Church Business Resources
Please know that the items on this page are not official recommendations from Church Venture Northwest. They simply reflect resources that have come to our attention and/or that have proven helpful and useful in the past. We realize that each ministry and each of our churches is unique in terms of operation and staff background/expertise. Therefore, we hope that the contents of this page will provide a sound, positive, and constructive starting point in your search for the best possible tools to answer your questions and meet your needs.
Audit/Certified Public Accountancy (Oregon)
Church Law & Tax Resources
Please visit the Church Law & Tax Store website (store.churchlawandtax.com) for a plethora of resources to help you in ministry, including:
- Church and clergy tax guides
- Compensation handbooks for church staff
- Pastoral liability
- Legal training for church boards
- Toolkits to help you hire the right people for your ministry
- Purchasing property
- Emergency preparedness toolkits
- And more
Church Loans & Estate Planning
Our partnership with the Northwest Baptist Foundation (NWBF) provides CVNW churches the unique opportunity to be in covenant community by assisting one another in better making disciples through investing in the CVNW Loan Pool and borrowing from the CVNW Loan Program.
The CVNW Loan Pool focuses on investing in the ministry of other CVNW churches and the CVNW Loan Program offers exclusive interest rate discounts for being in covenant community while borrowing to refinance, purchase, construct or renovate a facility to enhance the ministry through it.
The NWBF also assists individuals with the stewardship of estate planning and they offer several options for presenting estate planning to your church. They provide a complete service to individuals who desire to establish or update an estate plan, as well as full church presentations on the value and importance of this type of planning.
Finances for Churches
ECFA has a wide variety of resources for churches related to church finances.
Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company® is one of the nation's leading insurers of churches and ministries. In business since 1917, Brotherhood Mutual provides property, liability, commercial auto, workers' compensation, mission travel insurance, and payroll services to ministries throughout the United States, including:
- Church day nurseries
- Christian camps
- Association/Denomination offices
- Colleges and universities
- Other related ministries
Brotherhood Mutual is represented by independent agents who subscribe to a code of ethics based on scriptural principles and serve in churches and ministries of their own. The company consistently earns an A (Excellent) rating from A.M. Best, a leading authority in rating insurance companies.
We recommend our partner in ministry, Brotherhood Mutual represented by James Reed & Associates ([email protected]), for your insurance needs.
Question Hotline: 800-829-1040 (for questions raised by individuals)
Business & Specialty Tax Line: 800-829-4933
Exempt Organizations (EO) Division:
For help in completing forms W-2, W-3, 1099, or 1096 call 800-455-7438 Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM Eastern time.
Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company provides free resources for churches and related ministries that extend vastly beyond insurance-related topics. Ask a question, request an attorney referral, and more by visiting their website: www.brotherhoodmutual.com/legalassist.
Non-Profit 501(c)3 Status
Many years ago, CB America successfully filed paperwork with the IRS which grants 501(c)3 non-profit status to all churches affiliated with our Association. For a copy of this crucial documentation for your church (which you will want to retain in your permanent archives for ready access), contact:
3686 Stagecoach Rd Unit F
Longmont, CO 80504-5660
Payroll & Taxes, and Other Tax/Legal Issues
Please know that the paragraphs below are intended to be purely informational and do not constitute an official endorsement by Church Venture Northwest of any individual, organization, or resource tool. If you are searching for assistance in one of these areas, we would encourage you to go through a responsible "due diligence" process in praying and seeking the Lord's direction to the service provider(s) best equipped to meet your specific need.
Does your church operate a preschool? An elementary school? A secondary school? A college? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then you are required to file a certificate of racial nondiscrimination (Form 5578) to the IRS each year by the 15th day of the fifth month following the end of your fiscal year. You may obtain Form 5578 and instructions for completing it by calling the IRS forms number (800-829-3676) or by downloading a copy from www.irs.gov.
Church reporting requirements, IRS regulations, tax issues, the clergy housing allowance, contributions, designated funds, business expenses, and a variety of related legalities?
You may wish to invest in the Church & Clergy Tax Guide. This valuable resource tool is available for $39.95 (price subject to change without notice) by visiting yourchurchresources.com or calling 800-222-1840 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. eastern time. Edited and updated annually by an attorney who is also a certified public accountant, the Church & Clergy Tax Guide is a comprehensive, authoritative source for answers to your questions. The book includes dozens of helpful, easily understood examples; comprehensive illustrations with forms; tables and case studies. 700+ pages.
How do I obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)?
Information on applying for an Employwer Identification Number (EIN) is available here: www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Apply-for-an-Employer-Identification-Number-(EIN)-Online
Compensation for your pastoral and support staff?
You may wish to consult Church Law & Tax Report's Compensation Handbook for Church Staff. Currently selling for $34.95 (price subject to change without notice), this publication provides salary and benefit information on various different positions - based on the responses of thousands of survey participants across the country. The handbook provides breakdowns by church size, budget, setting, education, years-of-service, and more. Also included is Information on base salary, average salary increase, housing allowance, retirement funds, health and life insurance coverage, paid vacation, and much more. Visit yourchurchresources.com or call 800-222-1840 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. eastern time to place an order.
