March 7, 2020
Dear fellow parishioners,
As your volunteer Finance Commission, we usually communicate with you once a year sometime after the close of our fiscal year (June 30). We are reaching out to you today due to a sense of urgency we are experiencing as we forecast the remainder of the fiscal year. As a matter of background, we budget in late spring for the fiscal year that runs from July 1 through June 30. Based upon the best information available, we budget revenue to cover expenses (mostly fixed) of running the parish and its many ministries to achieve a balanced budget. Total budgeted expenses for this as well as last fiscal year ran approximately $2.8 million. When you see it in print its quite staggering!
If you recall from our last communication, prior fiscal year revenues fell short by approximately $110,000. If the current trend continues, we are forecasting a loss of approximately $150,000 this fiscal year.
Parish revenue comes predominantly from Weekly Offertory, School and Religious Education Tuition and fees, Christmas, Easter and our annual Dinner Dance. The response to our previous message on the importance of offertory was well received and we are currently tracking much closer to budget than earlier in the fiscal year. An important side note on offertory is that we have experienced negative growth year over year for the last four years and were conservative and budgeted flat to a slight decrease in offertory this fiscal year.
The primary drivers of our forecasted loss are as follows: Despite the positive momentum experienced in the last two years, actual enrollment is less than budgeted in School and Religious Education classes. The dinner dance, a rousing social and economic success fell short of fundraising expectations. Christmas collection, although budgeted flat from last year came in about 10% less. Finally, School and Religious Education tuition was frozen this year with a communicated expectation that those impacted families would increase their support of other parish ministries and that response has also fallen short.
As we approach the next budget cycle, we are faced with a disturbing negative operating deficit trend that needs to be recognized. In addition to continued maintenance of the campus and its facilities we need to be cognizant of replacement capital needs as they are sure to arise with age. Long term homeowners and auto owners can relate. We are bringing this to your attention to raise awareness and solicit your help. We know this parish can rally to make things happen. With recent capital campaign donations, we were able to build out our lower level, reconfigure the entrance to the School, replace 15-year-old carpeting and flooring, and enhance our sound and security systems among other things. For this we are grateful.
Parish staff and volunteers are continuously looking for ways to enhance the life of the parish. We need your time, talent and treasure. Your feedback and input are welcome. If you can find it within your heart to take one of the “close the gap” envelopes and give what you can, it would be greatly appreciated.
Notre Dame Parish Finance Commission