General Synod treasurer Jim Cullen and Robert Dickson, chair of the financial management and development committee, presented to synod delegates Letting Down the Nets, a stewardship plan that supports the church’s strategic plan for the next six years.
General Synod also approved a financial plan, called Letting Down the Nets, to support the framework, which acknowledges that resources for expanded church work do not yet exist.
The plan envisions “raising significant new funds for mission and ministry for parishes, diocese and national work. It is not a campaign and not a fix for the General Synod budget,” said Geoff Jackson, executive officer of the diocese of Ontario and a member of the national church’s financial management and development committee.
“We believe we can build an organization that could raise a minimum of $25 million over four years and potentially $50-$100 million through planned and major gifts over the next ten years,” he said. Implementing the plan will cost $3.2 million to the year 2008, he said. The cost would not come from the General Synod budget, but from support by individuals, foundations, loans or bonds.
The plan has several elements:
- Encourage dioceses to reached the target of 26 per cent of income suggested by the 1998 General Synod. If all dioceses gave at that level, General Synod’s revenue would rise by an additional $600,000 per year.
- Continuing the annual appeals – Anglican Appeal (for national work), Anglican Journal Appeal (for the newspaper), and incorporate support for the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund and the Anglican Foundation.
- Hire more planned giving consultants who can advise potential donors on bequests, purchase of annuities to benefit the church and donation of securities. The diocese of New Westminster has realized more than $6 million in planned gifts under its 12-year-old program.
- Identify and appeal to individuals able to make major gifts.
In response to a desire expressed by parishes and dioceses, General Synod will develop resources to support fundraising and parish development. Such work was downloaded to the dioceses in 1995. Part of the current plan is a stewardship pilot project to be undertaken in each of the four ecclesiastical provinces over the next three years.
While delegates generally expressed support for the plan, some were concerned that funding for northern dioceses could be cut and others cited financial pressure on dioceses, including contributions to the residential schools settlement fund, that could prevent them from reaching the 26 per cent mark.