Financing Youth Ministry

Each parish will approach how to finance youth ministry differently. The information here begins with fiscal policies of the diocese and then offers suggestions on areas to explore that might be helpful when financing youth ministry in the parish.


The youth ministry leadership team, in consultation with the coordinator of youth ministry, oversees the youth ministry budget and is to submit an annual budget to the pastor for approval. The coordinator of youth ministry sees to the implementation of the budget. The pastor and parish finance council are to receive regular, ongoing financial reports.

If you need help organizing a budget for your ministry, contact Kyle Holtgrave, director of the Office for Youth and Young Adult Ministry at (217) 698-8500, ext. 154.

Checking Accounts

A parish should only have one checking account. However, if an organization within the parish demonstrates a need for a separate checking account, a pastor may permit that group to do so. If a parish’s youth ministry program has its own checking account, the pastor must be kept informed of its status and have full access to the account. This is accomplished through regular reports to the pastor, naming the pastor as a signatory and receiver of information on these accounts, and having statements mailed to the parish so the pastor has the opportunity to review it before forwarding it on. Funds remaining after program use should be transferred back to the parish. It is the pastor’s decision on which financial institution his parish’s youth ministry programs will use.

Tax-Exempt Purchases

Most purchases for church functions qualify for an exemption from sales tax. A tax-exemption letter from the Illinois IRS must be presented at the time of purchase to receive this exemption. All tax-exempt purchases must be accounted for through the organization’s corresponding bank account. Use of the tax-exempt letter should be limited to individuals authorized by the pastor or his designee.

NOTE: Tax-exempt purchases usually only applies to sales tax. Other taxes may still apply. Purchases must be for ministry purposes and not personal use. Each parish or institution should have a tax-exempt number that is used when making purchases that are tax-exempt.


Any fundraising activities must be approved by the pastor and be coordinated with the parish’s other fundraising efforts. Events that involve gambling have withholding and reporting requirements. Please consult the diocesan Office for Finance for more information before starting a fundraiser that involves gambling.

Seeking grants and other gifts is encouraged (HPMOC §2501). Endowment or foundation funds must be deposited with the Foundation for the People of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield in Illinois (HPMOC §2504).


There are countless foundations that offer grants. Two in particular are the Catholic Youth Foundation USA that is associated with the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry and the other is our own Catechist Grant. Links to these are included below.

Blogs on Financing Youth Ministry