Issue 45 of Administration Matters

Crime prevention for your congregation
It’s impossible to predict when and where crime will strike. That’s why it’s so important to be prepared. By starting a crime prevention program now, you are helping protect your worship center and congregation. >More

Security questions you should ask every church management software provider
More church management software solutions are advertising as operating “in the cloud.” This article looks at two aspects of data security – the cloud and datacenter security. It lists questions you can ask as you compare the various software solutions from a data security perspective. >More

Tax guide for pastors
Portico offers the annual Clergy Tax Return Preparation Guide by Richard R. Hammar at no cost to members enrolled in the ELCA benefit program. The guide gives special attention to several forms and schedules and the sections of each form most relevant to ministers. Use it when you’re preparing your income tax return. >More

Federal reporting requirements for churches
Also, on Portico’s website for sponsoring employers, the annual Federal Reporting Requirements for Churches by Richard R. Hammar is offered at no cost to congregations sponsoring members in the Portico benefit program. This resource can help congregations understand federal tax reporting requirements. >More

1 percent health contribution discount
Portico offers a financial incentive to employers – a 1 percent discount on health contributions (last year’s 2 percent  discount) – as a reward for helping communicate to ELCA-Primary health plan members and spouses the importance of taking the online Mayo Clinic health assessment and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. See how much your synod’s employers could save collectively.>More

Switching to energy-efficient bulbs saves money
Saving energy helps you save money on utility bills and protects the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. See what many congregations and ministries are doing through the Energy Stewards Initiative (ESI). If your congregation is in need of financing for an energy project, there are Mission Investment Fund opportunities for loans that could be obtained for energy reduction and also include the initiation of a plan for a rotating loan fund based on grant and gift funds that would be interest free to congregations and camps. >More