Keep Would-Be Thieves from Curbing your Christmas Joy

Large or small, churches and ministries are often easy prey for would-be thieves, especially as church holidays, like Christmas, approach and weekly offerings increase as more people return to worship and other ministry activities. Ministry leaders can boost their ability to keep thieves away from their contributions and property by taking just a few precautions—not only during the holidays, but also throughout the year.

Protecting offerings and collections

Start by establishing financial controls to prevent theft and embezzlement:

  • Ensure that more than one person is responsible for counting the collection—and for every other aspect of a ministry's finances.
  • Complete background checks for those handling church finances.
  • Develop written procedures for handling ministry finances and maintain financial records in a safe place.
  • Conduct an annual audit.

 

Safeguarding valuables

If you haven't already done so, create or update a personal property inventory so you have a current record and appropriate insurance protection for your equipment, financial records, and other valuables.

  • Use a safe for petty cash, small valuables, keys, and important documents.
  • Secure portable items, such as musical instruments, video cameras, and tablet computers. 
  • Eliminate signs in the building that advertise cash, such as "Finance Office" or "Donation Receipts."

 

Securing your building

Make sure your security measures are up to date and those responsible for security know what to do in the event they discover a theft or encounter one in progress.

  • Lock the doors of interior offices, classrooms, and supply rooms when not in use. If you cannot control access otherwise, consider installing collapsible metal gates that bolt to walls.
  • Retain keys and security codes. Ask a church representative to open the church building for guests and secure it when they leave.
  • Assign a church member to monitor your building to verify the whereabouts of people and to assist in an emergency.
  • Install adequate lighting near doors, in parking lots, and at the rear of buildings.
  • Use a timer or a motion- or light-sensitive switch to activate lights.
  • Maintain landscaping to eliminate possible hiding places and to give visitors an unobstructed view of entrances and windows.
  • Consider installing an alarm system.

Be mindful of the risks that giving imposes on your ministry's operation. Make every effort to protect you ministry from thieves, especially during the holidays when increased giving and added ministry activities are often the norm.

 

February 19, 2024
Is Your Facility Use Agreement Working For You?
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With Valentine’s Day upon us and the official May-to-October wedding season not far behind, many couples are searching for the perfect wedding venue.  Schools and performing arts organizations are looking for end-of-year performance and graduation venues.  Your church or nonprofit facility might be the perfect match.  Engaging the opportunity has stewardship and community outreach benefits.  But opening your facilities to other activities and users involves risk.  A Facility Use Policy sets the standard for your facility use.   A Facility Use Agreement implements that standard.  To be effective,  leaders must answer three questions.

Tags: church insurance, ministry, legal agreements, facility rental
February 19, 2024
PART TWO: How protected are members of your safety team? The answer may surprise you.
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The focus of this article is to address some of the risks and liabilities associated with having an armed safety team. Click here to read PART ONE.

Tags: church safety, security teams, ministry, hr
February 19, 2024
Client Success Advisors at your Service!
Client Success Advisors at your Service!

Over the last few years, our agency has continued to grow and expand across the Midwest & Rockies, now spanning six states: Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, Colorado, and Wyoming. Serving over 3,000 ministries and nonprofit organizations, we are deeply grateful for the opportunity to support you.

Tags: trends, insurance, church, ministry
February 19, 2024
5 Predictions on What is Going to Happen in 2024's Church Insurance Market
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Do you ever feel like some words just get overused?  I do.  I live in a house with two teenagers and a sweet little boy who watches everything they do.  The word "literally", gets used in 80% of sentences...  It isn't even impactful anymore.  It means nothing.  Because if they didn't use that word, I would just expect that most of what they were saying was metaphoric in nature.

Tags: trends, insurance, church, ministry
January 12, 2024
Worker Classification Risk: Employee v. Independent Contractor
Worker Classification Risk:  Employee v. Independent Contractor

The new year signals the end of one payroll year and the beginning of another.  As you process employee W2s and independent contractor 1099s, take time to evaluate a critical aspect of your ministry business risk management program: proper worker classification.  While the percentage of the American workforce comprising “contingent workers” (independent contractors, contract employees, temporary employees, leased employees) was rapidly increasing before COVID, since COVID and the acceptance of the remote workplace, use of contingent workers has skyrocketed. You probably have several on your payroll.

Tags: independent contractor, w2, classification
January 12, 2024
How protected are members of your safety team?
How protected are members of your safety team?

Over the last few years, I have had the opportunity to speak with several thousand church safety team members across the country. By far the most common question I get from this group is “Am I covered if something bad happens?” This is not a question that only pertains to armed safety team members. Truth is, anyone who serves in the protection of a ministry should be asking that question. The purpose of this article is to help ministries be better informed and more prepared in advance of an incident occurring.

Tags: safety team, security, ministry protection
January 12, 2024
Stay Ahead of the Freeze: Sign Up for Text Alerts
Stay Ahead of the Freeze: Sign Up for Text Alerts

We’re encouraging all customers to stay ahead of the freezing weather by signing up to receive Extreme Freezing Weather Text Alerts from Brotherhood Mutual. It’s new. The alert also links to actions you can take immediately to prevent or minimize damage to your buildings before forecasted weather arrives.

