COVID Financial Budget Update
At the March 7th Annual General Meeting the 2021 Budget was approved. The budget details what it will cost to achieve our goals and priorities in the challenging environment we operate in. With contributions from all committees the budget anticipates $465,298 in operating expenses. This is approximately $30,00 less than the prior three-year average. With operating revenues of $460,500 this results in a projected deficit of $4,798. We invite you to review the budget.
Keeping Harcourt Afloat
As we all deal with our new realities it is uplifting to have the support of Harcourt. We continue to find new and innovative ways to reach out to one another. These interesting times have created new challenges. With our building closed we have lost revenue streams from rentals and in person Sunday Service offerings. Our budget evolved to reflect these realities. We continue to work together to maintain the resources to achieve Harcourt’s goals. Meeting the revenue needs is one of the key components. We you invite to continue with your strong support. Below are several ways in which the financial support can be provided.
PAR. Automatic Payment through your bank. This is the most effective way that we keep a consistent revenue stream. Setting up PAR is easy! Just print and fill out the form located at https://www.united-church.ca/sites/default/files/form_par-authorization.pdf. You can contribute to “Local church” (meaning our Operating Fund), “Mission and Service”, or “Other” (which can be Property Pillar, Outreach Pillar, Music and Arts Pillar or Spiritual Life & Education pillar).
Send (with a VOID Cheque) to: Harcourt Memorial United Church, 87 Dean Avenue, Guelph, Ontario, N1G 1L3 (or you can drop it in the mail slot at Harcourt’s front door).
Interact e-transfers. You can sign onto your own online banking and send an electronic transfer. Send the transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org (no password required) and note in the message line where you want the funds allocated to. You can contribute to our Operating Fund, Mission and Service, Property Pillar, Outreach Pillar, Music and Arts Pillar, Spiritual Life & Education Pillar or other programs.
Credit Card – CanadaHelps.org. This website helps charities and non-profits fundraise. You can donate to Harcourt and get an instant tax receipt for the total amount donated. Go to https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/harcourt-memorial-united-church/ and select the Donate Now button. Fill in the form provided. A convenient option but does come with a 4% service fee that reduces the amount received by Harcourt.
Cheque – Mail. Canada Post is another method. Even with the office closed, we continue to pick up and process our mail. Insert a cheque (or many post-dated cheques!) into your regular Harcourt Offering Envelope. You can mail it to Harcourt or drop it in the mail slot at Harcourt’s front door.
UCC Foundation. Donation of securities via the Foundation provides a significant tax benefit to the donor. A transaction fee of 1.5% up to a maximum of $250 is applied. Visit their website at www.unitedchurchfoundation.ca.
Our church may presently be physically closed, but, more than ever, we continue to do the work of the church. Your contributions help make it so. Thank you!
Our Finance Committee
Members of the Finance Committee are responsible for the management of the congregation’s funds. We strive to conduct business according to the United Church of Canada’s financial guidelines and the Canada Revenue Agency’s rules and regulations for charitable organizations.
Our budget process
At Harcourt, committees are encouraged to develop a “proactive budget” that helps us get to where we want to go. The proactive budget connects every dollar spent to the church’s mission, purpose, and vision and asks members to consider:
“What should we be doing?” rather than, “What can we do?” Each fall, Harcourt committees submit budget proposals for the upcoming year to the Finance Committee for review, then submission to Council and finally approval at the Annual Congregational Meeting.
For the first time, Harcourt’s Annual Meeting was held online on March 7, 2021. The balance of the year continues the journey with the process of discernment. Discernment involves the time required to gather input from the congregation about what is Harcourt’s future and our sustainability to carry out our purpose and programs – people-wise and financially.
At the AGM the 2020 actual results were reviewed and Harcourt proved resilient in adjusting to COVID and the many challenges that arose. Although congregational givings decreased significantly compared to 2019, Harcourt continued to provide services and find ways to be relevant. The challenge continues into 2021 with a new budget and a realistic approach to meet our goals and financing needs