While it is hard to get an accurate reading, recent surveys indicate that approximately 3,500 church groups across the United States and Canada close their doors each year. At the same time, roughly 4,000 also open each year for the first time.
Regardless of the numbers, it is important for each local fellowship of believers to have an asset dissolution plan. There is a risk that without such a plan, the assets of a local fellowship could fall under the control of other groups. A number of local church and church‐related works have had their assets assumed by other organizations simply because proper steps were not taken ahead of time.
In light of this, have you reviewed the church’s bylaws to ensure they address these issues if the church were to close?
- Disposal of Real Assets – When a non‐profit organization dissolves, the assets or proceeds
from their sale must be given to another non‐profit.
- Disposal of Financial Assets – Banking and investment accounts must also be donated to
another non‐profit organization.
- Maintaining a “Set‐Aside” Account – Some funds should be set‐aside for a limited period of
time to handle unforeseen bills.
- Taking Care of the local church’s Commended Workers – Consideration should be given for their
ongoing support, once the fellowship ceases to meet.
How Can Legacy Ministries be of assistance?
- Legacy Ministries is led and run by individuals in local church fellowship
- Legacy Ministries can assume the title of any such property to ensure assets remain within the local church’s control
- Legacy Ministries can manage assets until the local felowship’s leadership decides how assets (both real and financial) should be disposed
- Legacy Ministries can set up a Donor Advised Fund, ensuring existing commended worker needs are met
- Legacy Ministries can manage banking and investment accounts on behalf of the local fellowship
- Legacy Ministries can oversee property repairs in advance of the sale of property assets
- Legacy Ministries can assist with and oversee the sale of property
- Legacy Ministries works with church‐related organizations (or other evangelical organizations) that the local fellowship would ultimately like to see benefit from the sale of the assets