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Friday, April 17, 2009

Some Youth Ministry Finances Stuff...

Over the past few days, I’ve been asked a question or three about finances. Here’s the rundown:

Any student that participates in a fundraiser will have a student account set up. As they work various fundraisers, their “cut” goes into their account. This is their money, to be used for church events (Camp, CIY, Retreats, Trips, etc).

Anyone may add money to their youth account at any time. Simply make the check (I am no longer accepting ANY cash) out to Eastview Youth Fund, and give the check to ME. Why me? Because we manage our youth accounts in a totally different bank than our church general fund. When “student money” goes into our general offering, there are several clerical things that need to take place, so skip the middleman. Please give all checks to me. This includes deposits, balance payoffs for trips, and even just general deposits to increase student balances.

As it says above, this is “their money”. As events get closer, I’ll let you know what funds are in their accounts, and you just pay the difference. There is nothing to apply for, I just need to know if you want to use the money in their accounts for an event. If we are speaking in person or on the phone about this, I’ll ask that you send me an email just so we have documentation.

We take deposits for trips as a way to gauge interest, commitment and because the organizations that we work with require them. It is our ministry team policy that deposits NOT COME FROM STUDENT ACCOUNTS. If this is an issue, please contact me personally so we can discuss it.

These deposits come out of the total trip cost. For instance: the total trip cost for CIY is $300. The deposit due is $50. Once that deposit is paid (it’s due on the 22nd, by the way!!), the balance due becomes $250. If a student has $65 in their youth account, and you communicate to me that you want that to go towards CIY, you would then owe $185.

I try very hard to keep things as reasonably priced as possible. Having said that, everything costs more right now. We try very hard to be good stewards of the funds we take in. We do not seek to make money off our events. In fact, last year on our Kansas mission trip, we spent .04 less than we had budgeted!

Finally, scholarship funds. We have set up a scholarship fund to ASSIST families and students who need money to attend out events. Generally, scholarship funds are available to students who a) are involved consistently in our events, b) who participate in our fundraisers, and c) need the money. Additionally, our specific policy is that students can only receive funds for one MAJOR event per year. A MAJOR event is one like CIY, CAMP, a mission trip, etc. On top of that, even within those guidelines, we may not be able to fund an entire trip for someone. Above all else, we are limited by funds on hand. We simply cannot pay the total amount for every student who wishes to go to CIY. But, we may be able to pay something. Our scholarship policy will be under review by our ministry team in the coming months, I’ll let you know what changes. For details on the current policy, hop over to the parent website, and download the form.

I hope that this answers some questions. Have a great weekend!

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