Since February the Financial Committee has been hard at work putting together the proposed budget for the 2023-2024 fiscal year. Our church operates on a fiscal year beginning July 1st and ending June 30th. Each year we reach out to committees and groups to ask how much funding they want for the next year, and also use the amounts provided by the Stewardship folks to enter pledges and calculate expected income. We check those amounts against recent payments to ensure they are reasonable.
Sometimes we miss something! For instance, last year’s proposed budget included $111 for our bottled water service. We spend about $16 per month renting the cooler, and so that is clearly not enough. So far, we’ve spent $295 on water. Vendors can also issue price increases during a budget year, and so sometimes we’ll overspend in one area and have to cut back in another (similar to what happens with many of your household budgets).
As of last count, for 2023-2024 we have about $128,000 in pledged income, of which we recognize 90% as likely to be collected. Sometimes a congregant will lose a job or have other financial hardship and so will be unable to pay the promised amount, and we try to account for that. We have other sources of income as well, for instance Unpledged Donations, which is where the other 50% of Share the Plate money goes, and the Service Auction.
For 2022-2023 we budgeted for about $116,000 in pledge income. So far, we have received about $80,000 of that income with $106,000 expected by the end of May, or about 76% of what is expected. If you’re waiting to send in your pledge, please do it soon! Pledge payments often cross years (with people paying early or late), and sometimes there’s a rush to pay during June and July, so we won’t know how actual income matched up with expected for a few months. We also budgeted for about $150,000 in expenses, and so far have spent $120,000 or 89% of what was expected by this point in the year (but May’s not over yet).
All members of the church are entitled to review budget reports. You can email email@example.com to ask for one, and we are thinking through how and at what interval to make reports regularly available to the congregation. Please keep in mind that we are all volunteers, and answering questions about the budget can take time. Even this report has taken me about 40 minutes to type up what with finding and double-checking the amounts! If you email the Financial Committee, it may be a few days (or even longer during busy times of the month) before someone responds.
We’re also looking for a new member of the Financial Committee. Currently our membership includes (other than me) Joe Masonick, Darla Musson and Greg Waas. Greg will leave the committee at the end of the church year. If you’re interested in learning more about finances, this might be a way you can share your time and talent with the congregation, so please get in touch!
— Kevin Sweeney (he/him)
— Interim Treasurer