I am not a “numbers person”. More often than not, financial reports end up in the too-hard-basket before I even make time to read them.
Generally, I manage to remain blissfully unaware when it comes to financey stuff. But when it comes to my church’s finances, it’s important that I pay attention.
Like many churches, my church releases a monthly update, alerting the congregation of where we sit financially. These reports contain graphs, facts, figures and explanations from our treasurer, using big words like deficit, projected and expenditure. As a committed member of my church, it’s really important that I read these summaries and stay informed about my church’s financial position, but these reports stress. me. out. Sometimes it feels like I may as well be reading another language
Which is why I created this.
It’s a Church Finance Infographic. Designed in Adobe Illustrator, it allows me to receive the financial figures and info from our treasurer, and translate it into the world’s best understood language — pictures. This infographic template allows me to display all the necessary information in a much clearer, cleaner and streamlined way than a standard Excel graph, and its simple, yet engaging design makes me feel like it might not be so hard to sit and have a read.
There’s a good balance of words and images, and the pretty Illustrator graphs allow information to be clearly conveyed, without unnecessary clutter. I loveIllustrator’s Graph Tools. I can create graphs just like I do in Excel, but then I get to make them pretty! Plus, each month I can use the same template and simply add another value for the new month. My graph stays intact, and I only need to do minimal formatting adjustments. Once the template is established, updating it from month-to-month is simple.
As our gift to you, we invite you to download this Finance Infograhphic Template to use in your own church.
To use this template, you’ll need Adobe Illustrator, and the Gotham font family. To edit the graphs to display your own values, right-click (or command>click) the graph and select Data. The Data window will appear and you can replace the current figures with your own. The graphs will then reflect the new data, but be sure to manually change all the labels — these are free-standing text boxes and are not linked to the graph at all.
As you add new values to a line graph, you may find that some of the original graph elements reappear (like the Y Axis, Axis values, and dots for each month). To get rid of these, using the Group Selection Tool, click once, then again, and again, until all the elements you want to remove are highlighted. Hit delete, and you’ll be left with only the graph elements you want, without any of the clutter.
Also, I suggest making sure you use RGB color mode (File>Document Color Mode>RGB) as opposed to CYMK. It’s likely that many people will be using iPhones or iPads to view the finished product, and Apple and CYMK don’t get along…
It was important for me that I create this infographic template, as I believe that as a church, we must do all we can to remove obstacles for others hearing about Jesus. For some, a complex, boring finance report is an obstacle to them giving financially, which in-turn is an obstacle to a church meeting its budget, which is an obstacle to effective ministry. Everything we do as a church is linked, and everything comes down to pointing people to Jesus.
I hope this infographic template is helpful for your church. I hope it allows you to better communicate finances to your congregation. I hope it encourages people to give more. And above all, I hope it contributes to others hearing about Jesus and coming into a saving relationship with Him.