[Anglican Journal] General Synod, the governing body of the Anglican Church of Canada, ended 2011 with a deficit of CAN$65,000 (US$63,414), due to a decline in expected revenue of CAN$808,000 (US$788,288), according to Treasurer Michele George.
Reviewing General Synod’s financial results for 2011 at the spring meeting here of the Council of General Synod (CoGS), George explained that the budget of CAN$12 million (US$11.71 million) had planned for a surplus of CAN$18,000 (US$17,557). Instead, a loss on investments, a decline in proportional giving from dioceses and lower than anticipated results from annual appeals led to a shortfall.
General Synod was able to use 20% of CAN$2 million (US$1.95 million) in undesignated legacies to help cover the shortfall, George told delegates.
The 2011 results show that budgeting revenue remains a challenge for General Synod, said George, adding that, “We’re clearly struggling at the moment.” Although General Synod has always budgeted conservatively when it comes to investment income, this year, it is being “more diligent” in monitoring revenue. If necessary, other sources of funding may need to be identified or work deferred, she said.
“Resources for Mission, particularly the annual appeals, were disappointing and resulted in a shortfall of CAN$752,000 (US$733,443),” according to the financial management committee report to CoGS. The shortfall was partially cushioned by a reserve of $200,000 and partly from undesignated legacies.
Proportional giving fell short of budget by CAN$273,000 (US$266,262), but part of the loss was cushioned by another reserve of CAN$200,000 (US$195,064), according to the financial management committee report to CoGS.
The continued volatility of global investment markets resulted in a loss of more than CAN$300,000 (US$292,622) in market value of the investments, the report added. The 2011 budget had anticipated more than CAN$150,000 (US$146,318) in investment revenue but instead lost CAN$164,000 (US$159,974). “We were off budget by CAN$83,000 (US$80,974),” George said in an interview.
Vianney (Sam) Carriere, director of resources for mission, said that one of several possible reasons for the under-performance of the Anglican Appeal was that “the original estimate of the revenues may have been too high.” He pointed out that the other fundraising campaigns in the national church, including the Anglican Journal Appeal and the Gifts for Mission catalog, met their targets in 2011.
The good news, said Carriere, who is also director of communications and information resources, is that the Anglican Appeal campaign already appears to be ahead of its target for this year. “So we’re hoping that last year was a blip and that we’ll recover.” In addition, efforts are underway to strengthen all three fundraising campaigns through the integration of campaign staff and resources. “Hopefully it will pay off,” said Carriere.
The council, in three separate resolutions, approved the 2011 financial statements of General Synod, the Consolidated Trust Fund, and the Resolution Corporation.
— Marites N. Sison is staff writer for the Anglican Journal.