Tags: text alerts, frozen pipes, severe weather, winter weather
January 12, 2024
There's Something for Everyone at this Year's 2024 Ministry Boot Camp!
There's Something for Everyone at this Year's 2024 Ministry Boot Camp!

Join us for a comprehensive, one-day training for all! Tailored breakout sessions cover complex HR topics for administration and provides in-depth training, including a deeper review into de-escalation, for the security team. In the afternoon, unite in a deep dive on child safety with proprietary insights the anatomy of an abuse claim and protecting our youth.

Tags: ministry bootcamp, security training, HR training, human resources
December 20, 2023
Wishing you a Merry Christmas – 80s Style
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Tags: ministry protection, coverages, liability, umbrella policy
November 7, 2023
Three common pitfalls that may be hidden in your church's lease
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One positive aspect of today’s challenged economy is the availability of underutilized or empty commercial space. Before your ministry takes the plunge into a lease agreement, we want to make sure you're well-informed and prepared to avoid some common pitfalls.

Tags: ministry, lease, property
November 7, 2023
Insurance Companies Are Forced To Respond To Unprecedented Market Strain. What Does This Mean For You?
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In this month's perspective on the insurance market, I wanted to talk about the massive upward trending we are seeing in cancellation of policies.  Our agency has observed a remarkable surge in inquiries from churches not currently under our insurance coverage. These churches are facing non-renewal by their existing carriers, a trend that has expanded beyond the norm of non-renewals due to excessive losses. Instead, carriers are now opting not to renew based on the risk profile of the ministry, which encompasses factors like geography, insured value, and construction type.

Tags: market strain, weather, catastrophic losses, renewal, risk
November 7, 2023
Umbrella for a Rainy Day
Umbrella for a Rainy Day

There are so many insurance policies to consider when it comes to protecting your ministry, and keeping track of each one’s coverages can be a mind-numbing task. One that I often hear confusion about is the Excess Liability policy, more commonly referred to as an Umbrella. While these terms aren’t exactly interchangeable in the broader insurance world, they do have a lot of overlap. For purposes of understanding your Brotherhood Mutual policy, they are basically synonymous.

Tags: ministry protection, coverages, liability, umbrella policy
October 6, 2023
The Crucial Role of Key Man Life Insurance for Church Pastors
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In recent times, our team has observed a growing demand for key man life insurance, particularly within the realm of church leadership. Pastors are the spiritual pillars of their congregations, providing guidance, support, and a sense of community. While their spiritual contributions are invaluable, it's equally important to consider their financial well-being and the stability of the church should an unforeseen tragedy occur.

Tags: finance, security, church pastor, community
October 6, 2023
Wellbeing Resources for Ministry Leaders
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The holiday season is fast approaching, and it's time to prepare for the festive cheer, delicious food, twinkling lights, and heartwarming gatherings. But amidst all the joy and celebration, let's take a moment to reflect on something essential - the well-being of our ministry leaders.

Tags: full strength network, counseling, church pastor, pastoral counseling
October 6, 2023
Stop Plumbing Leaks with FloLogic
Stop Plumbing Leaks with FloLogic

Water damage due to plumbing leaks and frozen pipes is a leading cause of property claims for ministries. The damage is often made worse because ministry buildings are typically not in use every day. Last year, nearly 1,000 Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company customers were impacted. To help protect ministries from experiencing costly water damage and disruptions, Brotherhood Mutual® recommends FloLogic, a comprehensive solution that can detect even the smallest water leak and automatically shut off the water to prevent flooding. 

Tags: flologic, leaks, water damage, prevention
September 8, 2023
Fluorescent Lighting: The End of An Era
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Let's take a stroll down memory lane to 1938 when General Electric made a groundbreaking move by introducing fluorescent tubes to the world. Even though the technology had been brewing since the late 1880s, it took time and the genius of several inventors to make it shine as a practical product.

Tags: church payroll, finance, IRS regulations, paying employees, tax code
September 8, 2023
God's Sovereignty or Wise Planning?
God's Sovereignty or Wise Planning?

We are living in a day and age of tremendous uncertainty. Like Joseph in Egypt, the physical world is incredibly unpredictable.

Tags: church payroll, finance, IRS regulations, paying employees, tax code
September 8, 2023
Why Some Churches are Rethinking their Financial Planning
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In the ever-changing realm of finances, the past few years have brought forth a whirlwind of alterations. Looking ahead, the next five years promise their fair share of surprises and uncertainties.

Tags: church payroll, finance, IRS regulations, paying employees, tax code
September 8, 2023
HR360: Your Essential Guide to Navigating Ministry-Specific HR Challenges
HR360: Your Essential Guide to Navigating Ministry-Specific HR Challenges

In the dynamic landscape of today's world, managing the HR needs of any ministry can be a complex and ever-changing endeavor. Whether you're dealing with sensitive situations that demand careful handling to avoid legal entanglements or aiming to proactively establish risk management strategies, the journey can be demanding.

Tags: church payroll, finance, IRS regulations, paying employees, tax code
August 8, 2023
Understand your Medical Coverage for Students & Volunteers
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As we gear up for the upcoming school season, it's a fantastic opportunity to take a closer look at the coverage we offer to our beloved students and dedicated volunteers.

Tags: medical coverage, students, voluteers