October 11, 2023
How is the budget process for 2024 coming along?
Actually, very well. The Finance Team began in July with the first in our 18-step process. The
Elder Board gave priorities and the individual staff members and teams began to plan. All of that is now complete so I thought I would take a few minutes and explain some of the things we are thinking for next year.
What changes are there in the 2024 budget?
The biggest change is the large increase in the budget number; the Elder Board has recommended an increase of $100,000 (even though the table appears to make it look like an increase of $86,315). We are convinced that the church can give that number next year for a couple of reasons. First though is a table by year of our recent budget numbers:
· 2018 $2,229,859
· 2019 $2,229,859
· 2020 $2,179,859
· 2021 $2,129,859
· 2022 $2,139,859
· 2023 $2,150,000
· 2024 $2,236,315
There are two reasons we are recommending a budget increase. First, our attendance has been creeping back up. We are up 5% over this time last year. We continue to have new members added to the roles with an Exploring Membership class ending this month and another one starting on Sunday. Second, we have added something new to our budget for 2024 and that is a major outreach event next fall. Think of it like bringing the apple orchard to our ball field. We will need help, we will need volunteers, we will need money for this free community event. Additionally, we want to do better with staff salaries. We have a wonderful, hard-working ministry, support, and custodial staff and we want to treat them right.
How did the proposed increase get broken up into the different parts of the whole budget?
Our budget has four sections: General, Missions, Strategic, and Building. The general budget received the most, but Missions received a $17,000 increase (5%) and the Strategic fund $3,000 (7%).
What about the building portion of the budget?
You may recall that we paid the bank off and we burned the mortgage (literally) during a Sunday service. However, to do that we borrowed about $400,000 from ourselves back in 2018 from the Memorial Reserve Fund. We have been paying ourselves back for the last five years and now we are close enough that we want to complete our self-loan in two steps.
First, we will be proposing a motion to use $28,000 from our surplus money to pay down the self-loan. We plan to bring that motion at the Members Meeting. Second, because of the motion, we are recommending we reduce the building budget for next year from $30,000 to
$20,000. Those two steps will complete our self-loan once and for all.
How about the increase in the General Fund?
In addition to the Fall event and staff compensation, there are a number of line items that needed adjustments because most things are getting more expensive (funeral meals, medical insurance, utilities, savings for new carpet, snow removal, etc.). The total increase for the General Fund is $76,315 which is a 4% increase.
When will the budget be available to review?
For the last several years we have produced a budget booklet. The purpose of the booklet is to attach vision to numbers. Without the vision the numbers are just numbers. The 2024 edition should be available by November 1.
We recommended some new leaders for next year. What’s going on with them?
In August we open up the recommendation box for new elders, deacons, and deaconesses. We received some good names and have acted on them. We will be posting the names of the proposed new leaders in a couple weeks so we can vote on them next month. Thank you for your part in the leadership process here at Cornerstone!