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2018 Annual Report
It has been a busy year for the Finance Committee, one full of hard but exciting discernment. The year has seen us launch new projects, continue our ongoing work, and achieve some goals we have been working towards for years.
First and foremost, we have achieved our long-term goal of being able to present a balanced budget. Last year, we projected that we would be able to present a balanced budget this year and after much work we are able to do so. This has included hard conversations and some painful cuts, but through faith and tender listening we have achieved our goal.
The Finance Committee continued our tradition of holding workshops for monthly meeting clerks, treasurers, budget committee clerks, and other interested Friends. At this years’ workshop, titled “Taxes, Contributions & the Life of the Meeting,” attendees shared about their meetings’ financial practices, described challenges they are facing, and provided ideas for other attendees based in their meetings’ experiences. As always, the workshop was a powerful reminder of the depth of wisdom in our community and of how coming together not only created a beautiful community among those of us present, but can also strengthen our meeting communities.
That afternoon, Accounts Manager Frederick Martin led a session on improving meetings’ documentation of their tax-exempt status. He described how the Yearly Meeting’s 501(c)3 status works and how monthly meetings are exempt, and then showed attenders how to apply for a Federal EIN, a first step to better documenting meetings’ status under the Yearly Meeting’s exemption. This marks the completion of a multi-year process of identifying how best to document the relationship between monthly meetings and the Yearly Meeting for tax and financial purposes. This marks the beginning of a process to make it easier for monthly meetings to demonstrate their tax-exempt status to banks, businesses, investment companies, and other organizations through a Group Exemption process. For more information, please contact Frederick.
We have also continued our efforts to make the Yearly Meeting’s finances and financial management practices as simple and transparent as possible. We have grown into the practice of doing multi-year budget projections. We have continued work to update the Financial Handbook, with a goal of presenting it to Permanent Board for approval in 2019. We have continued a process of eliminating designated funds that no longer serve the needs of the Yearly Meeting, as well as renaming funds with confusing titles. (See Permanent Board minutes from November 2017 for details on this.)
Like many jobs I have held, serving on the Finance Committee is all about relationships. As a committee member, and now even more as the clerk, I have had the pleasure of working with a dedicated committee, the Yearly Meeting Secretary, Accounts Manager, the Treasurer, the Assistant Treasurer, the clerk of Permanent Board, the clerks of many other committees, and Friends involved in monthly meeting finances. Those relationships have become precious to me and I know that for all of us involved in this work, the relationships it creates provides most of the joy of our service. I would invite Friends into that joy, either by considering service on the Committee or by letting us serve as resources for your committee or monthly meeting. The Finance Committee is a resource for the entire Yearly Meeting. We are here for anyone (not only for Yearly Meeting staff and committees, but also for monthly meetings) to provide help and guidance with financial matters. We look forward to hearing from you.
—Bob Murray, clerk