One of our BMSG guiding principles for the role of the Board is to serve as Steward-Builders. The Board is charged to work in cooperation with the Head and Leadership Team to both steward the resources which God has entrusted to the Board as well as build the capacity of those resources. Unless the Board embraces both of these responsibilities then balancing the annual budget may become the extent of financial planning. Boards operating without a vision for stewarding and building resources can default to a “scarcity” mindset rather than an “abundance” mindset.
The scarcity mindset often results in lack of tuition assistance, professional growth, competitive salaries and quality programs. On the other hand, an abundance mind set starts with the belief that Christian education is a worthy investment of time, talent and treasure. One of my favorite quotes which reflects an abundance mind set comes for “The Treasure Principle”. Randy Alcon writes,”God wants people so filled with a vision for eternity that they wouldn’t dream of not investing their money, time and prayers where they will matter most.”
An abundance mindset understands that every dollar invested in Spirit filled and equipped faculty will in turn develop the quality of academic and spiritually formative program which ultimately impacts the lives of students. Rather than begin the budgeting process to limit expenditures in these vital areas, the abundance mindset involves the Board and Head trying to determine how to build resources for these areas.
The abundance mindset involves not only the annual budgeting process but also extends to a strategic funding process which is aligned with the strategic plan. A strategic plan without a strategic budget is more of a wish list than a commitment to executing a plan. The strategic funding plan recognizes that there may need to be incremental steps to build the resource capacity to fully fund the strategic plan. An abundance mindset spends an equal or greater amount of time on the development of revenue along with management of expenses.
So the essential questions become:
Are you only focused upon managing expenses in your annual operating budget (scarcity)?
Do you have a strategic funding plan to fully support your strategic plan (abundance)?
Is you Board focused on their role to build capacity of human and financial resources (abundance)?
Is your funding plan limited to an annual budget which struggles to cover operating expenses, including adequate reserves (scarcity)?
BMSG has a solid track record of helping Boards and Heads of School to move from a scarcity to abundance mindset in support of a strategic plan. Let us know if we can come alongside you to help develop an abundance mindset.