At our April meeting, the Governing Board approved a Committee and Staff Budget Line-Item Spending Policy which I’d like to introduce to you. The initiative originated at Finance Council over the course of the year. It was reviewed by the board at our February and March Board meetings and also reviewed, revised and standardized by the Policy Committee.
The purpose of the policy is to best ensure that UUCR spending stays within our pre-approved budget within a given fiscal year. When we were a smaller church, committee and staff spending could be done more informally. Now that we’re a bigger church with a bigger annual budget, it’s important to put in place policies and procedures that will enable better communication between all parties.
The cycle to determine our budget for the coming fiscal year (July 1st through June 30th), begins every year around January when staff members and church committees are asked to propose their budget. These requests are considered alongside available funds raised during the Annual Budget Drive. At the May Governing Board meeting, the board finalizes the budget including those of all staff and committees. Church members approve the budget at the May Bi-Annual Congregational Business Meeting.
Once the fiscal year begins, staff and committees can begin to spend against their specific budget line item. Reimbursements will be provided for all requests made that are within budget. Reimbursement requests which exceed a budget line item must be pre-approved. The policy itself provides all related detail.
After next year's budget is approved at the Spring Annual Business Meeting we'll disseminate the meeting minutes. Rev. Tim will inform staff members about their budgets and the V.P. of Programs will inform Committee Chairs about theirs. Every month an updated budget status report will be posted on the website in the Members-Only section. This will enable committee chairs and other interested folks to get frequent and convenient budget status updates. To minimize the possibility of personal information being made available on the internet, staff salaries will be consolidated into a single budget line item.
In the coming weeks, our webmasters will be posting this policy as well as all of our other officially adopted policies on our website in a member-only section so that we can all have access to them.
Your feedback on any church policy is always welcome.
A regional church serving communities north of Boston, welcoming people of all ages, religious backgrounds, cultural origins, differing abilities, gender identity, political views, and sexual orientations.