Where’s the Money Going?
Through the generosity of Charlotte Ritter, St. Luke’s has been able to establish the Charlotte Ritter Fund. Income from the fund makes it possible to support local projects with goals consistent with the mission of St. Luke’s. The Washington County Visitation Program, under the umbrella of Eve, Inc., the local domestic violence shelter, is one such project. The grants supporting the work of the Visitation Center place restrictions on how their funds can be used. So, in January, the Charlotte Ritter Fund donated $1,500 to Eve, Inc. to address needs of the Visitation program lying outside the grants’ approved uses. The focus of the donation from St. Luke’s will be the well being of the children in the program.
In 2017, St. Luke’s, through the Charlotte Ritter Fund was able to support two programs to the extent of $1,500 each: the Child Visitation Program, part of Eve, Inc.; and the Back-to-School Backpack project. The grants are renewable but not automatically. Both programs have asked to be reconsidered for renewal for 2018 but the Child Visitation program has suggested a smaller amount. Members of St. Luke’s are invited to submit proposals with information on the goals of the program, whom it serves, the amount requested, and contact information. Preference is given to program that reach outside the St. Luke’s congregation.
The Finance Committee will meet in late January to consider the requests. Please send the requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let’s run the numbers!
In December the congregation approved the operating budget for 2018. The budget showed that revenue was expected to be $30,000 less than the expenses for the year. $30,000 is a big number – what can we do? To attempt an alternative perspective which will show that the shortfall is a manageable figure, let’s bring this down to the level of a family and its weekly offering.
(1) based on the number of weekly offering envelopes issued and the number of email addresses used for the weekly announcements, there are approximately 60 families or “giving units.” Sixty may not be the exact number but it’s within the range.
(2) Let’s assume there are 50 weeks in the year. I know there are 52, but 50 makes for easier arithmetic.
So, if we break down the $30,000 for the year to a per-giving unit and a per-week basis, what do we find? $30,000 short-fall ÷ 60 units ÷ 50 weeks = $10. In other words, if each giving unit at St. Luke’s increased its offering each week by $10, the $30,000 shortfall would disappear. Some families can afford more than $10 and some cannot manage $10 – you know where you fall. But we now see that the $30,000 is not so big after all. So, think about it, please. Can you increase by more than $10 per week and so help those who can manage only a smaller figure?
The Scots poet, Robert Burns claims, “Facts are chiels that winna ding” – “You can’t argue with the numbers.”
Fraser G. MacHaffie
Chair, Finance Committee