During this year’s Pledge Drive, Lauren and John Carlton emphasized the importance of pledging early. You heed- ed the call and I am pleased to report that a significantly larger portion of our congregation has pledged this year than last year at this time. I wish I could follow that with a more upbeat message. Unfortunately, I cannot.
The economy is continuing to take its toll. We are currently operating at a deficit, and by the end of the year we are projecting a deficit of around $12,000. The deficit is not from overspending, nor is it from lack of pledge fulfillment; you have fulfilled your commitment at a level that is among the highest in recent years. It is mostly due to the result of our continuing difficulties securing a substantial long-term rental, as well as a decrease in profit this year from our fundraising efforts.
A lot of you have increased your pledges this year; in other words, you put your money where your faith is. For that, I am eternally grateful. However, we remain at a deficit and will have to make up a shortfall of about $6,500 in next year’s budget. The Board struggled mightily to come up with a responsible budget, but we will not be able to achieve any of our aspirational goals, and were forced to make cuts in places that will hurt.
The raw data shows that the deficit results in roughly $24 per pledge unit over the year. I am well aware of the oversimplification that this number represents and am not asking for everyone to chip in an extra $25 to make up the deficit. I do, however, throw it out there as a frame of reference, and to ask each of you to think a little more about your pledge. Increasing your pledge by even a modest amount would enable us to close our budget deficit and perhaps be able to fund some of our more aspirational goals.
If you have already pledged, please consider revising your pledge amount. If you are one of the 100+ pledge units that haven’t pledged yet, please do so as soon as possible and consider adding just a little bit more to help close this budget gap without the need for additional painful cuts in the budget.
President, Board of Trustees