We Need Your Ideas – Balancing Revenue and Expenses in the 2023-24 MVUC Budget
A Note from the MVUC Board of Trustees
SEND YOUR IDEAS TO firstname.lastname@example.org by June 17
On May 21, over one hundred MVUC members gathered for a potluck supper followed by the 2023 Annual Congregational Meeting. Described as ‘just the right combination of celebratory, serious, problem solving, and leadership transition” attendees agreed that it was an organized, informative, and productive meeting.
Awards were given in recognition of exemplary service to MVUC, members were elected to positions on the Board, the Nominating Committee and Program Council, a bylaw amendment was passed, and an eye-opening presentation on the budget unfolded.
The proposed 2023-24 operating budget was presented by Finance Chair Al Robbert along with an explanation of the decisions and unanticipated expenses over the years that have resulted in our current budget deficit. (See proposed budget at this link.)
The Board did not approve the budget as presented.
Board Chair Karen Delmonico explained that instead of approving the proposed budget, the Board has begun investigating ways to end a persistent revenue vs. expense imbalance that has persisted at MVUC for more than a decade.
In recent years, the insufficient revenue has been covered by transfers from the endowment income in excess of principal. Without a formal endowment income spending policy, this has been a stopgap decision each year and, of course, depends on there being endowment income to draw from.
Our bylaws currently require congregation approval to transfer funds from inflation adjusted principal. This year, the endowment fund balance is below that amount and not expected to recover quickly. This means that there is no available endowment income to draw on to cover this year’s deficit.
The Board extended the deadline for a budget resolution to July 31, 2023, and will address the imbalance. At that time, the Board will seek to adopt a balanced budget.
We Need Your Ideas and Support
We are asking the entire Congregation to share in helping to solve this problem. We invite input from you, our members – what are your ideas that could help MVUC increase revenue and/or decrease expenses?
You can individually make a huge impact if you are willing to increase your time-talent-and treasure contributions to MVUC. There are many options, including:
- Increasing your Stewardship/Pledges,
- Planning, participating, and/or supporting new Fundraising initiatives in the coming year
- Helping to recruit, welcome, and retain New Members; bring a friend to church!
- Finding new Rental and Property Development opportunities, and increasing Income from existing rentals;
- Increasing your Volunteer Hours to cover tasks currently covered by paid staff;
- Creating a more flexible endowment income Spending Policy.
Any spending cut decisions will come from the Board. The largest line items in the MVUC budget are:
- Property Maintenance
- Denominational Support (UUA)
- Staff and Compensation
The Board plans to hold at least one town meeting within the next few weeks to discuss these ideas further. In the meantime, please email your ideas – the more specific the better – to the Board at
email@example.com by June 17
Church members ultimately determine the operating revenue available to our community. Moving towards a balanced revenue & expense scenario that does not regularly rely on endowment income can be done. We sincerely look forward to hearing your ideas. Together we can have a balanced – and sustainable – budget.