Women’s Division Approves $19 Million Budget for 2007
by BARBARA WHEELER*
Addressing the need to reduce spending, directors of the Women's Division of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries approved a 2007 budget of close to $19 million, a 17 percent reduction from 2006.
Women's Division Chief Executive Jan Love presented the 2007 budget at the organization's fall annual meeting in Stamford, Conn. Ms. Love said the budget of $18,964,865 is close to the balanced budget requested by directors. A projected deficit of just more than $200,000 can be addressed by delays in hiring and other expenditures, she said. Staff will be directed to spend within or below projected levels to stay on budget and reduce the projected deficit.
Over the past year, there has been a 33-person reduction in the Women's Division staff, which will reduce expenses in 2007.
"We are turning a very large ship of [financial] state around," Ms. Love said.
The bulk of the division's budget will be spent on mission. Close to $7.7 million will go to national and international ministries. Membership and organizational development, including such things as leadership training and schools of Christian mission, will receive close to $675,000. Social-justice mission outreach is budgeted at just more than $600,000. This includes such things as environmental-justice mission through Green Teams, National Seminar and other ministries of justice.
The budget also includes funding for program resources for United Methodist Women, including such things as Response magazine, mission-study books, and Spanish- and Korean-language materials. And money is earmarked for missionary and deaconess pensions, and funding to ecumenical partners.
Women's Division directors recognized the key role that fundraising and increased Mission Giving will play in maintaining financial stability within the organization. Women's Division Director Nelida Mora-Morales said:
"The bad news is that we are struggling financially. The good news is that we have plenty of money to do the work that we need to do. The money is in our bank accounts and in our 401(k)s. We United Methodist Women are running a race. We need to go the third and the fourth mile. Look at the whole picture, and look at the wonderful things we do around the world."
*Barbara Wheeler is executive secretary for communications for the Women's Division of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries.