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Approving a budget in difficult economic times


Guest Pastor Tim
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I am parliamentarian for a group whose annual meeting is in a few weeks.  One of the tasks of the annual meeting is to approve the annual budget.  Due to some difficult and quite unpredictable economic challenges, the officers feel there's a good chance that whatever budget they propose will not reflect reality.  They simply can't predict what income they will have this year.

My advice to them at this point has been to do the best they can with the information they have, and be upfront about the challenges when they present the budget.  They always have the option of calling a special meeting of the membership in early 2020 to approve a revised budget, once the economic situation (and any necessary adjustments) becomes more clear.

Are there other thoughts on how to proceed?

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A possibility is to adopt the "best possible" budget with a proviso that the Officers (or the Board if you have one) are (is) authorized to make changes to reflect changed circumstances later on.

This does require a degree of trust on the part of the membership (congregation, pastor?) so be careful what you wish for and word that proviso as narrowly as possible.

And a reality check:   do your bylaws authorize calling a special meeting?  If not, then your "option" isn't viable.

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