The 2022 budget presented a challenge for the budget committee as budget applicants increased their ask by 19%. Also, it’s a season of change, with the start of a new provisional bishop and staff transitions in the bishop’s office. Despite the many challenges, the budget committee was able to fund most requests at 100% and present a balanced budget.
The budget committee continued the work from the past year, in simplifying the budget process while increasing transparency. For instance, both Episcopal Community Ministries (ECM) and Faith in Life are included in the 2022 budget. The budget committee also reviewed the many endowments the diocese has as a resource, and worked to find some new funding sources to alleviate burdens in other areas of the budget.
An additional challenge is that the mission share formula expires this year, and the budget committee had to use projections based on a new proposed formula. The 2022 budget is built on the presumption that the new mission share formula will be approved by the 147th Convention (R2021-02). If the resolution is not adopted, then major cuts will need to take place on the convention side of the budget.
The Convention income side of the budget is estimated at $2,948,675, with 89% of this coming from Mission Share, projected at $2,601,950. We have reserved funds for the Mission Share incentive program, which has been well received by parishes. We continue to take a 4% draw from various endowments to use on this side of the budget as approved by the Trustees of the Diocese. Lastly, rent, tuition, grants and donations make up the remaining income estimates.
The William Cooper Procter Memorial Fund income side of the budget is $2,516,684. This is based on a 4% draw rate on the 12-quarter FMV rolling average. The stock markets continue to perform well, allowing us to make withdrawals while the investments continue to grow overall.
The third column reflects other restricted endowment income from Charlotte Elizabeth Procter Trust, along with income from Faith in Life, ECM, Bishop’s Housing endowment, and the WCP Expense Account, amounting to $415,274. We also project donations to ECM. These funds are used for their specific designations.
Over the last two years the finance department has worked hard to reduce costs by renegotiating or cancelling contracts to make more funds available for programming. One of the biggest impacts on the WCP side of the budget was the reduction of investment fees by moving all assets under PNC Bank management. As a result, investment fees have gone from over $50,000 three years ago to zero dollars in the second half of the 2021 fiscal year. The finance department is also working to reduce bank fees through the elimination of bank accounts and negotiating cost reductions.
One item that is hard to control is health insurance costs. Our health insurance costs are increasing on average just under 5% for 2022. The diocese pays one hundred percent of the health insurance cost for our employees.
The legislative cost budget is increased compared to the current year due to the General Convention scheduled for 2022. The DSO sets aside funds in each budget year to pay for these periodic large events, to reduce budget burden in the event year. The big areas for 2022 are a two-day convention, General Convention, the Lambeth Conference, and continued costs for a bishop search.
The expenses at the Diocesan House (Jane Procter Center – 412 Sycamore St.) are projected to stay constant or decrease slightly. We believe the current renovations will reduce utility and maintenance costs. In 2022, we will begin the process of renegotiating the phone contracts.
The Bishop’s Office general costs remain similar to prior years. However, the 2022 budget has been increased to reflect the cost for a provisional bishop.
Other staffing costs are projected at similar levels to this year. We had a few transitions in 2021 and will re-evaluate long-term diocesan staffing needs as we seek to rebuild with the assistance of Bishop Smith.
The Finance, Communications and IT departments continue to run about the same. These departments are continuously searching for ways to improve efficiencies and reduce costs. One cost reduction in the works for next year is moving data storage from a Dropbox subscription to OneDrive, which is included in our Office365 subscription.
The Various Ministries section of the budget is akin to prior years, except for the addition of New Hope Church in the Dayton area. This new church plant started in July 2020 and is expanding its outreach and worship services. We are also providing funding to the Creation Care and Environmental Justice task force. They are helping the diocese to be responsible stewards of creation. We have also increased budget funding for Becoming Beloved Community. In past years, BBC received a $30,000 grant from The Episcopal Church to support program costs but does not qualify for one for 2022.
We revamped the section on youth ministry to indicate a broader approach. We are now calling it Family, Formation and Youth. We will be focusing on these three areas in 2022, beginning with the hiring of new staff to accomplish the goals of the bishop.
Episcopal Communities Ministries (ECM) expenses are included in the budget along with the projected income since the ECSF Foundation was dissolved in 2019. This program is run by the diocesan office administration rather than an outside party.
The Licensed Ministry section is a new description for an existing budget group. We continue to fund various ministries which lead to licensed ministry within the diocese.
We continue to fund SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) grants through the formula proposed at convention from the Mission Share of the diocese.
We continue to dedicate resources to assist parishes. The bishop’s office has produced almost monthly webinars on a variety of subjects which have been well attended. Additionally, we continue to provide financial assistance through the Financial Action Task Force with COVID-19 grants/loans.
We continue to fund outreach outside of our diocesan programs by allowing outside organizations to make grant requests. We have consolidated the areas of Institutional Associations and Opportunity Grants into WCP Memorial Outreach Grants. These grants are under the direction of the bishop.
Finally, we are also budgeting substantial funds for the Church Foundation. The needs of the Church Foundation have increased due to the age of our buildings and in certain instances, lack of needed maintenance. The Church Foundation has created a properties committee to assist with building assessments, to plan for future needs and to provide advice to our parishes.
The 2022 budget is a balanced budget. It is our hope that this budget is more transparent and easier to understand.