NACBA Weekly Update
Jun. 14, 2013

Donor denied $25,000 charitable deduction: Here's why
Church Law & Tax
A donor made a cash contribution of $25,000 to a religious organization. The IRS audited the donor's tax return and denied the charitable contribution deduction on the ground that it was not properly substantiated. The donor appealed to the United States Tax Court. The Tax Court agreed with the IRS. This case illustrates the consequences that can result from a church's failure to comply with the substantiation requirements for charitable contributions.More

12 cheat-sheet tips about church websites
By Mark MacDonald
In college, "cheat-sheet" cards were a big help to study between classes. But as we all know, life isn't about passing exams, it's about learning how to do things properly when the opportunity arrives. When it comes to website design and content, here are 12 quick, easy-to-remember tips that will help you develop church websites that work. Use this article as a cheat-sheet to ensure you'll pass the test of an effective website. More

Leading under pressure
By C. Fredrick Crum
Yes, it has been said that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. The question is how do they get going? How do leaders respond when they are under pressure? A leader's true colors come out when he or she is under pressure, especially extreme pressure.More

How to ensure your software purchase is worth the price
By Deborah Wipf
Accounting programs, church management software and more have become common tools to help us handle a myriad of administrative details. Follow these steps to make sure you end up with a tool worth the cost.More

Mindless metrics: Sunday attendance not a useful measure
Religion News Service
The go-to number in American religion is ASA — average Sunday attendance. Entire methodologies for church development have been built around this number. The problem is ASA isn't a useful measure of quantity, and it says nothing about quality.More

It's not too late
The start of the 57th NACBA National Conference in Charlotte, N.C., is less than a month away, but it's not too late be a part of this learning, networking, renewing event. There are still plenty of hotel rooms within the NACBA room block, but time is running out. Check out the information letter and frequently asked questions at Don’t delay, register today.More

TeleWeb: Biggest hiring hazards
The National Association of Church Business Administration invites you to a phone and/or Web-based seminar: Tax & Legal Update — Biggest Hiring Hazards with Frank Sommerville. Churches on average spend 53 percent of their operating budget on employees. Making the right hire every time is critical. This TeleWeb was originally set for June 6, but it has been rescheduled for July 25.More

Should churches reject tax exemption?
Managing Your Church
Mike Huckabee raised an intriguing, provocative question while addressing pastors ahead of the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Houston: Should churches reject their tax-exempt status as a way to break free of government oversight and restriction? The former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate said the unfolding IRS scandal should give pastors and church leaders pause.More

ECFA State of Giving Report shows recovery mode continues
Worship Facilities
The faith-based financial accountability organization ECFA is reporting a modest 2.4 percent increase in charitable giving in 2012, as compared with a 1.4 percent decrease for 2011 to large ECFA-accredited nonprofits and churches. The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability reports giving to small organizations continues to decline for the second consecutive year.More

Fundraising is not 1 person's work
Faith and Leadership
Once upon a time, loyal donors generously supported many wonderful ministry ideas, often based on the donor's trust of the institution and its work. Institutional leaders' primary work was to devise the grand plans. The funds would flow, especially if "missions" were involved. Ministers and missionaries did not have to worry about raising money.More

Giving practices of tithers may surprise you
Each year Pastor Brian Kluth of Maximum Generosity partners with organizations like ECCU to research the giving practices of Christians. Results of his 2013 State of the Plate research are in, and they focus on tithers — the people who give 10 percent or more of their income to Christian and charitable causes. Here are some surprises in this year's State of the Plate survey.More

Is LED a bright spot in the future of your business?
By Ed Malinowski
LED lights are making a name for themselves as a cost-saving, environmental alternative to neon and fluorescent lights in signage, parking-lot lights and other exterior and industrial lighting solutions. LED lighting offers many benefits that simply make sense for the way we live and work. So is it worth it to retrofit your signage and lighting? First, you'll want to weigh the cost and benefits.More

Church signs: Tips for your primary exterior sign
Center for Church Communication
If you've ever driven by a church with a clever saying on its marquee, you know how important a sign can be. Besides the building itself, a church's primary sign is its first impression. It's our first chance to tell the community who we are, what we value and what we do. It's also one of our best shots at inviting people to join us. Here are some things to keep in mind when you think about your church's primary sign.More

The rise of the @pastor
The Barna Group
It seems not a month goes by without a social media brouhaha involving a high-profile Christian leader. In between such controversies, insightful blog posts or "retweetable" phrases also go viral. Social media is creating a new class of religious influencers. If you want to watch the modern Christian conversation unfold, just log onto Twitter or check your Facebook feed. The Christian community's voice has become a substantial one in the social, digital space.More

Leading under pressure
By C. Fredrick Crum
Yes, it has been said that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. The question is how do they get going? How do leaders respond when they are under pressure? We are not referring to physical pressure, like that which is exerted on a professional weightlifter. We are referring to pressure — the invisible mental state causing stress. A leader's true colors come out when he or she is under pressure, especially extreme pressure.More

A little criticism goes a long way
Lewis Center for Church Leadership
Leaders must have feedback to grow. Those who become exemplary leaders start out much like others. What causes them to grow into stellar leaders is their ability to learn from feedback and mistakes. Instead of adopting an "I've got to be me" attitude, they know that God has given them the potential to grow into someone who can be even more effective. So why is it that most of us fear, or even resent, criticism?More

3 things you don't really need to be a great leader
We all do what we do because of deep-seated needs. Most founder-owners, for example, start businesses because of a need for freedom and autonomy. Most leaders arrive in leadership positions driven by a need to make a difference. Some needs sour, however, taking the edge off otherwise great leaders and dragging them down to the level of the merely mediocre. Here are the three most common good-needs-gone-bad that otherwise excellent leaders succumb to.More