The Presbyterian Mission Agency expects to end 2017 on solid financial ground – with more income and fewer expenses than had been budgeted.
The Finance and Audit committees of the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board met by conference call Nov. 6 for a third-quarter financial report – and most of the news was good.
Projections are that the Presbyterian Mission Agency will end 2017 with total receipts about 14 percent (or $8.1 million) greater than the year’s budget, primarily due to generosity in giving for disaster relief and several large gifts. Unrestricted receipts are expected to be over budget by about $900,000 and unrestricted receipts over budget by $7.2 million.
Expenses are expected to be about $3.4 million lower than budgeted for the year – with unrestricted expenses $1.1 million below budget and restricted expenses $2.3 million less than budgeted. A number of factors contribute to those lower expenses, including staff vacancies, which meant less work was done than expected in some program areas; delays in grant disbursements; and changes in the collegiate ministries program.
If those projections hold, the Presbyterian Mission Agency expects to be able to add $2.1 million to unrestricted reserves and $3.2 million to the restricted reserves at the end of 2017.
Overall, the projections are for $66.1 million in actual receipts for 2017 (compared to $58 million budgeted) and $60.8 million in actual expenses (compared to $64.2 million budgeted).
The end-of-year budget projections also need to be viewed within a broader context – in part, that the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) for years has been losing members and trying to do challenging ministry work with ever-decreasing budgets. Both shared and directed mission giving, for example, expect to have contributions over budget – but to bring in less than in 2016.
Giving to Special Offerings is expected to be slightly over budget and very close to the $10.7 million received in 2016, with the Presbyterian Online Giving Catalog being the major reason. Overall, however, “the offerings typically have been experiencing a 4 percent decrease year-after-year,” the third-quarter report states.
Extra Commitment Opportunity giving was $3.9 million below budget (25.7 percent), due to decreased giving to projects in Sudan and Nicaragua and for mission co-workers, the report states.
Donations to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance came to more than $5.3 million as of Sept. 30 – including $3.1 million in response to Hurricane Harvey; more than $543,000 for Hurricanes Maria and Irma; and more than $164,000 for relief work in South Sudan. Typically, those funds aren’t spent immediately, as the PC(USA) commits to staying involved in disaster relief in affected areas long-term – typically three to five years.
Two restricted gifts of $1 million each were received for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance and Self Development of People.
As of Sept. 30, the PC(USA), A Corporation – the corporate entity for both the Presbyterian Mission Agency and the Office of the General Assembly – had net assets of $526 million.