Understanding The Congregational Finances
Last September, Reverend Rachel started this series by talking about self care and how you can help to care for this community that we call UUCLV. This is the third piece in that series of talks that will inform you of the basic finances of the congregation.
Where We Have Been - The Income Story
Last month, I wrote about the expenditures this church has had for the past five fiscal years. December is a time of giving and this article will talk about the gifts in monies that this church receives. I would like you to take a moment to contemplate how much money this church took in for fiscal year ended this past June. For reference, in the fiscal year ending in June, 2010, UUCLV took in $141,000 in pledges.
As you may know, pledges are not the only income for UUCLV. Just like expenditures, the treasurer and board of trustees uses a number of categories to track income. Four categories to classify this income will be used in this article. They are pledges, the cell tower lease, Sunday offerings and other income. Other income includes, fundraising through events, shopping rebates through Smiths and Amazon Smile, interest from interest bearing accounts among other minor sources. Accompanying this article are some charts that graph the income over the past five fiscal years using these four groups. Take another moment and determine what percentage of total income each of these categories makes up.
The time period discussed in this article will be from the fiscal year that ended in June, 2010 to the fiscal year that ended in June, 2016. Remember that our fiscal year starts on July 1 and ends on June 30 of the following year. All of the incomes discussed in this article can recur year after year and can be used to develop a sensible budget. These are not special funds like our growth fund or the value of the building and property that we own. Also, a budget is a forecast of what money is going to be taken in and expended over a period of time. Budgeted income is the money that is forecasted to be taken in. Money expended through our various programs and maintenance of the building are the budgeted expenditures. The reliance on our growth fund fits in the article that will be in January's Sunrise.
Now is the time for that dreaded pre-test. Rank these four categories, pledges, cell tower lease, Sunday offerings and other income from largest to smallest for the fiscal year ending June, 2016. Are your answers written down? Ok, then on with the rest of the article...
The first category is other income. This includes income from fundraising through events, shopping rebates and interest from various bank accounts. As you can see by the Figure 1, this income provided between a little over $8,000 to $14,000. Not really that interesting.
The second category is the Sunday Offering. Figure 2 is a graph of Sunday Offerings over the past five fiscal years. As you can see there is an increase in fiscal years ending in June 2012 and 2016. Of interesting note, the income in this category exceeded the budget forecast for the fiscal years ending in June 2015 and June 2016 by two to four thousand dollars. This can be directly attributed to the fact that all Sundays are now 50/50 Sundays where we share our offering with the greater community.
The third category is the cell tower lease income. We were fortunate enough to lease a small space in our large back yard for seventeen thousand dollars per year. Figure 3 is another boring graph except for the fact that this income can be counted on from now and into the future.
Figure 4 shows two graphs in one. It is a comparison of the cell tower income and our building expenses. The cell tower graph is in blue and the building expenses in orange. This indicates that less than $13,000 per year is needed to be taken out of the other three categories to support this building and all of its utilities.
Figure 5 is pledges. This is our largest category of income. As you can see there is a downward trend from fiscal years ending in June 2010 to June 2013 where we rebounded back to a somewhat sustainable amount. I say somewhat, because the income this church gathers just covers our expenditures, but will not cover an emergency repair or replacement.
It is now time to answer those questions posed at the beginning of the article. In the fiscal year ending in June 2016, UUCLV took in $145,730. This is only a 2.8% increase from the fiscal year that ended June, 2010. Pledges is also the largest income category, accounting for 80% of our income. The next category is our cell tower lease accounting for 8.5% of the income followed by other income making up 7.5% of the income. Taking up the tail, Sunday offerings. It accounted for only 4% of the total income.
While one part of stewardship is giving our currency and coin to support this loving organization, stewardship also includes volunteering. As you all know, there are many wonderful opportunities to step up and help out. There is many other ways help through service. There are regular needs to help that include helping out with our religious education program, or help out counting the offering after a service. If you want something less structured, show up on a Saturday and help Jet. If none of these peek your interest but you want to volunteer, just talk to Rev. Rachel or a board of trustees member, rest assured that your assistance will not be turned down.
Between now and the next Sunrise article, during this month of giving, think about what you can do to help this congregation make this beacon that we all love become brighter with our efforts to stoke its flame.
Next month's article will be on our income past and present and our past reliance on the growth fund. If you have any questions or comments or want to help with stewardship this year, please see Mark Bergtholdt.
Fiscal Year is July 1st through June 30th