If a fraud occurs, the church will lose more than just money. Donor confidence will rightly be weakened, and they may decide to reallocate their contributions to other organizations. Further, the reputation of the church and its pastor in the local community could be permanently damaged, according to Rollie Dimos in his book Integrity at Stake: Safeguarding Your Church From Financial Fraud.

This short book provides a useful discussion of a subject which most church leaders are reluctant to think about, but which can lead to devastating consequences if not dealt with appropriately. The first section provides a brief discussion of some risks faced by churches and Christian organisations, including risk management, controls, how to recover from an instance of fraud, and tools to reduce the risk of fraud, and the second section provides twelve different cases studies of actual instances of fraud.

The book does provide an appendix on how to perform a fraud risk assessment and another on performing an internal audit, but it is not a comprehensive resource on financial integrity in churches. In my opinion the book will be most useful for its case studies  providing cautionary tales which should inspire church leaders to implement appropriate risk management measures.

Leave a Reply