A Positive Financial Outlook Through July

An important fiduciary responsibility of the Stewardship, Finance & Administration (SF&A) Ministry is monitoring the church’s annual operating budget to ensure our church finances are in a strong and sustainable position. The annual operating budget is developed by the SF&A Budget Committee, forwarded to Church Council, then reviewed and approved through a congregational vote each January at Annual Meeting. Our Church Treasurer Moe Wright and Business Manager Kit Dunbar work together to prepare financial statements which are reviewed monthly by SF&A and quarterly by church council. This year, with the upheaval and uncertainties resulting from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, SF&A has continued its close review of the church’s overall financial situation and offers this update.

In January, our congregation adopted the 2020 operating budget of $1.24M. The budget included use of about $20k in Council contingency and $63k of interest income from the Fire Insurance Fund account as needed to plug any year-end deficit. The July 2020 financials have been reviewed by SF&A and Council.  Here are year-to-date (“YTD”) highlights through July:

  • YTD income from contributions received (sustaining gifts, a donation to cover online fees and other contributions) is $410k. This is $25k less than budget, but still very good considering all the challenges of the year. We are grateful that the REALM program gives us a simple, online mechanism for making sustaining gifts and to the Sunday offering.
  • Facility use by others is a critical part of our budget ($355k of our annual budget is derived from this source, of which $250k is from the East Bay School for Boys). East Bay School for Boys has continued its rent payments despite having moved to virtual learning in March, and intends to continuing paying their rent through the year. However, with the cancellations of concerts in the sanctuary our room use is expected to be $75k less than budget by year end.
  • In May First Church was approved for a $113k federal Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) to support staff salaries.
  • Overall YTD income is $723k, about $32k less than the YTD budgeted amount.
  • On the expense side, YTD personnel expenses are down reflecting reduced work schedules. We anticipate that the PPP loan will be fully used by the end of August.
  • YTD expenses across all the ministries are down by $19k, and administration/church plant expenses are also down by $36k.
  • The church’s decision to pay off the loan from Berkeley Pilgrimage has saved $14k through July and will save an additional $23k for the balance of the year.
  • The bottom line results through July show a positive balance of income over expenses which is due to the support of the PPP loan. The PPP loan has helped us to keep our staffing in place.
  • SF&A will continue to monitor the financials through the year. We are grateful for the continuing generosity shown by our church community. Sustaining giving has remained steady.
  • In the coming months the 2021 operating budget will be developed. One major concern will be the continued loss of facility rentals as Covid persists. Church council will review the end-of-year projection at their September meeting and report to the congregation.
  • Support of Justice and Service organizations with the Sunday offerings has exceeded $50,000 which is 50% more than 2019! Of note, during Lent our church’s members contributed more than $20,000 for RIP Medical Debt which will leverage much greater resources to eliminate medical debt which is crippling for so many families.

As always, if you have questions about SF&A’s work or the church’s budget, don’t hesitate to contact Nick Kukulan, SF&A co-chair at [email protected] or 510-655-8053, or Treasurer Moe Wright at [email protected] or 510-719-4685.