Coalition for Ethical Financial
Management in the Church

In response to a growing financial crisis within the Catholic Church, Leadership Roundtable hosted 25 leaders in Catholic finance in March 2021 to discuss co-responsibility and ethical financial management in the Church. The convening facilitated a much-needed dialogue among leaders in Church finance to explore the roots of the financial crisis facing the Church, and led to identifying key areas where the response should focus, as well as recommendations for taking action: 

  • Clarify the Church’s most pressing financial management needs. 
  • Build connections among financial experts. 
  • Identify one or more actionable projects or initiatives that can be implemented now to advance an aspect of ethical financial management in the Church. 
  • Identify clear next steps and momentum for action. 

Due to the overwhelming energy to formalize a joint effort to address the financial crisis, a coalition was formed of interested institutional partners. 

The Coalition for Ethical Financial Management in the Church seeks to advance excellence in fiscal stewardship throughout the Church in the United States and has created three working groups — Research and Benchmarks, Best Practices, Diocesan Finance Councils.  Each working group meets regularly to develop consensus on purpose, expectations, partners, and resources. Leadership Roundtable is committed to working with the Coalition to promote, facilitate, and help train Church leaders in accordance with the best practices, benchmarks, and research identified for ethical financial management.

“Proper stewardship of financial resources in ways that are accountable, transparent, and co-responsible, are a lot like the good seed in the Parable of the Sower. When we do it right, it produces fruit for the mission of the Church.”

Matthew Manion
Faculty Director
Center for Church Management at Villanova University

Build ethical financial management at your diocese or organization.

Finance Council Network

As members of the Coalition for Ethical Financial Management in the Church met throughout 2021 and 2022 and discussed what could be done to enhance transparency, trust, and accountability of Church finances, it became clear that there was a need and opportunity for a nation-wide community for those serving on diocesan finance councils. In mid-2022, the Coalition facilitated the first meeting of the Diocesan Finance Council Chair Network, a networking community for those who serve on diocesan finance councils.

“The Network is seen as a way to help close a gap in opportunities for diocesan finance council chairs and members to network with each other,” shared Russ Elmayan, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) in the Diocese of Raleigh and co-facilitator of the Network. Leadership Roundtable Executive Partner, Kerry Robinson, also serves as a co-chair.

While Diocesan CFOs have a ready-made network of peers whom they can consult, the lay leaders who serve on diocesan finance councils did not previously have such a resource.

Since forming, the Network comes together every other month to discuss issues requested by the members that would pertain to any finance council chair or member. These meetings create an opportunity for members to share their ideas, experiences, and successes surrounding best practices and solutions to the issues that U.S. dioceses are facing regarding finances.

“…our sense was that such a network would help Diocesan Finance Councils see beyond just how things are done in their own Dioceses, and it would create a venue to ask questions and share best practices, so that they are not addressing important issues in isolation.”

Russ Elmayan
CFO and CAO, Diocese of Raleigh
co-facilitator of the Diocesan Finance Council Chair Network

Are you a diocesan finance council chair or member? Learn more about the Network and consider joining

Ethical Financial
Management Resources

Co-responsible and ethical financial management includes everything from active finance councils and transparent donor communications, to independent audits and in between. We’ve compiled a collection of resources that represent a sample of the best practices available to our Church today.

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