Friends, at the close of the year, our financial house continues to be in good working order. This is true thanks to the meetings who provided strong support, thanks to hundreds and hundreds of Friends who gave to the annual fund, thanks to the working groups who helped us to cut expenses, and thanks to the staff for tightening their belts. In the new year we will receive the completed audit of our 2015 fiscal year and until then we can’t confidently share hard numbers. However, we do have a good idea of where we stand and can share four highlights with you.
Highlight One: Covenants Covenants are the contributions from monthly meetings. Outside of income from invested funds, most of which is restricted, meeting covenants are the largest source of income for supporting our community. At the beginning of each year we ask meetings to give us a heads up of what they expect their covenant will be to help us with our planning. Last year we heard from a number of meetings that they were not sure they would be able to meet their previous level of giving – which is what our budget is based on. We tightened our belts accordingly and kept talking with meetings. . While a few meetings did need to step down their giving, others increased their giving. In the end, it looks like we are coming in exactly on budget. That is an important story, Friends. We are working hard to come together as an integrated, powerful community across all of our meetings and Friends and geography, and the financial support from meetings tells us we’re on the right track.
Highlight Two: Annual Fund The Annual Fund is the support from individuals throughout the year. The story here is a little more uncertain. The number of people who give has slowly inched down over recent years. This year was not an exception. The number of donors and the amount given was lower than budgeted and we did not reach our fundraising goal. In response to this continued trend, we are changing some of the ways we reach out to Friends and we need your help – one initiative is engaging those who give to PYM in asking others to give. If you’d like to be part of this, reach out to Jennie Sheeks, Director of Development (contact info below).
Highlight Three: Expenses Knowing that there were some uncertainties in our income, we were especially careful in our spending this year. Staff reviewed all budgets about 1/3 of the way into the year and carefully watched expenses. It also happened this year that the working groups spent less knowing they would be laid down by the end of the year. In the end, our expenses came in well under budget and well under income.
Highlight Four: Operating Reserves Recovering from the financial downturn and our own budget cuts, we set a goal of refilling our operating reserves, which were at zero. We determined to reach and maintain a level of six months of operating expenses in the reserve fund, or $1.2 million. That was three years ago. Since then we have been budgeting operating surpluses to rebuild reserves. When FY 2015’s anticipated surplus is added, we expect to have over $1 million in that fund.
The audit will go to the Administrative Council’s audit committee for review and acceptance in January and will be posted online afterwards. A full treasurer’s report will be part of our business meeting at Continuing Sessions in March.
Thank you to every meeting and every Friend who provides financial support that allows the yearly meeting to be increasingly successful in bringing together our Quaker community.
Friends with questions are encouraged to contact any of the following:
Associate Secretary for Business and Finance, 215-241-7205, firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Development, 215-241-7115, email@example.com