowship hall. Sometimes churches maintain an ongoing building fund in order to have money available for emergency repairs to existing buildings. Follow the steps below to develop a building fund for your church.

How to Develop a Church Building Fund

Inform the congregation. The financial and building committees of the church will make a recommendation to the congregation during a business meeting about a particular construction project that they deem necessary. These committees will first get authorization to research building options and cost analysis. They may also talk with leaders of other local churches to get ideas and feedback about what options are most cost-effective. After a study has been completed, this committee will present a plan of action at subsequent business meetings. The church will then vote to approve or disapprove their recommendations.

Once approved, the church members along with the finance and building committees will decide on ways to raise money before the fund is started. Funds are sometimes solicited through personal donations. Many churches have fund raising events such as plate lunch and bake sales, car washes or garage sales. Most churches use a combination of methods.

After funding sources have been approved, the church treasurer will set up a separate account for the building fund. It is wise to keep the building fund donations in an account separate from the general church fund. This will ensure that all transactions relating to these funds are distinctly recorded apart from the normal expenditures of the church. The treasurer can choose from options such as an interest bearing savings account or a certificate of deposit that limits the use of funds for a six- or 12-month period, but usually yields a higher interest rate.

Continue full disclosure to congregation. At subsequent business meetings, present written reports about the fund, including account balance, expenditures and deposits. Once the full amount has been raised, the account can be closed. If a certificate of deposit has been utilized, the church may opt to keep some funds in order to earn additional interest for future projects.

About the Author

Karen Hollowell has been teaching since 1994. She has taught English/literature and social studies in grades 7-12 and taught kindergarten for nine years. She currently teaches fourth grade reading/language and social studies. Hollowell earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Mississippi and her Master of Arts in elementary education from Alcorn State University.

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