On Tuesday, July 20, PYM Treasurer, Andrew Anderson welcomed Friends to the Q&A session for the budget for Fiscal Year 2022. After opening worship, Andrew briefed the community on topics covered in four financial documents posted as advance documents on the Annual Sessions pages. A report follows.
Takeaways From the Budget Q&A
To begin with, a review of all relevant documents was offered. These can be found on the Annual Sessions webpage in the advance documents list.
- RIFA Impact Accelerator Fund report to investors
- Treasurer’s Report on PPP Loan Forgiveness
- Proposed FY 2022 Budget
- Treasurer’s Report on PYM Assets
The RFIA Impact Accelerator Fund
Andrew said that PYM’s investment in RFIA–the Reinvestment Fund’s bridge loan fund for community investment–owed much to the leadership of PYM General Secretary, Christie Duncan-Tessmer, who both leads PYM and serves on the board of Friends Fiduciary.
PYM and Friends Fiduciary partnered to contribute to RIFA’s initial capital. It was the first community development investment for either organization. The RIFA report to investors described the fund’s investments by the numbers and highlighted several projects. The fund has performed well despite the pandemic.
The RFIA Impact Accelerator Fund’s investments create new homes, quality jobs, meaningful educational opportunities, and thriving businesses in neighborhoods that need them. These investments strengthen neighborhoods, scale social enterprises and create resilient communities, where everyone can thrive and prosper.
PPP loan forgiveness
In FY 2020, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting received a Payroll Protection Program loan of $311,600. The money was promptly spent, as required, on staff payroll and benefits. A year later, the Small Business Administration forgave the loan. The PDF explains that the cancellation of this debt is a non-cash event that does not affect PYM’s operations.
New Friends 403(b) Retirement Program
Andrew offered his opinion that the switch to a 403(b) plan on July 1 will favorably impact the budget and employee well-being for years to come. A 403(b) provides PYM with stable, predictable costs for retirement contributions. Employees get a generous benefit that is 100% vested from day one and is portable as they move through their careers. Christie noted that a 403(b) does shift investment risk from the employer to the employee, but the Friends 403(b) offers extensive information, financial education, and one-to-one support.
FY 2022 Budget and FY 2021 Projection
Linell McCurry, Associate Secretary for Business & Finance, reported that FY 2021, which ends September 30, is predicted to be a break-even year. She noted that the extensive renovations at Arch Street Meetinghouse are being covered by a combination of successful fundraising and capital reserves. PYM received a restricted bequest for Arch Street.
PYM has received several unexpected bequests, one restricted to the Legacy Fund, our new memorial fund. An unrestricted bequest will go partly to the Membership Development Fund with a portion invested in unrestricted endowment.
FY 2022 is budgeted at zero. Total funds available and total expenses are budgeted just shy of FY 2021 projections, the difference being less expected activity at Arch Street. Total staff expenses are budgeted to increase by 2%, but with some shifts from the current year. Staff wages are higher, reflecting salary adjustments and positions moving from consulting expense to staff expense. Benefit expenses will decline, thanks to the new 403(b) retirement program.
Treasurer’s Report on PYM Assets
Andrew presented PYM’s assets in Hershey’s nuggets. Each nugget represented $1 million. There were 71 nuggets for $71 million in assets at September 30, 2020:
- 5 nuggets for PYM’s unrestricted cash, reserve funds, and unrestricted investments.
- 33 nuggets for PYM’s restricted cash and restricted granting and program funds.
- 29 nuggets for funds held by others where PYM receives income.
- 4 nuggets for PYM property at Arch Street and its interest in Friends Center.
The small amount in unrestricted funds is why PYM asks you to:
Please Send Chocolate!
Question and Answer Session
During the Q&A following the presentation, Friends spoke about the following issues:
Q: As monthly meetings deal with the passing of a generation of larger donors, covenants overall remain stable. Does PYM plan to increase the amounts requested of meetings?
A: Monthly Meetings vary a lot in size and resources. Some meetings have increased their covenants and others have decreased, but the worst pressures of COVID seem to be abating. It is something we watch and we welcome individual conversations with meetings about how they are doing, and how PYM can help. Higher distributions from Friends Fiduciary are providing additional income to constituents across the yearly meeting.
Q: People are interested in understanding all that PYM supports. Is there a plan to share more about that?
A: Yes, we do try to share. PYM’s grants tell interesting stories. Granting activity varies across fiscal years since PYM also distributes grants for Friends Fiduciary, notably Quaker buildings and program money from funds left by Anna Jeanes.
Q: What about funds that have archaic donor restrictions?
A: There have been very few funds that have needed to be repurposed over the years so as to meet modern needs that align with the donor’s original intent. In the best-known example, the John Pemberton fund (for the care and feeding of horses ridden to yearly meeting) became a transportation fund. Most funds have broad purposes addressing needs that still exist: for the care of elderly Friends, for Quaker buildings, and for the education of Friends children.
The group ended the briefing with a warm and friendly conversation about bequests, fundraising, and Quaker community. Andrew Anderson invited all present to join us at Sessions for the passing of the 2022 budget, Thursday, July 29, from 1-4pm.
There is still time to register for Annual Sessions. Sign up now!
There is also still time to “send chocolate”. To donate on line visit www.pym.org/nurture
Featured Image above by Alexander Stein from Pixabay
Image below by John McCurry