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Healthy Finance

ANNUAL FUND During one school consultation, we took a survey in which school leaders were asked to rate various aspects of the school. We rated the organization, instructional programs, staffing, and several other areas. Interestingly, all of the ratings were high except one.  In fact, if we looked at all of these areas on the surface we would have said that this is a great school. However, after the leaders saw their survey, they said that the school wasn’t theirs! The one weak area?  School finance. What was happening here was that, despite the many really good things in the school, the lack of financial support and financial management colored the whole school in a negative light. Such is the power of school finance. If your school is solid and has strong financial backing and good financial management, your school family will probably consider it a terrific school! But if it is failing financially, most of the people familiar with the school probably will consider it a weak school. There are two aspects that need to be handled well in order to have a strong, financially stable school. First, there must be sufficient income. Of course, this includes several different sources — namely tuition, donations, perhaps grants, and - in denominational schools - church support. Usually, most of these sources are identified under your annual fund program. GraceWorks Ministries provides excellent services to help you develop your annual fund program. These services are presented under our Annual Fund Program. RrPM - (Record, Report, Plan, and Manage) The second aspect of healthy school finance is quality financial management. Our RrPM workshops are available to help you develop strong confident financial school management skills. RrPM is an acrostic for:  Record, Report, Plan, and Manage. Our goal is that your school's financial program will hum along smoothly and effectively! In the RrPM workshops we address all four of these aspects of good financial management. We'll talk about the best way to properly record all financial transactions and other information. We'll show you how to do that.  Also, we'll talk about the importance of clear, targeted reporting. The goal is to make sure that your school board has the information it needs to make good decisions. After all, poor information makes for poor decisions — good information allows for good decisions. Good planning is also extremely important. Making a budget that accurately expresses not only your desires and priorities, but also the realities of your income and expenses, is critical. What should be in a good budget?  What kind of information do you need to make a good budget? How do you know when you have a good budget? These are all questions we answer in the RrPM workshops. Finally, the best of plans and complete information are useless unless you act on them. That is what good management is all about. One of most valuable aspects of the RrPM workshops is the set of practices we give you to manage your finances. These tools come from years of working with CPAs and are a compendium of the most common critiques they have given to schools that they have audited over the years. When you sign up for our financial management improvement programs, we will provide you with: • An evaluation of your financial standing, based on your financial documents A review of your recording practices, your reporting format, and your budget An evaluation of your current management practices A complete set of recommendations for improving your RrPM program We can provide these services as a separate program; however, they are already included in our more complete Building Effective Schools Track (BEST) Program. Either way our goal is to help your school finance programs operate as efficiently and effectively as possible. Call us for a free consultation and we can give you our initial recommendations.

Your RrPM Program & BEST Program Consultant

Wayne Baker CFO / Senior Consultant, GraceWorks Ministries Wayne has been involved with Christian school ministries for more than 47 years. He was an administrator for 45 of those years, serving in six different schools. In addition to his administration role, Mr. Baker has also served in a number of other ways in the Christian school community. He is a frequent convention speaker and presenter, has served as a board member with three Christian school associations, and served both as President and Vice President of the Mid Atlantic Christian Schools Association. For eight years he also represented the Christian school movement as a member of the Blue Ribbon Schools panel for the US Department of Education. Mr. Baker has been a consultant for more than forty years, helping Christian schools with planning, transition, with financial advice, and helping start several schools.  He recently developed a leadership inventory, the Dimensions of Leadership, to evaluate effectiveness in school leadership. He uses the inventory in his unique leadership coaching program. Areas of expertise - financial management, board governance, leadership coaching, trouble shooting You can request a more detailed description about these programs or a free, no-obligation consultation by calling (719) 278-9600, ext.400,
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