Friday, October 24, 2014

Let’s Talk About… Money?

from the Parish Council
Let’s cut to the chase right off! Currently, we are projecting a shortfall of $15,000 of income versus expenses by year’s end.

The reason for this is that we have not done the amount of fundraising we committed ourselves to when we passed the budget for the year. An unexpected purchase of a photocopier didn’t help matters, for sure.

Could it be something else?
Frankly no. Our attendance is good. And the offering you are making to the work and ministry of the parish is strong. In fact, the offering is equal with last year and is likely to exceed the budgeted amount. We have made significant advances in rentals of both the Parish hall and Church-building (much higher than budgeted).

What about fuel and electricity?
Last year we made a concerted effort in upgrading and insulating our buildings resulting in savings this year. Our fuel and electrical consumption has dropped.

How could we let this happen?
For the previous last three years we were involved with a program called the 5/3 Plan which is a generous offer from the diocese that said, if we were able to pay all of our obligations (including allotment) the diocese would forgive the significant debt we owed them. After a great deal of planning (and work and fundraising and prayer) we were able to accomplish our commitments. We did it! The diocese, for its part, encouraged us all along and on the first Sunday of this year officially forgave our debt. Naturally, after such a tremendous effort a time of rest is needed, but we can do it again!

There are obligated salary increases that occurs every year. These have been the only costs that have increased this year.

The shortfall rests almost entirely with the fundraising amount we projected for this year’s budget. That’s not to say that those who have participated in organizing fundraisers have failed. Quite the contrary, the fundraisers have been great successes. Fundraisers have at least two benefits:  cash and fellowship, they raise money and build relationships. We simply haven’t raised the amount we budgeted for.

So, what are we going to do about it?
The first thing to note is that the $15,000 shortfall does not account for any fundraising between now and the end of the year. So, all the fundraising we do will reduce that figure.

The second thing to note is that we have some fundraisers scheduled for the Christmas Hampers and the Organ Fund that will not be included in the reduction of the projected shortfall. Both the efforts we make through outreach and the organ remain strong components of our identity and will succeed in raising the money needed for those projects.

The Parish is organizing three fundraisers:  the sale of a specially designed St. Paul’s crosses; a wine and cheese with a silent auction and; an auction for a night at the Elmwood Heritage Inn.

Will this be enough?
It is unlikely that these will raise sufficient funds to eliminate the entire projected shortfall. But it will go a long way and that is why it is important that members of the parish help, if at all possible, by supporting these efforts.

What else?
If we had organized another $100.00 a plate dinner at the Culinary Institute we would have not found ourselves in this situation. So, here’s a proposal – if you attended last year’s dinner or if you would have, consider making an extra $100.00 donation this year. You will get to claim the whole amount, rather than just half, and you can stay home that night and not bother dressing up and all that… and you can rest easy knowing that you helped eliminate the projected shortfall.

A message from the Rector (Archdeacon John Clarke)

My experience of this parish is that we deal with finances rather maturely. People may want things reported differently but no one has ever objected to reporting about money, or budgets, or shortfalls. This speaks to a deep concern we share for the wellbeing of every aspect of parish life. In the past, large shortfalls seem daunting and debilitating. Now, although it is significant, it is not beyond our ability to reduce this projection to zero or better by the end of the year. I firmly believe that God is doing good work in this parish and that we will continue to build the kingdom of God for generations.

Treasurer’s Report: January 01 - September 30, 2014

Income less Expenses:
- $25,562.17
- $23,142.82

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