How To Determine the Inflationary Factor for Church Budgeting

Apr 25, 2023

We were asked recently to share our experience in determining the inflationary factor we use to plan for the coming year when it comes to church budgeting.

In this post, we highlight:

  • Particular indices to pay attention to - like CPI (Consumer Price Index) or IRS COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment)
  • If everyone on your staff needs to be reviewed for an adjustment

Where to Begin

The CPI from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and COLA from the Social Security Administration are great places to start. At Church Central Office, we're ultimately looking for a high - low range (Eg. 3.5%-8,2% or whatever it may be) for the United States as a whole.

Then, we factor in what the specifics look like in the local community of that particular church. This can vary greatly from state to state and in metro areas.

From there, the church can determine its specific adjustment within that range (or beyond) depending on its current/projected financial position.

Pro Tip

Staff that were hired within the past six months typically shouldn't need an adjustment if you feel good about their starting compensation at their time of hire. Be sure to factor that into your budget vs taking 100% of salaries x the COLA. It should help your budget to have a little more resources available if you've made some recent hires.

Want to Talk it Through?

We'd love to discuss how Church Central Office may be able to help you with this and other important budget planning. Simply reach out to our team to start the conversation today.


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