More good stuff for churches and charities – 3/26

More good stuff is my way of pulling together articles that are worth discussing just won’t get a full post by themselves. I’ve done that previously on this blog with the overhead ratio issue.  Will start doing the same thing with general nonprofit articles.

So, here are a few quick reads for background: why churches struggle to grow past certain levels, and some info on filing 990s.

3/25 – Thom Rainer – One Key Reason Most Churches Do Not Exceed 350 in Average Attendance – Here is some info on the size of typical churches in the U.S.:

50% of all churches in America average less than 100 in worship attendance.

40% of all churches in America average between 100 and 350 in attendance.

10% of all churches in America average more than 350 in attendance.

He is starting a series of posts on why churches have such a difficult tie growing past the attendance level of around 350. He describes the level of complexity in various sized churches:

Under 100: Family and friends

100 to 250: Basic

251 to 350: Challenging

351 to 750: Complex

Above 750: Highly complex

Each larger level requires a more sophisticated and structured system. That means things like organizational structure, decision-making, communication, and formalized power systems need to be developed and refined. Without a transition to the more organized system, growth will be limited.

A fascinating part of the small environment is that every family has a veto over decisions. That severely constrains growth. This was pointed out to me by a previous pastor at my church.

Some info on filing your 990:

3/24 – Nonprofit GPS – How to report a Name Change to the IRS

3/17 – Nonprofit GPSFiling Form 990-N for New Nonprofits – special rules for the cutoff in first two years of operation

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