January News Regarding the Foundry Management Board

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Foundry Management Board Applauds Timely Closing of 2014 Finances and Progress on 2015 Revenue, Adopts Financial Reserves Policy and Discusses Leadership Development

The Foundry Management Board, a nine-person elected group, meets monthly to discuss and make decisions regarding the management of the church. This report covers the January 2015 meeting.

Foundry’s Management Board January 27 celebrated the timely receipt of complete financial reports for 2014 and progress in funding the 2015 budget. The Board approved a revised financial reserves policy and discussed needed improvements in the selection process for members of the Board and its committees.


Closing the 2014 Books

As anticipated, December proved to be Foundry’s highest-revenue month of the year, which reduced the anticipated year-end deficit to $184,895. The shortfall will be covered by withdrawing that amount from the operating reserves.

For the first time in many years, Board members received complete final financial reports for the preceding year in mid-January. Revenues for 2014 totaled $1,610,852, while total operating expenses were $1,795,747.

The Internal Revenue Service has not yet finalized the amount Foundry owes for nonpayment of payroll taxes in earlier years. Foundry staff believes there are some discrepancies related to the assessed fees. The staff is working to get some of the fees abated. For planning purposes, the Board is assuming that penalty will not exceed $100,000, which will be paid from the operating reserves.


Stewardship Campaign

Board President Dan Vock reported that pledges for 2015 now totaled $1.43 million, and Senior Pastor Ginger Gaines-Cirelli reported that in the first two days after the January 25 announcement of the leadership challenge, an additional $36,000 in new or increased pledges had been received. 

That challenge, intended to enable Foundry to reach its goal of $1.53 million in pledges, will end on Ash Wednesday, February 18.  As of January 27, pledges totaled $1.47 million.

The Board will review the 2015 budget at its February 24 meeting when it will have the final total of 2015 pledges. At that time, it will take the action necessary to bring the budget into balance.


Financial Reserves Policy

Concern within the congregation, staff and the Board that for several years Foundry has drawn from operating reserves to cover year-end deficits in the operating budget spurred the Finance Committee to develop and recommend a policy setting appropriate minimum levels for Foundry’s financial reserve funds.

The Finance Committee recommended that the minimum acceptable level for both the operating reserves and the separate capital reserves account should be 25 percent of Foundry’s current operating budget. For the year 2015, that amount would be $475,000 in each fund.

As of January 27, the operating reserve contained $770, 343. Earmarking $100,000 for the maximum anticipated IRS penalty, and allocating $184,895 to cover the 2014 deficit brings the total to $485,448.

Aware of the possibility that the 2015 budget – which the Board will review and revise at its February meeting, after the conclusion of the pledge campaign – might again be a deficit budget, the Board voted 6-3 to amend the proposed policy to reduce the acceptable minimum for the operating reserves to 20 percent of the operating budget or roughly $380,000.

The amended policy also specified that for the following five years at least two percent of the annual budget should be deposited into the operating reserves, bringing the total by 2021 to 30 percent of the annual budget. The board then adopted the amended policy by a vote of 8-1.


Elections Process and Leadership Development

Aware that the process of electing members to the Management Board – and the selection of non-board members of board committees – is not as inclusive, thoughtful, or strategic as they need to be, the Board and its Governance Committee are considering a move away from competitive elections.

Voicing a strong commitment to including the congregation in the development of a modified electoral process, the Board asked its Governance Committee to propose improvements in the nominations and elections process. Beth Scott, chair of the Governance Committee, pointed out that a nominations committee of lay members already functions to identify members of the congregation with the talents and interests needed by the board and its committees.

President Vock and Pastor Gaines-Cirelli suggested that one or more Holy Conversations might be held in the next several months to engage and involve the congregation in the discussion and implementation of the proposed change. Pastor Gaines-Cirelli encouraged the Board to consider this as one step in developing a holistic program to engage, equip, and deploy Foundry’s talented lay members in servant leadership throughout the congregation’s many ministries, committees, and activities.


- Written by Elder Wellborn on behalf of the Mission Possible Communications Ministry Team