Budgeting Basics: Revenue Streams

Once you've translated your dreams into numbers, the next step in crafting your budget proposal is to determine where your ministry's budget will come from. Typically, youth ministries derive their budget from a combination of three sources:

- Money from the church budget
- Student fees
- Fundraising.

Once you've determined your ministry's revenue streams, determine what line items in your budget you'll fund using each revenue stream. (A line item is a budget element that is separately identified. So within your youth ministry's budget, you will likely have separate line items for things like weekly programming, leadership development, retreats, camps, and mission trips - basically everything you previously dreamed up.) To do this, consider these questions:

- Under what circumstances will you charge student's money and therefore collect student fees?
- If you charge student's money for various events, how will you make your ministry affordable and accessible to all people regardless of their socioeconomic status?
- Under what circumstances will you fundraise? Do you need to fundraise to augment your ministry's regular operating budget or can fundraising be reserved only for special events?

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Jen Bradbury on Youth Ministry

Jen serves as the Minister of Youth and Family at Atonement Lutheran Church in Barrington, Illinois. A veteran youth worker, Jen holds an MA in Youth Ministry Leadership from Huntington University. Jen is the author of The Jesus Gap: What Teens Actually Believe about Jesus (The Youth Cartel), The Real Jesus (The Youth Cartel), Unleashing the Hidden Potential of Your Student Leaders (Abingdon), and A Mission That Matters (Abingdon). Her writing has also appeared in YouthWorker Journal, Immerse, and The Christian Century. Jen is also the Assistant Director of Arbor Research Group where she has led many national studies. When not doing ministry or research, she and her husband, Doug, and daughter, Hope, can be found traveling and enjoying life together.

More about Jen

Jen's Books

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A Mission That Matters: How To Do Short-Term Missions Without Long-Term Harm

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Now Available!

Unleashing the Hidden Potential of your Student Leaders

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The Real Jesus

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The Jesus Gap

What Teens Actually Believe About Jesus

Based on National Research

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