The following table has Synod’s financial numbers for the first six months along with some questions that came to me as I was writing this up. Be warned, it’s not a pretty picture.
Revenue Budget Actual Variance Congregation Remit. $1,250,000 $957,870 ($292,130) Designated – Specific $545,350 $564,510 $19,160 Endowment Fund $20,000 $0 ($20,000) Investment Income $17,400 $58,570 $41,170 Rental Income $3,750 $3,750 $0 Total Revenue $1,836,500 $1,584,700 ($251,800) Expenses Budget Actual Variance Domestic Missions $573,450 $565,450 $8,000 International Missions $326,775 $343,250 ($16,475) Ecclesiastical Services $309,300 $306,615 $2,685 Seminary Support $146,000 $143,550 $2,450 Communications $90,225 $84,835 $5,390 Planned Giving $90,000 $90,000 $0 Sub-Total Expenses $1,535,750 $1,533,700 $2,050 Administration $300,225 $342,420 ($42,195) Total Expenses $1,835,975 $1,876,120 ($40,145) Surplus (Shortfall) $525 ($291,420) ($291,945)
(Apologies for the formatting – everything lined up during editing…)
Here’s some analysis –
On the revenue side:
- total extra revenue vs budget = $60,330
- total revenue shortfall vs budget = $312,130
for a net Actual – Budget revenue difference of ($251,800)
(ie Synod got $251,800 less than it expected).
Q: Why the large budget shortfall on the Congregatoinal Remittances?
Q: Has Synod contacteded churches that contributed less than you expected and asked where things were and if there was an issue that needed to be addressed?(1)
On the Expense side not including Administration costs:
- total expense spend less than budget = $18,525
- total expense spend more than budget = $16,475(2)
for a net Actual – Budget difference of $2,050 (ie Synod spent ~$2K less on these non-Administration funds than it budgeted)
Q: Why the significant over-spend on International Missions? Were funds taken from non-International Missions and used in International Missions?
Q: Did Ecclesiastical Services include any disciplinary action with respect to members convicted of securities infractions as part of the LCC – ASC Settlement?
On the Expense side including Administration costs:
- total expense reduced spend vs budget = $18,525
- total expense increased spend vs budget = $58,670
for a net Actual – Budget difference of $40,145 (ie Synod spent $40,145 more than it budgeted for non-Administration and Administration combined).
Q: Why the 11% extra spend on Administration?(3)
Putting the “best construction” on everything, I’d assume there’s a reasonable response to my various questions.
If Synod’s BOD is not forthcoming with answers to those questions – the next question would be “Why? And what should accountability for this lack of transparancy look like?”
Finally, this article was in process when the ABC District’s BOD letter was released. My response to that letter is still in the works.
- Volunteer-run organizations depend a lot on the good-will of the membership. If that goodwill is violated by, say, telling people restructuring will work one way and then changing the rules which includes retracting a promised confirmation vote, people may decide to invest their time and treasure elsewhere.
- Given how close the extra spend on Int’l missions is to the total amount not spent on the other 4 activities, one would ask if funds allocated to the other 4 activities were re-allocated to Int’l Missions.
- When an organization transitions from one structure to another, there is a high probability they’ll encounter problems that have to be dealt with and cost more than expected to resolve.