“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.”’ – Matthew 25:21

People give most generously to organizations which demonstrate good stewardship of the gifts they have received. Accountability and transparency are essential. Here are some basic principles to keep in mind:

• Financial reports should be accurate, complete and understandable to the average person

• Proper internal controls should be established and followed

• What the gifts are accomplishing should be enumerated, such as in a narrative budget

• Annual Reports should be focused on how lives were changed, not just a list of things that were done

• Our financial dealings should reflect our values, whether that is through socially responsible investing, fair wages to employees, building use policies, mission giving or energy conservation.