Money is a mixed blessing: with the best will in the world, a relationship between your church and another overseas can flounder on issues of finance.
It’s best to establish shared understanding and to put reliable measures in place at the outset, to prevent damaging problems arising later.
Start as you mean to go on
If you’re establishing a new financial relationship with an overseas church, make sure you have the necessary information about its legal status, constitution, office-holders etc – not just for your own accountability, but to satisfy Gift Aid tax relief regulations in the UK.
Make sure you’re happy with the governance systems in place in your partner church, particularly with regard to financial management and decision making – for example, does the person you’re dealing with have the authority to make agreements? Who is the leader accountable to? Does the church have an independent financial audit?
Before embarking on a financial relationship with a partner church or project, make sure you have a clear understanding and agreement about what the money is to be spent on. If someone is proposing a project for funding, ask for a budget and a clear description of how the money is to be used, and agree timescales for the work. Set up agreed procedures for regular reporting on progress and expenditure, and put them in writing.