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Equipment Financing - beyond the copier and into the heart of ministry

130+ Banks closed in 2009. Tithing and special offerings are down. So, many churches are now looking at options to afford their much-needed technology upgrades, renovations, and other projects. Consider: equipment leasing & financing.

It's an alternative to the bank line. And, because it is financing for a specific asset, it leaves other lines of credit, and special reserve funds, untapped and available for other purposes. And, many churches wish to preserve their cash, creating a cushion for those weeks when congregational support may be lower than others.

Equipment financing requires the church to consider a few important things:

* how long will this equipment provide the look & feel we desire in our facility?

* how much money can we set aside every month to create that refreshing experience and comfort for our congregation?

* and, is leasing this specific project going to be cheaper, more expensive, or about the same as paying cash (all financial factors considered)

For any church, an unreliable sound system, crashing computer system, and out-of-code kitchen equipment may create more than discomfort - with city fines, a complaining or dwindling congregation, or disastrous disruptions that can inhibit worship and learning God's Word.

Assets such as copiers and duplicators are leased quite often by churches. However, larger projects such as computer and phone systems, Software, audio-video and stage equipment, musical instruments, webcasting technology (such as Mediasite from Sonic Foundry), seating, flooring, kitchen equipment, gymnasium equipment and scoreboards, and tons more, can be financed over a period and enable a better economic investment in these types of needs at any church.

Today, churches can even combine the savings from green projects such as room control systems, water meters, and solar panels, with a lease and see immediate positive cash flow from month one.

OH: and, if you're a sales rep working with churches, schools, and other organizations, consider whether you CAN and SHOULD be introducing financing to every prospect. It is he who thinks outside the box, and provides better value for their customer, that shines the brightest and gets the award (sale!).

While bank financing serves its church clients with working capital, construction, and building or land acquisition projects, equipment financing from companies who specialize in asset-based lending should be strongly considered for their areas of expertise. A properly structured lease on the right equipment, with the right contract, can be truly a Blessing to the church and its congregation.

Since 1998, Kerry Martin-Moore has been working with companies, churches, and schools, to provide equipment financing & consulting.

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About the Author

Kerry Martin-Moore, 3:17 Consulting Services
Cedar Park, TX 78613

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