Touring with TCFM, “Tasty Snack” #1

CDFR Offers You a Tasty Snack of Financial Information

How do we think about our Meeting’s financial health?

  • “Seems like we are doing OK…”
  • CDFR (Community Development & Fund Raising committee) can say
    • “The glass is not full.
    • And it’s not empty.”
  • We’d like more clarity than that, about our financial situation, but that clarity has to come from the community.

Which, of course, depends on the individual realities of the members of the community. The financial health of our meeting is in the eyes of its beholders, so we need to be talking to each other.
Talking about what, specifically?

Good question! In response, CDFR wants to offer a series of

Tasty TCFM Financial Snacks.

Here’s the first, mostly on the relative amounts we spend on different things.

(Caution, this is not a balanced meal of financial information. For that, see our Finance Committee.)


It’s a little hard to think of Twin Cities Friends Meeting as a single entity. Not just one building, but the whole thing including all the people.

Each of us is a part of it, and it’s easier to see our PART in it, and the other parts, like other people we know. There are lots of parts. For instance in the front yard & gardens, there’s the sign, the big walnut tree, at the side of the old house, the bike racks.

Another thing that makes it hard to think of TCFM as a single, whole thing is that WE –each of us– come and go, so the PART we play in the whole meeting is easier to see than the WHOLE itself.

But it’s important to think of the WHOLE meeting sometimes. TCFM is a good thing, for many of us. We want to care for it. We want it to stick around, and be healthy.

The "TCFM Experience"

The “TCFM Experience”

Here’s a way to help think of TCFM as a whole thing. What if we said that instead of owning the property at 1725 Grand Avenue, we pretended our TCFM community owned a touring boat, like the Jonathan Paddleford.

And every Sunday many of us would come, climb on board and go for a ride. Of course the boat is a really important part of the experience, but let me remind you that mostly we come for an experience that happens ON the boat, not the boat itself. “TCFM” is the EXPERIENCE of getting together with people we know pretty well and people we don’t know well, and having a good time, mostly. So TCFM is people + boat + view + the wind in our hair + the spirit in our hearts + a lot more.

And people come to the boat for committee meetings in the evenings, and for sleepovers on some weekends.

So, if we want to care for the whole of TCFM, how do we think of keeping it a nice place we want to be part of? Of course, there’s cleaning the boat, and making sure that people are happy, that if someone gets hurt, they get taken care of. There are lots of things we can DO.

But the TCFM community also needs money to keep going, and that’s what I want to talk about here.

May I offer this as a diagram of our tour boat.Outline TCFM Tours


The tour boat keeps going because we keep putting money into it. That’s Income.

And our boat, the TCFM community, uses that income to do good things, like ride us around on Sunday mornings, and feed us, and have toilet paper for us, and a phone, and someone who helps out in the office.
These are Expenses.

So our boat, has

Outline Inc-Exp

The money that comes into the community comes in donations and in several other ways, Outline Donationslike when people give us money in order to use the building. We lump the several other ways together and call them “non-donations.”

Last year, in 2012, people gave about $115,000 in donations. And in addition we got a little over one-tenth more of non-donation income.

Mostly this presentation is about comparisons: “How much for this compared to how much for that.” But if you want to talk actual dollars, in the budget for 2013, the total space above the boat deck equals a little over $132,500.

Our biggest expense is what we call “Occupancy.”Outline Occupancy

That’s everything it takes to make our boat float and take us up and down the  river on tours: fuel, repairs, inspections, fees and licenses. A bunch of stuff. In the real world of 1725 Grand Ave, it includes pay for Marjorie to schedule people who want to rent a room and for Laura to clean. It includes snow shoveling, lawn mowing as well as gas and electricity. In 2013, we have budgeted spending 40% of our income on “occupancy,” about $90,000. Most of these payments are supervised by the Building & Grounds Committee. Thank you, B&G!!


Back in 2009 we took out a loan for $250,000 to fix a bunch of problems in the building. Each year our payment is about $38,000, until 2017, when we will be paid in full.Then our tour boat will cost us less per year, but there will be some other big things to pay for, like a new boiler in the old house.

Gifts & Support

Outline Exp all

Total TCFM expenses expected in 2013

We, the TCFM community, give away almost 25% of our income each year. Most of that goes to 12 organizations, most of them Quaker-related. The biggest support goes to Northern Yearly Meeting, much of that for their excellent programs for teens and younger kids. We give a lot to FNVW and to Friends School MN. We give some to the Loaves & Fishes program, and a little to the St. Paul Council of Churches.
We also support individuals in our TCFM community, some by paying for their travel to NYM and FGC gatherings, some we help with hardship.

Administration = Committees + Officers

Our committees and our officers (like the Clerk & Treasurer) spend about 8% of our yearly income. This includes paying for food for Fellowship. From this category we also pay for childcare, materials for First Day School, the announcement sheet, books for the library, the Ministry & Counsel retreat and the website.


Like this tasty snack? Share it with your Friends!
There’s more a-coming.

Richard Fuller, for


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