Updated: Apr 19, 2019
With the close of the calendar year and our official launch coming next month, the finance team at Neighborhood Church wanted to give you all an update on how we did in 2018, and where we plan on going for 2019.
As most of you already know, we have plenty to be thankful for. We did not expect to be in the great position we're in exceeding our 2018 financial goal and having a great reoccurring monthly income from which we can launch our church next week. By God's grace, we now have an incredible location to meet on Sunday mornings for the foreseeable future. We have also been able to save a solid financial foundation that will allow us to do some pretty cool things in 2019. Here are some of our highlights:
In about three months, we raised over $22,000
Our revenue in December alone was about $8,300
We now have 39 giving units (a giving unit includes individuals and married couples)
In December 2018 the average donation was $222, Minimum - $20, Maximum - $1,200, Median - $75
In September 2018 when we sent out the 2018 and 2019 budget not a lot of information was known about where we would be today, at the time, we were meeting in a house and had $400 monthly gross income. Our idea was to use the remaining months in the year to build up cash reserves and see how much our monthly recurring income would be.
What we found most encouraging was that despite not being provided the 30-200k seed (startup) money that major denominations provide for the first two years, we saw a truly sustainable financial situation coming together by the end of the year. It's so encouraging to Eric and our team that we have enough people committed the point that they're willing to put their money where their mouth is.
A few days ago, our finance team met with Eric to discuss what to do with our current funds, as well as breakdown our monthly spending file for 2019. Here are some of the highlights.
1. Current funds
From our current $22K, we will immediately put $15K into a savings account. We feel that it is important to have this buffer for emergencies, sudden changes in giving or new opportunities (for example, putting a deposit down for a new location, if necessary).
We will use $5K from December as operating expenses for January. As a way of managing our expenses and avoiding debt, we will use the revenue gained from the previous month to operate in the current month (for example, if we gain only $3K in January, we will only spend $3K in February).
We will use the remaining $2K for non-recurring startup expenses (for example, rent that we owe Lincoln’s Beard, purchasing signage, purchasing coffee supplies and preparing materials for our children’s ministry).
2. Monthly Budget
From our giving data for 2018, we feel confident that we have at least $5,000 in revenue every month.
Our goal as a church is to have 50% of our monthly budget available as a “Missions Fund” for our missional communities and other serve projects. The money we have is a gift from God and is not for us to spend on ourselves. We want to focus on minimizing our expenses so we can maximize our generosity. Eric will explain more of this soon.
As some of you may have noticed in the original budget we distributed, we had budgeted for Eric to get paid $10,000 for four months of work in 2018. However, Eric has decided to abate his 2018 salary in order to put the church in a better financial position. Nevertheless, starting in January, Eric will be paid a monthly salary of $850 that will slowly increase as the year goes on and we get a better idea of what our giving will look like. The goal is to eventually get him to an annual salary of $31K (about $2.5K a month).
Lincoln’s Beard has been very generous with us, and we are getting an amazing deal on our monthly rent. They are now part of our story. Let’s make sure to be gracious with them, respectful of their space and support their business.
We have a few fixed expenses for Sunday morning worship: children’s ministry supplies, coffee, music supplies (as things break down over time) and money for our welcome team (Eric will also explain more on this later after our launch next Sunday)
A few other fixed administrative expenses
No debt! We will use our savings when necessary and replenish it.
Our budget is very flexible and will be reviewed monthly and adjusted (if needed) by our Finance team and Eric, as giving goes up and down throughout the year.
It’s important to mention that we could not have done this without our community’s remarkable generosity. We hope that as a church, we always emphasize and reflect that we do not give out of obligation, but as a joyful response to the unending gifts that God graciously gives us every day, the most important being the gift of His Son. And if these past few months are any indication, our community is thriving and excited for what God has in store for us in 2019.
More details to follow, but if you have any questions, please feel free to contact either Brett or Martin.
You can download our monthly financials HERE on Google Drive.
The Finance Team @ Neighborhood Church (Brett Horne & Martin Barbieri)