Primate’s Fund sees better bottom line but still looking at changes

Published June 1, 2003

The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund received generous responses from Anglicans who read about its financial difficulties, however the fund is cutting expenditures and working on an expanded fundraising strategy. “We’ve put a lid on administrative costs for next year and reduced the size of our development program by about 11 per cent,” said PWRDF executive director Andrew Ignatieff in an interview.

The Journal previously reported (March 2003) that toward the end of the fund’s fiscal year, March 31, it had no funds left for disaster relief, with a potential humanitarian crisis looming due to the imminent war in Iraq.

At the time, Mr. Ignatieff attributed the shortfall in contributions to competition from fundraising efforts for the native residential schools settlement fund and news reports that focused on war, not refugees.

In the 2002 calendar year, contributions collected from individuals and forwarded by the dioceses totaled $2,797,000, down $430,000, or 13 per cent, from 2001. In 2002, the fund spent $884,000 on disaster and refugee relief.

Since the article appeared, “we received a $10,000 individual donation for Iraq and another undesignated $10,000 donation,” said Mr. Ignatieff. The fund also received a total of $11,000 in smaller donations earmarked for the residents of Badger, Nfld., hard hit by a flood several months ago.

The fund does not plan to lay off any of its 19 staff, but will not fill a vacant support position for the foreseeable future, said Mr. Ignatieff. “We are monitoring meeting costs, participatory costs, travel costs,” but sometimes that becomes counter-productive since “you have to promote the Primate’s Fund” in order to generate contributions, he said.

The fund’s other main source of income is the Canadian International Development Agency, which contributed $1.2 million in 2002. Including bequests and other income, PWRDF’s total revenue in 2002 was $5.12 million.

The fund’s board of directors, at a meeting in early May, approved a fundraising strategy that includes approaching foundations and the general public, said Mr. Ignatieff. The board also recommended co-ordination of all national church financial development strategies, including Anglican Appeal, Anglican Journal, Indigenous Healing Fund and others.

Based in Toronto, the Primate’s Fund contributes to disaster relief through Action for Churches Together, an ecumenical organization, and funds development projects in Canada and the developing world.

Author

  • Solange DeSantis

    Solange De Santis was a reporter for the Anglican Journal from 2000 to 2008.

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