When a church is getting started, income is low and expenses are high, so it is common that staff members must be responsible for raising their salaries.
This can get complicated because it is illegal for churches to raise donations that are earmarked for a specific person.
The best way to raise salary support is for each pastor to set a goal for fundraising. The church should then set a salary based on a percentage of what the pastor is projecting to raise. In other words, the pastor is a W-2 employee with a salary set at 80% (for example) of his fundraising goal.
If the pastor reaches his fundraising goal three months in a row, the church can give him a bonus. If he does not reach his goal three months in a row, the fundraising goal and the salary percentage can be re-evaluated.
The church must commit to paying the salary whether the funds are raised or not. If the salary needs to be adjusted, it must be a decision made by the church board.
The donations received from the pastor’s fundraising should be marked as “fundraising” and should not have the pastor’s name on them.