How to prepare your tax returns? (If you are a licensed or ordained minister.)
You may wish to contact James Rickard's staff with Stewardship Services Foundation. With over 90 years of collective experience and expertise in clergy tax preparation, SSF may provide just the information or assistance you need. The staff may be reached at 661-362-2829 or visit their website - www.ssfoundation.net.
The video at the following link will answer a number of questions about Housing Allowance: https://trust.guidestone.org/MHA_WebinarVideo.
Any issues involving the state where your church is located?
A good place to start is often the corporation division of your state government. Following are phone numbers and website addresses for our Church Venture Northwest churches.
If your church is located in Alaska, call 907-465-2550 or visit www.corporations.alaska.gov.
If your church is located in Idaho, call 800-972-7660 or visit www.sos.idaho.gov/corp.
If your church is located in Oregon, call 503-986-2200 or visit sos.oregon.gov/business.
If your church is located in Washington, call 360-725-0377 or visit www.access.wa.gov.
Policy & Procedures
The Frieze Resource Library provides:
- Organizational Manual
- Policies & Procedures Manual
- Administrative Forms Manual
- Internal Audit Checklists
- Employee Handbook
If you are addressing policy issues and are looking for sample documents, Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company has a wide variety of sample policies (vastly beyond insurance-related issues) that have been compiled by their legal staff. To investigate the helps available to churches in this area (free of charge), visit their website at www.brotherhoodmutual.com; in the search field on their home page, simply type in Sample Policy.
Real Estate Advice/Assistance (Oregon)
Mr. Michael Beirwagen
Prudential Northwest Properties
224 Corporate Center
6400 SE Lake Rd Ste 200
Portland, OR 97222-2129
Church Venture Northwest has a 50-year commitment to a secure retirement investment platform for our churches, their pastors, staff, and missionaries. Our retirement plan is a defined contribution (DC) plan designated in the Internal Revenue Code as a section 403(b)(9) plan. Eligible employees must receive taxable income from a participating Church Venture Northwest, Venture Church Network church or ministry in order to participate. This retirement program is very flexible and allows the local church/ministry to set participation parameters. Contributions can be made by the employer, employee or both.
The Church Venture Northwest Retirement Plan will:
- Help ministers and other Church Venture Northwest church employees better prepare financially for retirement years.
- Provide a tax-free housing allowance for eligible ministers in retirement.
- Allow participants individual investment options and 24/7 access to account information.
- Allow participants to invest in Christian-based, socially-screened investment funds.
- Provide free investment advisory services that are available to all participants.
There are several benefits and advantages to participating in the Church Venture Northwest retirement plan through the partnership with GuideStone:
- There is no cost to the local church/ministry for participation and no required minimum contributions.
- Salary-reduced contributions can be made tax-deferred or as Roth contributions.
- Easy-to-use internet-based management tool with 24-hour access is available.
- GuideStone is a leader in church plan administration, ministerial tax issues, and housing allowance.
Guidestone also offers a number of Articles, Websites, and Calculators on their website to help you with a variety of issues related to retirement and finances at www.guidestone.org/Resources/Education
For general plan information contact:
Senior Relationship Manager
Shawn is our primary advocate and consultant at GuideStone Financial Resources. He can be contacted for general questions about the plan or help navigating the plan resources.
For churches that would like information about getting started in the plan contact:
New Business Specialist
Kent should be contacted by churches that want to get started in our retirement plan. He can also help enroll employees into the retirement plan and set up contribution payments.
For Participating Churches and Paticipating Employees
You can access your account at https://my.guidestone.org
Senior Retirement Account Specialist
David is the contact for questions about monthly contributions, Employer Access Portal (EAP) updates, issues, or questions.
Your Employer Access Program (EAP) administrator (the person at your church who is responsible for interfacing with GuideStone) can access your account at https://eap.guidestone.org
For questions, please see this page for contact information: http://www.guidestone.org/AboutUs/ContactUs.aspx
Safety & Security
The ministry of the church can be seriously compromised by a failure to appropriately and effectively respond to an emergency situation. Emergencies can present themselves in all shapes and sizes, such as medical emergencies, environmental hazards (i.e. fire, earthquakes), and immediate threats to health, safety, and property. Developing and maintaining effective emergency operations plan for local churches and establishing a security team to implement the plan has become a vital part of ministry.
Please check out the following recommended resources. For a consultation or assessment we recommend you contact, Chris M. Olsen at [email protected].
Software for Churches
You may wish to investigate Servant Keeper. Used by thousands of churches nationwide, the software is designed to:
- Track contributions and handle church accounting
- Create reports and statements
- Manage membership
- Do mass mailings and e-mailings
- Print directories
- Export information easily to other applications
- And more