TWIN CITIES FRIENDS MEETING
9th Month 2008
The TCFM Development Committee has begun the task of preparing the Meeting’s budget for 2009 and needs to know how much money Friends are willing to contribute to support the Meeting and its activities.
As you may remember, the 2008 budget forced us to choose between two important values at the heart of the Quaker experience: our historic witness of expressing our faith through service and action in the world-at-large, and our testimony of integrity that counseled not to plan on spending more than we earn.
In the end, because we did not pledge gifts sufficient to meet all of our anticipated expenses and historical obligations, the Meeting adopted a budget that made substantial cuts to our spending – $28,000 less than we wanted to spend, including eliminating $8500 in support to national Quaker organizations. Our decision distressed many Friends but the Meeting as a whole believed it was not prudent to commit to spending more money than we could reasonable anticipate bringing in.
Fortunately, it appears that Friends will give more than they pledged and we may be able to restore at least some of the gifts before the year is over. But if we remain committed not to promise to spend more than we think we can bring in 2009, and if we wish to restore these commitments as part of our operating budget, we need to increase our pledges substantially.
How much more is needed? In 2008, if contributors had increased their pledges by about 25%, we would have been able to meet all of our operating obligations, including support of national Friends organizations.
But this year, there are additional needs.
The rainy day for which we have been saving our money has dawned. Clean-up after a burst water-sprinkler pipe in January led us to discover that the Meetinghouse is in need of some substantial structural repair and renovation in order to make it safe and healthy. Among other things, we have discovered that our roof is at the end of its life and needs to be replaced; windows in the Friends in Residence (FIR) apartment and elsewhere in the new addition have severe water damage and need to be replaced; the leaky windows have also caused damage to external walls that now need to be repaired and replaced. The initial phase of this work will most likely absorb nearly all of our reserves, and then some.
In addition to repairing this damage, we need to make some major improvements to our building. We know we have to install a heating, cooling, and ventilation system in the FIR apartment. We may also have to improve the insulation and ventilation in the attic area between the ceiling and roof, among other things. The Trustees and Meetinghouse Committee expect to have a better idea of what needs to be done and its estimated cost before the end of the year.
With these needs in mind, we ask that you do two things. First, make a definite commitment to how much you will give to the Meeting during 2009 to meet its basic day-to-day ministries. The Development Committee will base the budget it will recommend to the Meeting on the amount that is pledged. As you can see from the chart below, a relatively small number of families are contributing a disproportionate amount of the Meeting’s budget. If you can do more, we hope you will.
Second, please make an additional pledge to meet the extra costs of making our meetinghouse safe and healthful (MOMSAH). Although we do not know at this time exactly how much will be needed, a realistic idea of what we can expect will help us to determine how much we may need to borrow to complete the work.
Enclosed is a pledge form and a return envelope. Please respond as soon as possible, and by October 1 if at all possible. Pledges may be mailed in the enclosed envelope, or left at the Meetinghouse in the Development Committee mailbox slot in the office area.
On behalf of the Development Committee,
Rob Axtmann, Laël Gatewood, and Paul Landskroener
Distribution of gifts to TCFM during 2007 (by household)
$2500 or more – 4 households: $17,300 (24% of total))
$1500 – $2499: 9 households: $15,670 (22%)
$1000 – $1499: 9 households: $10,255 (14%)
$500 – $999: 24 households: $15,660 (22%)
$250 – $499: 18 households: $6645 (9%)
$100 – $249 : 40 households: $5110 (7%)
$100 or less: 28 households: $1250 (2%)