COVID Financial Budget Update
At the September 8 Harcourt Council meeting a COVID revised 2020 Budget was approved. The congregation will be asked to approve the budget at the next congregational meeting. This revised budget reflects the realities of reduced income and therefore reduced expenditures. Thanks to Government Subsidies we are able to achieve a close to balanced budget. 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 of rentals and of course Sunday offerings. Currently, through PAR, we have 121 members who contribute a combined total of $16,000 each month to the operating fund. Our monthly payroll is over $35,000 and we must continue to pay utilities, etc. We will shortly feel the impact of the significantly lower revenue.
There are ways in which you can help.
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 follow-up with an email informing the office with 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 or Spiritual Life & Education pillar.
Credit Card – CanadaHelps.org. This website helps charities and non-profits fundraise. You can donate to Harcourt and get an instant tax receipt. Go to https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/harcourt-memorial-united-church/ and select the Donate Now button. Fill in the form provided. Easy!
Cheque – Mail. Good old Canada Post is always 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. If you are one of our givers who donate through the UCC Foundation, consider moving your donation up earlier in the year.
Our church may 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. We are not fundraisers, but rather overseers of the funds raised.
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.
There was great sense of energy and common cause at Harcourt’s Annual Meeting on March 1, 2020. We listened to visioning narratives staged on Groundhog Day 2025 – that’s only five years into Harcourt’s future. Our focus was imagining what some losses and possibilities might look like. We listened to the 10-year trends of financial revenues and expenditures at Harcourt. We listened to each other in small group discussions about what Harcourt ministries energize or nourish us and keep us connected to Harcourt. We listened to the overview of desired uses of funding in 2020 and the potential impacts of a balanced or deficit budget.
It is clear that people are passionate about their participation in all that connects them to faith within our community: the worshipper in us worships; the student in us studies; the singer in us sings; the server in us serves; the comforter in us comforts; the leader in us leads. The percentages differ one person to the next. Reflecting on our passions and involvements in this way is an old practice.
As we continue in our journey of discovery, we invite you to review the Financial Slides that were presented at the annual meeting.