Sensitive to the Current State of Global Economics, Treasurer Martha Knight is Realistic
To the Women’s Division Board of Directors, Treasurer Martha Knight presented the year end financial report for the year 2008, at their semi-annual Board meeting in Stamford, Conn. on Friday.
The Women’s Division Board meeting took place Apr. 23- Apr. 27 and included other discussions such as a new strategic proposal and the quadrennial Assembly 2010 theme announcement.
In her report, Ms. Knight expressed a sense of realism about the past year and the times ahead. “The year 2008 has been a year like no other,” Ms. Knight said. “It is a mark in history, a wake up call for all of us.”
However, Ms. Knight also called for celebration due to the success of Mission Giving in spite of the recent global economic downturn. United Methodist Women succeeded in making their pledge to mission in one of the worst economic years in US history. Ms. Knight said this was an exceptional feat showing the strong devotion of United Methodist Women to mission.
Due to last-minute giving through the United Methodist Women website, www.umwmission.org, actual Mission Giving surpassed pledges to mission by roughly $3,000 dollars, bringing Mission Giving to a total of $16.5 million.
Mission Giving funds support Women’s Division Mission Institutions nationally and other mission programs around the world which empower the lives of women, children and youth. Ms. Knight emphasized the importance of these services being provided in these economic times.
In addition to these praises, Ms. Knight expanded on the numbers. Revenue was up by roughly $200,000 dollars due to meeting the pledge and increases in designated giving. Also, because of deliberate under-spending by staff due to the economy, there was a $1.7 million operating surplus.
Yet, investments, interest and dividends decreased because of the dramatic downturn in the stock market . Overall investments decreased by $28.4 million, where the 2007 year-end investment holdings were $101 million and 2008 holdings were $66.5 million.
Despite this decline, Ms. Knight is "not without hope," and noted that the Women’s Division staff is “vigilant” about financial situations. To the directors, she insisted, “Your ministry of leadership allows United Methodist Women to be in mission in the ways that they are, for times such as these.”
Leigh Rogers is the public relations executive with the Women’s Division of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries.