America Saves Week: Building Cash Reserves for Your Church

Category | Church Finance

In recognition of America Saves Week, February 23-28, we’d like to highlight the importance of building cash reserves for your ministry. Saving is crucial to ministry protection and growth. Here are some ways your church can set goals and establish a plan for reaching them.

Set a Goal.

Pinpointing a clear savings goal is key to reaching it. Most churches prioritize the following:


Every church needs an emergency fund of at least three to six months of operating expenses. This emergency cash reserve protects your ministry against unexpected expenses, declines in giving, building maintenance and repairs, and periods of transition. The best way to build this cash reserve is to make saving part of the budget. We recommend allocating 5-10% of income toward cash reserves.

Ministry Goals

In addition to protecting your church, a cash reserve enables you to plan for new ministry initiatives, large purchases, building renovations, and church expansion. Once you’ve built your emergency fund, continue saving toward your ministry goals by maintaining a budgetary allocation for saving.

Make a Plan.

Your budget should provide for a positive cash flow, enabling you to save on a consistent basis. At minimum, designate 5-10% of the church operating budget toward building cash reserves. Use the remaining 90-95% to cover personnel costs, mortgage debt service, lease expenses, utilities, telephone, insurance, and other expenses. You can also keep a running log of depreciable church assets (furniture, computer equipment, etc.). Estimate when they will need repair or replacement, and set aside a portion of these costs each month. 

To start making your plan, download this free church budget template.

Save Automatically.

This is an effective way to reach your savings goals. You can set up monthly or quarterly deposits into a savings account and establish an approval policy for withdrawals. Don’t be discouraged if the initial deposit amounts are small. Building a ministry cash reserve is too important to postpone. 

We love seeing churches make smart financial decisions that increase their long-term ministry impact. For more information about our financing options, call 888.829.6877 or email

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