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Board Meeting, Fall 2010

Giving for 2009 Sees New Factors at Work

By Leigh Rogers

Women’s Division Treasurer Martha Knight encouraged directors to continue to tell the story of Mission Giving, as “we cannot ignore the new economy.”

The financial report for the period ending August 31, 2010, is a direct reflection of needs met and yet unmet, and of the gifts to the glory of God, given by United Methodist Women members, said Treasurer Martha Knight.

The new reality of the global and U.S. economy is something we need to acknowledge, Ms. Knight said, because it means that giving by United Methodist Women members is “charting new territory.”

Ms. Knight shared that despite the impact of the ailing job market and the poor performance of the stock market. Despite this, Ms. Knight acknowledged that members’ commitment remained strong: “Year to date through August, mission giving came in at very close to last year’s giving. It is too soon to tell the impact that the past four months of this year’s economic reality will have at year end.


By August 31, 2010, total operating revenue increased by $1.3 million, or 10 percent, compared to August 2009. According to Ms. Knight, this increase was the result of the following:

  • Mission Giving is down $135,000, or .02 percent, compared to August 2009. The total giving is 36 percent of the pledge for 2010 compared to the 2009 collection rate of 34.8 percent.
  • Designated Giving is up $154,000, or 21.11 percent, due to increased giving to the Assembly Offering following Assembly 2010.
  • Publication, rental and other revenues are up $1,841,000. This increase is almost entirely attributable to revenues received from the Assembly, which was $1,544,000. Another contribution to this increase was the receipt of undistributed funds for National Missions from General Board of Global Ministries.
  • Brooks Howell Home receipts show a decrease of $297,000, or 14.25 percent. This decrease was due to the timing of reporting, which will be caught up by year’s end.
  • Other revenues decreased by $182,000, or 45.19 percent. This decrease is due to the change in the employees’ pension plan.

Total Mission Giving to date, decreased by $135,000, or .02 percent, compared to the same period last year. “Given the present financial condition of our economy, we are grateful that our members stay committed to our Purpose,” said Ms. Knight.

Operating Expenditures

Operating expenditures for the period ended August 2010 increased by $874,000, or 4.48 percent, above the August 2009 level. This is primarily the result of the following:

  • Mission Programs costs increased by $2,250,000, or 44.33 percent. Once again this increase is due to the 2010 Assembly.
  • Grants to National and International Projects, the costs of which previously appeared under “Grants to GBGM,” totaled $2,540,000. Starting in 2010 these amounts represent grants made directly from the Women’s Division to these projects.
  • Pension and postretirement for retired deaconesses increased slightly over 2009 totals by $127,000, or 4.56 percent. This increase is due to the initial costs of outsourcing of the administrative functions of the health and pension administration. Discounts and rebates resulting from this outsourcing will be recognized later in the year.
  • Brooks Howell Home expenses appear to have decreased by $286,000. This is due to the timing or reporting, which will be caught up by year’s end.
  • Property maintenance and insurance increased by $327,000, or 28.88 percent, due to the diligence with which the property committee addresses the realities of aging properties owned by the division.
  • Administration and fundraising expenses decreased by $177,000, or 14.41 percent, due to added measures that were set in place to reduce administrative costs.

“Staff remain vigilant while a concerted effort is maintained to keep administrative costs down and to increase programs in areas of great need,” said Ms. Knight. An example of this was the reevaluation of the Assembly budget after the 2008 economic crisis. “We readjusted the budget, and expenses were lower out of good stewardship of funds by staff while still being able to keep a good program,” she said.

Effect on Net Assets

Overall the operating expenditures of $20.35 million for the period ended August 31, 2010, exceeded the operating income of $14.44 million for the period ended August 2010, creating an operating deficit of $5.91 million, due to the timing of Mission Giving.

For the period ended August 31, 2010, investments declined in value by $229,000 due to negative change in the stock market.

However, total net assets for August 31, 2010, increased over August 31, 2009, by $4.38 million. The following summaries explain the increase:

  • Total unrestricted funds increased by $1.67 million, due to appreciation of our investment portfolios in the late third quarter and fourth quarter of 2009.
  • Total temporarily restricted funds show an increase of $2.57 million over the August 2009 level due to the appreciation of our investment portfolios in the late third quarter and fourth quarter of 2009.
  • Total permanently restricted funds increased by $.23 million. This increase is due to contributions and appreciation in the permanently restricted category.

Ending in Prayer

“Not everyone who gives knows the full story of where their Mission Giving goes, and yet they continue to give by faith because they believe the need is great and that those in need are God’s children,” Ms. Knight said. Recollecting the previous board meeting during which she asked directors to share the mission story with five new people. She added, “For each person whom I tell, there are hundreds who need to hear. There are women in local units who need to hear the story of how they are in mission together.” To directors, she acknowledged, “We will never be finished telling our story.”

Recognizing the economic realities for United Methodist Women units as well as for members and their families, Ms. Knight closed in prayer for them. “Pray and act with us by telling the story of where Mission Giving truly goes and the story of God’s abundance so that all of us may know where we are, indeed, entertaining angels in our midst.”

Leigh Rogers is the public relations and web content associate for the Women’s Division of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries.

Last Updated: 10/18/2010

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