How You Can Help JLP’s Financial Situation

So far this year, we’ve received financial contributions from 42 families and individuals. Four of those were visitors, so for practical purposes, JLP’s giving “base” consists of 38 individuals or families. If each of those givers would increase their giving by just 8%, it would close our funding gap.

How would that work out? Here’s an example.

The majority of our givers contribute between about $200 and $350 per month. Some are able to give more, of course, while others can’t give that much. But suppose you were somewhere in that middle group, and gave $250/month. Could you increase your giving by 8%, or $20/month? In other words, could you increase your giving by an extra $5/week? If the people who already give to the church did so, it would close our gap.

Maybe you can’t do that. But if, instead, you could increase your giving by even $3/week, that would help us reduce our burn rate. Instead of 10 months, we might be able to stretch our savings to 18 months or 2 years.

A lot can change in that time. Every extra month gives us more time to aggressively pursue our revitalization efforts and for those efforts to begin having an impact.

The same arithmetic applies for people who haven’t been able to support JLP in the past. We aren’t asking you to carry the whole church on your back. But your gifts could make the difference: between a high burn rate and a low one, or maybe even between “not quite solvent” and “actually solvent.”

If you have been a supporter of JLP, please prayerfully consider increasing your giving, so we have more time to pursue revitalization. And if you haven’t been a supporter, I’d like to invite you to begin. Thank you!

Financial Update – Mid 2017

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.)