Sound management of the church's finances supports the parishes' work and enables them to care for and strengthen the spiritual lives of millions of members. Parish housekeeping differs little from that of municipalities, for the work of both depends on the accumulation of tax revenues and in both an elected board is tasked with making the most important decisions.
The church looks after its own financial affairs. The basis of the church's funding is church taxation, which makes up four fifths of total revenue. Members pay at an average rate of 1.33 % – the rate is set by the elected officials of each parish – and the tax is collected by the state, whose expenses in doing so are met by the church.
The state allocates a share of corporation tax ("yhteisövero") to the Lutheran and Orthodox churches in recognition of the social services the churches provide and the cultural and historical value of the buildings they maintain. The percentage of that share is decided in budget negotiations.
Church taxation accounts for some 75 % of parishes' revenue. Personnel costs are the parishes' biggest expense.
Parishes' financial situations vary. Most are free of debt, but they still need to juggle with surpluses and deficits. The Central Church Fund allocates grants to poorer parishes.
|Parish work||44 %|
|Maintenance of churches and other buildings||17 %|
|Pensions, tax collection, general expenses||12 %|
|Cemetery maintenance||6 %|
|Missionary work and development aid||2 %|
Latest financial statements can be found (in Finnish and Swedish) on the website of the church's Central Administration.
The Central Church Fund of Finland, 2010 Report on Responsible Investing
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland’s guidelines for responsible investing
The Ownership Policy of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland