How do we make a budget? Is it like a cake…or not?
Well, there are steps involved, of course. First you start with the ingredients, or inputs, as some might say. That began, for most of the congregation, on Sunday, March 18, when pledge materials were given out after church, and then mailed to other pledgers who weren’t present. You may have seen or heard the slogan “Keep on Moving Forward” for this pledge campaign.
However, some of the preparation had already started when the Finance Committee and Treasurer elicited requests from committee chairs and area contacts, for their wants and needs for funds from the coming fiscal year’s budget (that budget year starts July 1, 2018).
If these committees or areas wanted an increase in funding, explanation was needed for the reason for the requested change. Other expenses for the year have to be estimated, such as insurance for staff and the property, along with payroll and the associated taxes. In addition, the Finance Committee also estimates how much income we hope to raise from the Bazaar and Auction during the next fiscal year.
In mid-April, when all the pledges have been submitted, the hardest work has to be performed. The pledges are compared to the “needs and wants” submitted earlier. It’s as if the ingredients have been put together, and placed into the oven, with hopes that the cake will taste wonderful after the baking has been done. Will the amounts of the pledges meet or exceed the amounts requested to be spent? Will we be pleased with the way the funds are split in the budget? The Finance Committee, the Board of Trustees, and our minister, Reverend Rachel, consult together to do their best in determining how to fund the church’s needs, meet folks’ expectations, and set priorities, based on the congregation’s mission, vision, and values.
The draft budget will be presented for discussion and congregational input at a Budget Briefing meeting after church on May 6. Changes can be made in this budget until the congregation votes on it during the Annual Congregational Meeting on May 20.
Please participate in this important process! We hope you will 1) examine your finances, 2) think of the importance of your relationship to People’s Church and its community, and 3) be generous and reasonable with your pledge support.
—Sue Glenn, Treasurer