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Spring Board Meeting 2012

Treasurer's Report: Many Gifts, One Spirit

By Leigh Rogers

Treasurer Martha Knight described the impact the Women’s Division board of directors’ budgetary approvals throughout the 2009-2012 quadrennium had on individuals, communities and organizations around the world.

Treasurer Martha Knight, in her last report to this configuration of the Women’s Division board of directors, described the impact their budgetary approvals throughout the quadrennium had on individuals, communities and organizations around the world. Her report took place at the semiannual Women’s Division board of directors meeting in Plano, Texas, March 15-19, 2012.

She described their impact as “the United Methodist Women Answer,” since “[their] kernel goes out more like a ripple, affecting so many other lives for each one we affect.” This is done with “many gifts, but one spirit,” quoting 1 Corinthians 12:4, 7: “Now there are varieties of gifts but of the same Spirit … to each given manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”

“That reminds me of you,” Ms. Knight added. “You are in one spirit in your work for the Women’s Division, and you bring many gifts with you.”

She laid out the numbers of just how large an impact the directors had in their fund approvals, grant giving and financial support for the international and national projects the Women’s Division funded throughout the quadrennium.

National Ministries

Across the United States, there are 97 National Mission Institutions, 67 of which are community centers. Altogether the institutions: 

  • Employ 6,305 paid staff.
  • Serve 535,000 people per year.
  • Have combined budgets of $422 million.

“You’ve overseen over $9 million in grants to National Mission Institutions, $5 million in property and insurance coverage, and an additional $600,000 in one-time grants and property repairs,” she said. Directors also provided funds for coaching and training leaders and served on boards on the local level.

“Your gifts have provided 18 new roofs, 2 boilers, 11 structural renovations, 9 heating and air-conditioning replacements, 5 electric repairs, and 2 sewer replacements.”

International Ministries

Ms. Knight also shared the impact directors had globally. Over the course of the four years directors have helped fund international projects, with $9 million in program monies for mission going to 150 Methodist and ecumenical partners in 80 countries, 50 projects for emergency and relief funds, and $422,400 going toward A Call to Prayer and Self-Denial focus areas.

This translated into funding:

  • 20 women’s economic empowerment programs.
  • 17 vocational program.
  • 16 advocacy and counseling programs.
  • 15 health and HIV/AIDS programs.
  • 31 spiritual and leadership trainings.
  • 8 rehabilitation projects for women, children and youth impacted by war.

Overview of the 2011 Budget

“2011 was one of the most trying years,” said Ms. Knight. The national debt continued to discourage investors and since August the stock market was almost flat, she said. “Yet United Methodist Women members remain dedicated to giving for mission.”

Despite a 3.7 percent reduction in giving, 47 percent of conferences exceeded their pledges by between 5 and 52 percent. “In one of the most serious economic downturns, that’s one of the United Methodist Women miracles I like to talk about,” Ms. Knight said.

“In reviewing all the giving over the past four years, 12 conferences increased giving over 2008 figures. That’s dedication,” said Ms. Knight. “Some areas have not been as hard hit, but as always we thank God for each and every giver of United Methodist Women.”

Mission Giving was down around $500,000 from 2010, to $14 million. Designated giving was down 15 percent to $1.1 million from 2010, mostly attributed to a decline in the Assembly Offering since 2010 was an Assembly year.

Publication, rental and other income increased from $3.19 million to $3.27 million. Brooks Howell revenues increased from $270,000 to $370,000.

Women’s Division expenditures for 2011 were $34 million. Mission Programs decreased from $11 million in 2010 to $9.7 million. Mission Programs contains expenses for Assembly, which explains the sharp decline.

Grants to national and international projects increased to $6.1 million from $5.3 million in 2010. Grants to National Mission Institutions increased $700,000. A retooling of international mission funds help explain the increases.

Pension and postretirement costs increased to $5.34 from $1.1 percent; actuarial investments for deaconess and missionary pension liabilities rose considerably, all due to the declined value of the stock market. This is the entire reason for the increase in operating expenditures, said Ms. Knight.

Affects on Net Assets
In 2011 there was a deficit of $8.2 million, all contributable to the flatlining of the stock market. “The past two years were rebuilding [Women’s Division’s net assets]. All of that went flat in 2011,” Ms. Knight said. The net decrease was $7 million for the year.

Total Net Assets
Total undesignated assets were $13 million in 2011, board designated funds were $6.79 million and net assets totaled $59.76 million.

“United Methodist Women remains strong financially, despite the ups and downs and the declines in giving,” Ms. Knight told directors at the last board meeting of the quadrennium. “We are trustees in many endowments for specific purposes and organizations and trustees of deaconess and missionary retirements. Thank you for the past four years.”

Leigh Rogers is public relations staff for the Women's Division.

Last Updated: 04/09/2014

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