Budgets & Use of Funds
Develop a Budget
At a board meeting, early in the year, leaders should discuss and develop an operating funds budget. Consider using your board's yearly plan as a guide in creating the budget.
- The board is responsible for determining how operating funds will be used, while keeping in mind that all spending of chapter funds must be reasonably intended to carry out the purposes of the chapter.
- Operating funds are intended to be used in the year they are received. As a general rule, no more than 10% of the chapter's annual allocation should be carried forward to the next year.
- Chapters must keep receipts for all expenses for seven years and document how each expense was used.
- The board approves all expenses for the chapter before they are incurred.
- When an expense is incurred, the purchaser whom incurred the expense must submit a receipt to the financial director or assistant financial director, who then reimburses the purchaser.
Chapter leaders seeking reimbursement should complete the Chapter Expense Reimbursement Request form (Link opens in new window) (Word, 289K) and submit it, along with the receipts, to the financial director or assistant financial director.
Appropriate Use of Funds
Managing operating funds appropriately, helps boards perform efficiently and increase awareness of chapter activities and Thrivent Financial.
Pay administrative expenses such as postage, supplies and teleconference costs.
The board may also pay an auditor to audit the board's books if the board is unable to find a commitee of volunteers to perform this annual task.
Mileage reimbursement may also be appropriate for travel expenses involved in performing administrative duties of leadership roles primarily travel to and from board meetings and training.
For IRS standard mileage rates, see the Standard Mileage Rates (Link opens in new window) page on the Internal Revenue Service website. If the board votes to approve reimbursement for travel expenses at a rate greater than the 14 cents per mile allowed by the IRS as a deduction for using a vehicle for charitable purposes, those being reimbursed should:
- Keep accurate records and receipts for travel expenses incurred as the result of their leadership role.
- Ask their tax advisor whether any portion of their reimbursement must be claimed as taxable income.
To document mileage reimbursement, complete the Mileage Reimbursement section of the Chapter Expense Reimbursement Request form (Link opens in new window) (Word, 289K) and provide it to the board to be filed with the chapter's receipts.
Support Member Events
Fund activities such as board meetings and annual chapter leader elections (e.g., refreshments for a meeting or election event).
Provide Community Service Teams With Seed Money
Fund teams to conduct chapter-hosted activities. This is intended to cover money used up front for expenses, as they requested funding through the chapter. The board may vote to either:
- Loan funds to the service team and be reimbursed with dollars from fund-raising proceeds.
- Provide funding without an expectation of being reimbursed.
Consider various ways to acknowledge and thank volunteers:
- Make a donation in a volunteer's name.
- Put flowers on the altars of your chapter's congregations.
- Purchase a meaningful gift as a token of appreciation ($25 or less per volunteer as a general guideline).
- Hold an annual recognition event using operating funds to provide refreshments.
It's also acceptable to use operating funds to acknowledge the work of the current leadership board. Some boards go to dinner as a group (at a reasonable cost) to celebrate accomplishments for the year.
Publicity Materials for Chapter-sponsored Events
Many promotional, publicity and personal imprint items (e.g., promotional merchandise, chapter calling cards, letterhead and envelopes) are available in The Store (Link opens in new window) or on the "Order Chapter Supplies" page within Chapter Leadership Administration.
Support Chapter and Thrivent Presence in Local Congregations
Provide a specified amount to each congregation for:
- Awareness-generating events hosted by Thrivent (e.g., Sunday morning coffee hours). Remember, receipts should be provided for supplies purchased.
- Ordering Thrivent logo items they can use for Thrivent-hosted activities (e.g., Thrivent aprons, table-top signs or banners).
Social Gatherings and Educational Seminars and Workshops
Many boards hold an annual meeting to review the past year and announce plans for the next. Some do this in combination with their annual chapter election.
Thrivent offers several educational values-based workshops (led by a Thrivent representative or other trained facilitator) if your chapter would like to offer them to members. See Thrivent Financial educational workshops for details and a list of eligible workshops.
Inappropriate Uses of Funds
Any use of operating funds that is not in the spirit of building awareness, understanding and fellowship among members is inappropriate. Examples of inappropriate uses include:
- Hiring people to do chapter or chapter activity work. Exception: hiring an independent professional auditor for the annual audit of the board's financial records and activities.
- Depositing funds into other accounts/investments.
- Paying Thrivent Associate Membership fees for members or member leaders.
- Accumulating funds for a "rainy day."
- Promoting a Thrivent representative or the sale of a financial product.
- Paying member leaders for performing their leader duties.
- Purchasing equipment, such as computers, popcorn poppers or beverage dispensers.