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Implementing Narrative Budgeting in your Parish. Stewardship and Financial Development Committee Anglican Diocese of Niagara The Reverend David M. Ponting. What is Narrative Budgeting? . It is the sacred story of the ministry of the parish

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Implementing narrative budgeting in your parish l.jpg

Implementing Narrative Budgeting in your Parish

Stewardship and Financial Development Committee

Anglican Diocese of Niagara

The Reverend David M. Ponting


What is narrative budgeting l.jpg

What is Narrative Budgeting?

It is the sacred story of the ministry of the parish

One of the most important ways we can effect on-going stewardship education

Narrative Budgeting is an essential element in educating your congregation about how their money is being utilized to support the ministry of the parish


An important insight is the backbone of narrative budgeting l.jpg

An important insight is the backbone of Narrative Budgeting…

Donors don’t give their money TO the church…

…they give THROUGH the church to touch the lives of other people

Anglicans will give generously when they feel their money is having an impact


Sacred story l.jpg

Sacred story… Budgeting…

Much of Scripture is the sacred story of God’s care for the people of God. ie. Exodus 16 and Manna from heaven.

Just as individuals have sacred stories of God’s providential care for them…

…a narrative budget is the sacred story of your parish’s ministry and how your parishioners are giving through their parish to touch the lives of other people


We have a theological starting point l.jpg

We have a theological starting point… Budgeting…

…and that starting point is that we are NOT a secular institution.

Our faith calls us to view the deployment of money much differently than secular institutions


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We must overcome years of faulty theology Budgeting…

…and begin to view money from the perspective of a faith community rather than a secular perspective

This has a serious implication…



A new way of thinking l.jpg

A new way of thinking budget in the local parish!!

Line item budgets are an accounting tool

Narrative budgets are an educational and visioning tool

We need both but we must be more intentional in how we use both


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Line item budgets have limitations budget in the local parish!!

They do not show how money is being invested in ministry

They do not show how volunteer time and talent are impacting parish life

Worst of all – they do not inspire!


The narrative budget l.jpg

The Narrative Budget budget in the local parish!!

Clearly shows how money is being invested in the various components of parish life

Helps donors to re-frame what the parish is all about

Inspires donors and helps them see their donations are really making a difference

Is a proven tool for increasing financial commitment to the ministry of the parish


The narrative budget11 l.jpg

The Narrative Budget budget in the local parish!!

Recognizes that parishioners are not inspired at the prospect of funding administrative costs, postage, heat, hydro, cleaning supplies, photocopying, etc.

And helps donors see their investment in the ministry of the parish in a different light.


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The Narrative Budget budget in the local parish!!

So how does Narrative Budgeting work?


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Each parish has several key components to their ministry… budget in the local parish!!

Your parish’s ministry might easily be segmented into these six components:

Pastoral Care

Christian Education

Worship

Evangelism and Hospitality

Outreach

In-reach and Fellowship


All parish expenditures can be assigned to one of these six areas l.jpg

All Parish Expenditures can be assigned to one of these six areas!

Pastoral Care

Christian Education

Worship

Evangelism and Hospitality

Outreach

In-reach and Fellowship


Experience shows six categories seems to be optimum l.jpg

Experience shows Six Categories seems to be Optimum areas!

This means you will have to make some decisions about what categories are right for your parish.

Some parishes like a youth ministry category. I have found it easiest to fit both Youth Ministry and Stewardship Education into the ‘Christian Education’ segment

However, you could put Youth Ministry in the ‘Outreach’ or ‘Evangelism’ categories if that makes more sense for your parish.


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Notice what category is NOT included in a Narrative Budget areas!

Pastoral Care

Christian Education

Worship

Evangelism and Hospitality

Outreach

In-reach and Fellowship

Do you see the ADMINISTRATION category on this list??


If you use administration as a category in your narrative budget l.jpg

If you use ADMINISTRATION as a category in your Narrative Budget

You will be defeating the entire purpose of Narrative Budgeting!!!

I BEG you. Don’t go there!


A small team can put together your parish s narrative budget l.jpg

A small team can put together your parish’s Narrative Budget

Start by getting your staff to diarize how they spend their time for a month. They can also review their day planners for the previous month

Allocate their time amongst the six areas of ministry

Treat that as directional for how other expenditures in the line item budget should be allocated amongst the six areas of ministry

Some line items in your budget will be easy to allocate (Sunday school supplies to Christian education for example)


So after a month of diarizing by your staff you will have an allocation formula l.jpg

So after a month of diarizing by your staff you will have an allocation formula

For example the rector might spend 15% of his/her time on Christian Education; 10% on Outreach; 30% on Worship and Worship preparation; 10% on In-reach and Fellowship; and 15% on Evangelism and Hospitality and the remaining 20% on Pastoral Care

We then take this formula and use it as a blueprint for line items that are difficult to allocate


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Don’t get caught in a trap allocation formula

Many parishes implementing Narrative Budgeting for the first time miss a big point – they get too caught up on delivering accuracy and don’t give themselves permission to treat the Narrative Budget as directional.

Its not that we deliberately try to be inaccurate. We try to be as accurate as possible but we also recognize that, as an educational tool, helping reframe minds and getting donors to think about how their donation is used is more important than accuracy








The net takeaway we want donors to have is this l.jpg
The net takeaway we want donors to have is this: pie…

  • 14 cents of every dollar I give goes to Pastoral Care

  • 34 cents of every dollar I give goes to Outreach

  • etc.


