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Board Meeting, Spring 2011

Finances Represent Where United Methodist Women Legacy Lives, Says Treasurer

By Leigh Rogers

Revenues rose from the previous year due to faithful giving by members exceeding pledges and some recovery of the economic downturn.

Treasurer Martha Knight encouraged directors to be forward-thinking about the impact of their mission giving. Opening her report with a story, she illustrated her challenge with a tale of how one missionary, “Sister Sarah,” still lives in all the places where she helped people and where she took the word of God.

“Sister Sarah is all United Methodist Women,” said Ms. Knight to directors. “You, United Methodist Women [members], live in the programs you funded to help women and children improve or rebuild their lives.”


For the financial period ending December 31, 2010, overall revenues were up $1.1 million, or 3.78 percent, at $27.9 million. This was a result of several factors:

  • Mission Giving was down $530,000 or 3.5 percent from December 2009. The total is 97.2 percent of the Pledge to Mission for 2010 compared to the 2009 collection rate of 95.2 percent. “We are seeing recovery or stepping out in faith [by members] to give a little more this year,” Ms. Knight said. 
  • Though Mission Giving was down from the year before, United Methodist Women continue to give faithfully; 47 percent of conferences met or exceeded their pledge. Six conferences exceeded theirs by more than 20 percent, up to nearly 200 percent more than their pledge! 
  • Assembly 2010, an event held earlier in 2010, increased revenues in certain areas. Publication and registration revenue increased over $2 million from revenues received from Assembly 2010. Designated giving increased $45,000 or 3.54 percent, due in part to the Assembly Offering.
  • Other revenues decreased $277,000 due to a change in the pension fund. 

Operating Expenditures

Operating expenditures increased $2.3 million or 8.4 percent from the December 2009 level, to $30.2 million. It is primarily a result of the following:

  • Mission Programs spending increased by $3.3 million or 43.1 percent, which included Assembly 2010 expenses and new mission responsibilities. 
  • Grants to national and international projects. Starting in 2010 these amounts represent grants made directly from the Women’s Division to projects instead of “Grants to GBGM.” 
  • Pension and postretirement plans for retired Deaconesses, Home Missioners and Missionaries, decreased by $298,000 or 21.3 percent.
  • Brooks Howell Home expenses remained much the same from 2009.
  • Property, maintenance and insurance costs increased by $853,000 or 63.4 percent due to the required upkeep of properties occupied by mission institutions, owned by the Women's Division.
  • Administrative costs decreased by $66,000 or 3.1 percent due to reducing operating costs by directly funding mission work. Staff remains vigilant while a concerted effort is maintained to keep operating costs down and increase program funding in areas of great need.

Effects on Net Assets

Overall the Operating Expenditures of $30.15 million exceeded the Operating Income of $27.94 million for the period ended December 2010, creating an operating deficit of $2.21 million due to Mission Programs expenses.

However, appreciation in investments increased $8.5 million due to changes in the stock market, an increase of 12.17 percent. This is in addition to the 20.97 percent increase seen in 2009. “We are making good progress in earning back 2008 losses in funds during the financial crisis,” Ms. Knight said.

Total Net Assets increased $6.84 million due to a continued appreciation in investment portfolios in the late third and fourth quarters of 2010. Comparing 2007 to 2010, “we’ve made great strides thanks to your oversight, investment managers, staff of the Women’s Division,” Ms. Knight said to the directors. 

Looking to the Future

Ms. Knight also implored directors to think toward the future of mission giving and how current funds and investments will have an exponential effect later on, in the lives of those affected by our mission.

"As you look boldly to the future of United Methodist Women, where will people say that you live next?” Ms. Knight said. “This is what our financial statements truly represent.”

Leigh Rogers is the public relations and web content associate for the Women's Division.

Last Updated: 04/15/2014

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