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2018 Annual Report
This year Development Committee has been working to stabilize the giving patterns of Yearly Meeting’s supporters in order to be able predict with a reasonable level of confidence the figures the Finance Committee is to use when preparing NEYM’s budget. As of this writing (mid-June) monthly meeting contributions to support NEYM total just under $202,000 and individual contributions total just under $114,500; both figures are slightly better than last year in terms of percentage of goal raised at this point in the fiscal year.
Development Committee’s experience has been that there is a high degree of variability in giving from year to year. Some friends/households who gave generously in 2016 for example may pull back a bit in the following year, while others who gave modestly one year may become unexpectedly generous the next year, and then pull back again. We assume that this is in part because folks are not regularly tracking their own giving. This can result in variability of as much as $80,000 from one fiscal year. For a budget like ours, $80,000 is a very substantial degree of change from one year to the next.
Friends may recall that over the past several years the Yearly Meeting has had good success with financial “challenges” that have highlighted certain issues, calling forth a response that set NEYM finances on a more solid footing. We have a new challenge this year, very much related to helping our budget achieve financial sustainability. In early April Development Committee set a new challenge for our supporters, focused on reducing variability. We asked New England Friends with a past history of financial support for the Yearly Meeting to consider making a 3-year commitment (for FY 2018, ‘19, and ‘20) at a level of giving equal to or greater than whatever their largest gift to NEYM has been over the last 3-year period. And if a Friend/household can commit to sustain whatever their largest recent gift was for the upcoming three years, we have a $30,000 matching fund, created by a group of generous supporters, to match one year’s worth of this commitment in the current fiscal year. And even if someone is not able to commit to repeat their largest recent gift annually over the next three years, we welcome statements of intention that will help us to minimize uncertainty as we move forward.
The initial response to date has been very encouraging, and we look forward to telling you more about this initiative at Sessions.
We are also excited to announce that, after consultation with Permanent Board, NEYM is embarking on a program of stewardship education in conjunction with the launch of a planned giving program in partnership with Everence, the financial services company owned and operated by Mennonite Church USA. At Sessions we will have several opportunities to engage with Everence for their perspectives on the intersection of faith and finance. Everence has a vast archive of material to share with Quakers, resulting from their experiences serving the Mennonite community as well as other faith traditions. Everence has working relationships with many Quaker organizations including Friends General Conference, Friends United Meeting, and Iowa Yearly Meeting. We hope you will take advantage of opportunities to engage with and learn from our friends at Everence during Sessions.
—Chris Gant and Deana Chase, co-clerks