During 2017, JLP has run a deficit of about $1000 a month. We’ve spent an average of $13,996 each month, and received an average of $12,958. Here is a graph showing our income vs. expenses:
(Our spending is remarkably stable. For comparison, last year we spent about $13,995 per month. The vast majority of our expenditures are “baked in” each year: about 60% for staff, 20% for building operations, and 11% for denominational apportionments. That leaves less than 10% for other program expenses.)
Just like at your home, if we spend more than we take in, the difference comes out of our savings. We have three types of savings: cash, investments, and restricted funds. Cash and investments are unrestricted. Council can spend them on whatever it deems necessary to carry out the mission of the church. Restricted funds are money entrusted to the church for specific purposes: Clare House, the Gambell Building Fund, HUGSS, etc. Council has some discretion to say how that money is spent, but only within those limits. Here is a graph showing how much of each type of saving we have:
As you can see, the bulk of our money is restricted funds, i.e., it’s not really our money. It’s someone else’s money that’s been entrusted to us for specific purposes.
If nothing changes, we will run out of cash during July, and we would run out of our investment money early in 2018. There may be a portion of the restricted funds that could be (with integrity) spent on church operations, but it would be pretty small. Even if we could spend it all on ourselves, the total “runway” is only about three years — but we can’t.
Council took action at its July meeting, authorizing the treasurer to borrow $5,000 from the other accounts. We hope that our members can increase their giving enough to stop (or at least reduce) our deficit. That will give us time to focus on efforts we are undertaking to increase the church’s vitality.
(See the next post for information about how you can help.)