The Finance Committee is tasked with overseeing the management of church funds. This group of volunteers includes the Finance Chair, the Treasurer (who administers all accounting functions) and at least one other member. It is supplemented with paid staff. The committee is responsible for accounting functions, documenting financial procedures, monitoring the mission budget and expenditure requests, and preparing an operating budget for the following year.
Church cash is maintained in a checking account and in a money market fund. Land and buildings are kept on the books in a nominal amount.
The church has one loan, made by Jacksonville Electric Authority for modernizing the water and sewer service. Additionally, some funds are restricted from the operating budget, such as Prepaid Pledges, Capital Campaign Reserve, Campus Maintenance Reserve and Music Committee Fund. Annual Operating Surpluses, if any, are transferred to the Board Reserve. This account can be used exclusively by Board Action for an operating deficit.
The Board treasurer produces and provides to the board a monthly report that includes a balance sheet, income and expenses, and a dashboard summary to keep the Board abreast of the church’s assets and liabilities.
Revenue and expenses are maintained in the PowerChurch accounting software. Pledges and payments are recorded in Breeze church management software, and totals posted weekly into PowerChurch.
The Mission Budget provides funds for programs and outreach through Ministry, support staff, administration, technology, buildings & grounds, committee programs, and dues paid to the UUA. These funds are obtained from pledges, plate collection, rentals, and an annual distribution from the UUCJ Foundation (Endowment).
In early spring, the Board activates the Mission Funding Pledge Team and the Team begins planning how the drive will be conducted and the timeline. During the summer, the Board Secretary works with the Portfolio Leaders who get with their respective committees and help fashion the committees’ financial requests to fund the programs and activities they plan to offer the incoming year. The committees’ budget requests are submitted to their respective Portfolio Leaders and then submitted to the Treasurer.
Continuing in the fall,
The Finance Committee prepares a preliminary Mission Budget and submits it to the Board. Church members are invited to attend a Mission Budget Workshop and provide input on expenses and priorities. The Pledge Drive Team conducts its annual campaign and estimates a total pledge amount for the Workshop. The Finance Committee submits a balanced budget to the Board; the Board reviews it, may make changes, and submits to the congregation in advance of the Annual Congregational Meeting. Through majority vote, the congregation adopts the Mission Budget for the fiscal year beginning in January.
The Finance Committee balances the final Budget and sends it to the Board for approval at its November Board meeting. Once approved, the Board sends the proposed Mission Budget and other materials to the congregation.
The Board conducts its Annual Congregational Meeting to adopt the proposed budget, elect Board members, and conduct other business as needed.
The Treasurer and Bookkeeper monitor expenses and contact committee chairs as needed. Chairs may spend their budget without further approval, but must request permission from the Board to exceed their budget. The Board is strongly encouraged not to make budget changes unless exceptional events occur.
The Unitarian Universalist Church of Jacksonville Foundation, Inc. is a separate non-profit corporation formed to manage the church endowment fund. Members are the members of the church. The IRS recognizes the Foundation as a 501 (c) (3) charity. Its activities are governed by its By-Laws. It is managed by a Board of 3 to 5 members with a President, Secretary, and Treasurer. Members are elected at the Foundation Annual Meeting held immediately following the church’s Annual Congregational Meeting.
The purposes of the Foundation are contained in its By-Laws:
The Foundation ensures support of UUCJ in perpetuity. Assets are invested in the UUA Common Endowment Fund, along with funds from many other UU churches. Each year the Foundation transfers 4% of its assets to the church Mission Operating Budget.
Gifts from members and the public are appreciated. Members are encouraged to include the Foundation in their estate plans. The Bequest Club consists of members who have done so. A special collection for the Foundation is held each year. Its main goal is to reinforce awareness of the Foundation.
All the foregoing is simply to say that it takes money for us to exist, and the process of acquiring anddelegating those funds is open business for all to see. When needed, we have an audit by professionalsoutside our church, just to make sure our process passes muster. A significant portion of our budget is earmarked for support of social justice, charitable groups and the environment. The bulk of activity is carriedon by church members who volunteer their time, talent, and treasure without full time professionalsupervision, and we trust each other to make the right decisions. We hope you will see a portrait of a vital institution. The budget chart of general categories is as follows: