The 2013 annual conference recommended budget is just over $6.2 million, $130,000 lower than the 2012 budget. The 2013 budget continues a trend of declining budgets.
The 2013 budget, if approved as recommended, will be at our ceiling (maximum allowed by conference rules) and at the same level as our 2003 budget. Ten of the last fourteen budgets have been below ceiling; three have been at the ceiling, and one (2012 budget) was above the ceiling.
With the added amount for the uncollectible contingency, the total to be apportioned is just under $7 million. The total to be apportioned includes 38 percent for outreach and benevolence, 35 percent for pastoral support, 16 percent for administration, and 11 percent for an uncollectible contingency.
The “uncollectible contingency” accommodates shortfalls in some churches’ payments of apportionments.
The expenditure of programmatic funds is tightly focused to address our strategic imperatives as best we can with available resources. Our administrative costs are low compared to benchmarks set by nonprofit monitoring groups. Some of our activities, such as our self-funded health insurance program, camping ministry, and youth events, are funded mainly by premiums and fees. These activities would not be possible without the infrastructure (technology, systems, staff) provided by apportionments. The same infrastructure allows 100 percent of donations for Imagine No Malaria and Advance Specials to benefit the specified cause.
Apportionments provide avenues of giving so that we can be strong local churches and annual conferences, connected together in mission at home and around the world.
Barbara Carroll is director of finance and administration for the Minnesota Annual Conference.
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church