In January of 2017, Pastor Britt and I thought it might be helpful for Sunridge if I shared some of my observations on both the state of Sunridge’s finances as well as provide some personal finance tips. Over the last four years, these blog posts covered topics on giving, insurance, budgeting, debt, vacation, retirement, stewardship, generosity, COVID tips, personal stories about my family, and a plethora of quarterly financial updates. Now that the first quarter of the new fiscal year is complete, it seems like a great time to provide an update on our current financial position.
We began the 2020-2021 fiscal year in October (the Sunridge fiscal year runs October through September) with a tremendous amount of uncertainty. So much so that we created two budgets going into this fiscal year, budget “A” containing reductions of 9.4% compared to the prior-year budget, and budget “B”, which included more drastic reductions totaling 16.5%. Proverbs 16:9 instructs us that, “The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps”. For budgeting, it meant we prayed, prepared, and planned but ultimately recognized the success of these plans rest with God. Based on our projections, we began the year with budget “A” and continue to closely monitor the finances as we watch for direction from the LORD. Here are some of my thoughts on how we (yes, we are the church) are doing so far.
Giving (this is offerings only, not total revenue)
Giving is down 13% when compared to donations received last year for the same quarter. In all fairness, there was not a pandemic in the first quarter of the 2019-2020 fiscal year, which is why it is not too surprising to see a dip in comparative giving to a pre-pandemic world. Even better is that giving is only down 7% compared to budget “A”’s total of $124,548 per month. Wait, how is being down good news? Check out our spending …
Spending (this is total spending, not just expenses)
Total spending is 32% down compared to spending last year for the same quarter, and down 15% compared to the 2020-2021 budget. For this post, spending includes non-expense items like mortgage principal, assessments, pre-paid expenses, etc. Included in the first quarter spending totals are critical purchases needed to launch our outdoor services, like four large canopies and additional audio equipment.
The bottom line is that because of the generous, sacrificial giving of those who call Sunridge home, and the fiscal diligence from the staff in keeping costs down, we ended the first quarter with a positive cash flow. That positive cash flow will help carry us through the next quarter, which is a historically lean giving quarter.
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