First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia ~ Welcome home!

Financial Updates: A Look at our Finances

We are 4 months into our fiscal year (July – October).  Because the summer months are “off season” and historically slow financially, it is still a little early to gauge how we are doing financially when compared with our revised budget.  However, there are some trends that are starting to emerge that we will be monitoring very closely over the next few months.

Finance Working Group (FWG)

The FWG reviews the cash flow in and out of our checking account on a monthly basis and compares this with our budget.  Overall, the FWG feels that we are doing “OK,” neither ahead nor behind.  The following notes of interest are:

  • We are $5,094 behind on member/friend giving.  Summers are historically slow, so hopefully this will improve with a few more “in season” months.  Member/friend giving fell short last fiscal year, and is a category we are monitoring very closely.
  • Facility rental income has generated an extra $5,995 (go Norman!).  However, Jan and Feb are historically slow rental months, so Norman projects that we are actually on budget, and not ahead.
  • We have saved about $1,200 on staff health benefits.  Matt Miceli, as a new employee, was not eligible for health benefits for the first 3 months, and another staff member only just elected to participate in our health insurance program.  So the savings of not having to pay for these two employees for the past three months are real savings.  As both employees are now enrolled, we don’t anticipate any future savings.
  • Expense line item “Fundraising Costs” was accidently left off the budget.  It has now been added, and is expected to cost $1,500.

Endowment & Investment Working Group (EIWG)

The EIWG is responsible for the oversight of all the church’s financial investments, including the endowment, two money market accounts, and a Trust.  The following notes of interest are:

  • The endowment has decreased in value during the third quarter to $837,676 (we like to see the endowment hover around 1 million dollars).  This decrease is to be expected as the stock markets are fluctuating greatly in the past few months and are currently down.  For comparison, our endowment has not performed as well as the S&P 500 for the last two quarters, but did better on the previous quarters since we moved our money over in 2008.  Overall, since 2008, the S&P 500 has only outperformed our management group, Abacus, by a hair.  The EIWG has invited our Abacus contact to join them for their Q1 2012 review.
  • The EIWG is about to start investigating our Vanguard Money Market Fund and RBC Dain Rauscher Money Market Fund.  We have about $58,000 total in both accounts which are the result of donations, bequests, etc.  Many of these donations are restricted.  The EIWG would like to itemize/organize all the different donations, amounts remaining, restrictions of use, bank account location, etc.  This way, the church members, staff, and Board can have a better understanding of other money that may be available to fund programs, property improvements, and other miscellaneous items.



Eva Baker

Board Treasurer

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Comment by Former Settled Minister on December 3, 2011 at 3:12pm

Nice work, Eva!

Comment by Anne Slater on December 2, 2011 at 8:45pm

Thanks for the clear and straight-forward explanation of our current financial status.

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