MONEY MATTERS DEVELOPING FINANCIAL RESOURCES
IM EIN KEMACH, EIN TORAH WHERE THERE IS NO BREAD, THERE IS h ;r OwT ˜yae jmæ ,q ˜yae µai NO TORAH. PIRKEI AVOT
As a trustee, it is your fiduciary responsibility to pay careful attention to fiscal management, which consists of developing and monitoring annual budgets as well as short- and long-term financial planning. Because you will be held to a high standard of accountability, you will need to become familiar with the financial reports and operating statements of your synagogue.
Your congregation may have at least three different classes of funds: Operating, capital, and endowment. There should be a separate budget for each class.
Operations are funded substantially by the collection of membership dues and are supplemented by a multitude of fund-raising events, such as dinners, bazaars, auctions, concerts, and speakers, and sometimes by interest from endowment funds.
Capital funds, used for renovating present facilities or constructing new facilities, are generally segregated from all other synagogue funds and are often generated by special fund-raising campaigns and/or assessments of the members.
The assets from endowment funds provide assurance for the congregation’s future by preserving, enhancing, and perpetuating the synagogue. Unrestricted contributions are collected, and only the interest is expended.
Every year you will be asked to approve the operating budget, which is a compilation of budget proposals by the congregation’s various operating committees. The budget is a description in financial terms of the programs of the synagogue. It is a tool that enables the administration and the leadership to plan, supervise, and control the operations of the synagogue. It is a projection of the funds that will be available to the congregation for its anticipated expenses and expenditures during a specified period of time.
Three sources of income fund a synagogue: congregational support, special/specific gifts, and planned giving. Congregational support is received on an annual basis and is calculated in a variety of ways. Special gifts are one-time donations and encompass small and large contributions from fund-raising events such as dinners and bazaars, bar/bat mitzvah celebrations and yahrzeit donations, and capital campaign contributions. Planned giving includes bequests and life-income options such as pooled income funds, charitable remainder trusts, and charitable gift annuities.
UNION FOR REFORM JUDAISM • 15