The Council of General Synod (CoGS) today adopted a balanced budget for General Synod in 2014, which forecasts revenues of $11.538 million and expenses amounting to $11.451 million.
The budget projects a “modest” surplus of $48,000, said Rob Dickson, chair of the financial management committee (FMC), during a presentation made at the fall meeting of CoGS, the Anglican Church of Canada’s governing body in between General Synods. “Small surpluses” are also being forecast from 2015 to 2018. Next year’s budget offers a “conservative but realistic outlook on revenues,” said Hanna Goschy, General Synod treasurer.
A review of the 2013 finances during the third quarter of 2013 has shown a year-to-date actual deficit of $256,000 against a planned deficit of $717,000, Dickson added. The “favorable” variance of $461,000 came mainly from lower-than-planned expenses.
Dickson also said that instead of the $513,000 deficit that was forecast in the transitional budget for 2013 that CoGS had approved in November 2012, the year would actually end with a surplus of $100,000. Proportional gifts from dioceses – which make up the lion’s share of total annual revenues – were budgeted conservatively and are $200,000 above forecast revenue, he said. Savings also came from delayed hiring and replacing of staff positions.
The 2014 budget forecasts revenues to come from the following streams: proportional gifts of dioceses ($8.3 million or 75% of total); Anglican Journal ($1.54 million or 14% of total, one-third of which comes from donations to the Anglican Journal Appeal); Resources for Mission ($546,000 or 5% of total), and other sources ($751,000 or 6% of total) such as investment income, and Healing Fund reimbursements.
Several changes have been introduced in the 2014 budget, according to a budget summary prepared by the FMC. Proportional giving is now budgeted based on historical data over a relevant time period, revenues from Resources for Mission are budgeted “realistically but conservatively,” and “expenses are budgeted to reflect efforts to reduce where possible and realistic.”
The 2014 budget assumes that investment income will remain stable, that there are no undesignated legacies, that cost-living index is 1%, and that rental income and cost-sharing with affiliated organizations will remain unchanged.
“Achieving balanced budget requires us to be prudent in projecting revenues, vigilant in pursuing revenues and judicious in managing expenses,” said Goschy.
Funding for General Synod programs constitute 28% of the total 2014 budget, at $3.1 million. It is broken down as follows:
- Communications and Information Resources ($597,000), which includes Anglican Video, management of the website, central services, salaries and benefits, among others;
- Global Relations ($519,000), which includes “the administration of bilateral relationships with five Anglican Communion partners, an international scholarship program for graduate theological studies, and the provision of resources for local leadership development for local-global mission partnerships.”
- Public Witness for Social and Ecological Justice ($503,000), which includes grants to ecumenical partners, and budgets for the final Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) national event in Edmonton and the closing ceremony in Ottawa.
- Indigenous Ministries ($439,000), which includes the office of the National Indigenous Anglican Bishop, oversight of the suicide prevention program in aboriginal communities, development of indigenous catechist training program, travel for the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples and other gatherings.
- Primate’s Office ($437,000), which includes salaries and benefits for staff, and travel.
- Faith, Worship and Ministry ($412,000), which includes staff salaries and benefits, and travel.
- Archives ($195,000), which includes staff salaries and benefits and operations for the provision of Indian residential school-related documents to the TRC.
Council of the North grants, which total $2.1 million, represents 19% of the total 2014 budget. The annual decrease of 5% in grants offered by the Council from 2012 to 2016 has been deferred for 2014. The Council includes financially-assisted dioceses in the North.
Anglican Journal expenses amounting to $2.0 million, represents 19% of the total budget (offset in part by $1.5 4 million in revenues). These include distribution costs ($876,000), salaries and benefits ($580,000), editorial and production ($206,000), revenue sharing with dioceses ($150,000), administration ($124,000), fundraising costs ($100,000) and advertising costs ($57,000).
Governance expenses total $1.1 million (10% of total budget) and includes salaries and benefits ($461,000), staff salary and committee travel for the Healing Fund ($183,000), travel ($268,000) others, including government relations and anti-racism work ($114,000) and legal costs ($87,000). Governance includes the General Secretary’s office and the house of bishops. Travel expenses are for CoGS, the house of bishops, committees, and the general secretary.
Administration expenses totaling $ 1.1 million, constitute another 10% of the total; and building expenses of $495,000, represent 5% of the total.
Resources for Mission has a budget of $973,000 (or 9% of total; offset in part by $546,000 in revenues), which includes salaries and benefits ($484,000), annual giving expenses ($204,000), diocesan support ($133,000), consulting fees, advertising and others ($87,000), travel ($40,000) and resource development ($25,000).