And the good news is we have made the whole process very simple to do l.jpg
And the good news is we have made the whole process very simple to do:

  • By accessing the Diocese of Niagara web-site you can download all the Excel software already programmed so that all you have to do is fill in your own figures and pie charts will be generated for your parish

  • You can access it through the “Financial Development” link at www.niagara.anglican.ca


Time and talent worksheet l.jpg
Time and Talent Worksheet simple to do:

You can also find a template for calculating and reporting volunteer hours against the six categories of ministry at the same web address and link www.niagara.anglican.ca


We tell the story of the individual slices of the parish ministry pie l.jpg

We tell the story of the individual slices of the parish ministry pie

There is a narrative for Outreach, a narrative for Evangelism, a narrative for Pastoral Care, etc.

We funnel the story from the macro story to the micro story


The pastoral care narrative might look something like this l.jpg

The Pastoral Care narrative might look something like this: ministry pie

The ministry of Pastoral Care at St. Paul’s involves the following services:

taking of home communion to three local nursing homes each month

on call at two local funeral homes and follow up with the mourners from 30 funerals in 2003

frequent visiting at three local hospitals to care for parishioners recovering from illness or surgery


More pastoral care ministries l.jpg

More pastoral care ministries ministry pie

counselling services to couples and individuals in marital crisis

care of McMaster students in crisis due to stress-related pressures of school

self help group set up to care for unemployed in the area

bereaved families support group

etc.


Then we get even more specific and tell the ministry sacred stories l.jpg

Then we get even more specific and tell the ministry sacred stories

Kristen is a first year student in Biology at McMaster. Its her first time away from home and her family is in Lumsden, Saskatchewan. She has been having a difficult time with her classes and her marks have slipped dramatically since high school. Her mother was badly hurt in a car accident last month and Kristen is not coping well. She walked in off the street last Wednesday morning and all her pain came gushing out in the rector’s office. She and the rector connected and she has showed up in church the last few Sundays feeling like she has found a “family” to care for her


We tell the stories of the real people touched by our ministry l.jpg

We tell the stories of the real people touched by our ministry

Tell a few stories for each category of ministry

Donors begin to get a better sense of the impact the ministry of the parish is having on peoples’ lives

Experience shows they become inspired and take a much greater ownership of the many ministries of the parish


There are many ways we can use to get the story out l.jpg

There are many ways we can use to get the story out ministry

Vestry reports

Parish newsletter

Bulletin inserts

Parish website

Fall Stewardship mailings

Narrative Budgeting booklets

Personal contact

Include in intercessory prayers


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Use Sunday worship to tell the sacred stories ministry

Put a bulletin insert out each week for six weeks highlighting a different category of ministry

Pray for that ministry

Tell a specific story of a person being touched by that ministry


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Adding Time and Talent ministry

You can do special charts that illustrate volunteer hours against the six categories of ministry

Parishioners get a sense of how vital and vibrant the local parish is when looked at in the context of volunteer time


Let s look at one aspect of volunteer time l.jpg

Let’s look at one aspect of Volunteer time ministry

Sunday Morning Worship

Altar guild – two people X 2 hours= 4 hours

Choir – ten member X 2 hours of worship and two hours of practice time = 40 hours

Readers, chalice bearers, server, crucifer, counters, sides-people, litanist, 10 X 1.5 hours = 15 hours

Almost 70 hours of volunteer time in one week X 44 weeks =3,080 hours of volunteer time in Sunday morning worship alone


In an average size parish l.jpg

In an average size parish ministry

When you factor in all ministries, we estimate that 10,000 – 15,000 volunteer hours per year are accumulated

That’s a significant impact on any local community!!


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Narrative Budgeting is an Evolving Process ministry

Each year you will get better at it as you add stories and volunteer time and talent

It improves with each cycle

People will begin to think of the funding of the ministry of the parish in a new way


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A Word about Vestry Meetings ministry

We must change how we view money and ministry

Long before vestry you will have begun a job of education and awareness around the Narrative Budget


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The diocesan Stewardship office strongly recommends… ministry

…that you leave the line item budget in the parish office at your annual vestry meeting.

Take only the Narrative Budget to your annual vestry meeting


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You can still make the line item budget available ministry

…tell the left brain accountant types in the parish that there are five copies of the completed line item budget available in the parish office to be signed out by anyone interested. You are not compromising transparency.

As a faith-based organization be determined in your desire to talk about money and ministry in a new way. Don’t vacillate and fall back on the line item budget for decision-making.


Make a leadership decision to leave the line item budget out of your next vestry l.jpg

Make a leadership decision to leave the line item budget out of your next Vestry

…Then have the parish council affirm the leaders’ decision.

That way you can tell the vestry the parish council voted in favour of talking only about the Narrative Budget at vestry and the leaders aren’t standing alone in making this decision


Maybe in your parish l.jpg

Maybe in your parish… of your next Vestry

…Vestry will no longer be viewed as the annual BUSINESS meeting of the parish, but will become

THE ANNUAL MISSION AND MINISTRY MEETING


You may actually find l.jpg

You may actually find… of your next Vestry

…members get excited and start looking forward to your annual Vestry meeting!!


As donors are engaged by the efforts we make to show them l.jpg

As donors are engaged by the efforts we make to show them… of your next Vestry

…their money is having an impact on the lives of people in need


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