Budget summary and proposal posted online

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Some around the blogosphere have been looking for a copy of the proposed 2009 BGCT budget. It has been posted at www.bgct.org/giving. There you can find the budget summary and the budget proposal. If you’re wanting to print the detailled budget proposal, I’m just going to warn you that it’s 87 pages.

If you have any questions about the budget, feel free to call the BGCT accounting staff at 888-244-9400. They’ll help you however they can.

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14 Responses to “Budget summary and proposal posted online”

  1. David Troublefield Says:

    Appears the ’08 adjusted budget will be under-funded by about $5 million dollars? The present rate of CP giving will under-fund the proposed ’09 budget by a similar amount? The convention’s CFO or trustee finance committee would like to provide other info here? Blog supervisors would like to request it?

  2. John Says:

    David, I’ll see what I can find out for you.

  3. John Says:

    David, I just spoke with our treasurer, Jill Larsen. I can see how there is confusion in this. Giving is currently running at a level that, if it continues, would enable us to run at a 100 percent budget in 2009. The proposed 2009 budget is based on current giving and investment patterns continuing. The financial folks based the budget revenue target on “flat revenue” and believe the BGCT can and should run on a full budget.

    Having said that, Jill did note the economy obviously is having some trouble, as are the markets. If that affects giving and investment patterns, we may be looking at a different situation. We would be happy to clarify further as needed.

  4. David Troublefield Says:

    So, 88% of anticipated ’08 receipts is 100% of anticipated ’09 receipts because the proposed budget for 2009 is 8% less than the adjusted 2008 budget? All current staff positions and benefits are safe for now, and 3% cost of living increases are proposed because redirecting dollars from various other accounts in the ’09 budget make it possible?

  5. John Says:

    I’m starting to think I like you because we think alike. Once I read your original questions, I had much the same thought process you’ve outlined here. The problem is we both started with a faulty starting point.

    Giving is currently running at about 88 percent of the 2008 budget approved by the convention messengers. In another words, we’re running at 88 percent of the $50.1 dollar budget, not 88 percent of the adjusted budget of roughly $46.17 million.

    Estimating 10 percent of $50 million to be $5 million, you get a 90 percent budget is about $45 million, which is about what the adjusted budget is and what the 2009 budget proposal calls for. The 2009 budget proposal is slightly less than the 2008 adjusted budget.

    88 percent of $50.1 million is about $44.1 million. The 2009 budget proposal is for $45.755 million.

    I’ve clearly oversimplified the math, but I think it shows how finance and accounting folks could see the 2009 budget proposal as a reachable goal. If I’ve muddied the waters, let me know. I’ll try to clarify as needed.

    As for your last statement/question, I don’t know the answer at this moment. I’m writing this at about 10:00 p.m. and would have to check with some folks in the morning to really get some answers there. I think if you’re really wanting to get that specific, calling Jill may be helpful. She can be reached by calling the toll free number written in the post. In the event you miss her, leave a voicemail and she’ll get back to you as quickly as possible.

  6. David Troublefield Says:

    John:

    I like you, too–no matter what.

    Your numbers don’t match the YTD financial report posted at the bottom of the BGCT’s home page (www.bgct.org)–which by themselves don’t add up to what’s been reported so far in answer to my original questions. I only was asking questions about the proposed 2009 budget based upon the YTD 2008 financial report posted by the BGCT on its homepage–I wasn’t making faulty assumptions, but maybe seeing an incomplete report? I have a little experience developing budgets, adding up YTD budget numbers, and comparing them to anticipated receipts. ;-))

    I don’t care enough about the matter to phone the CFO’s office, but will anticipate your report about the status of the convention’s staff as it relates to the 2009 budget–specifically, whether or not any employees will lose their jobs if it’s adopted by messengers next month. If the 2009 budget is based primarily on the current rate of giving by affiliated congregations and that giving is enough for no lay offs to be happening now, then a reasonable assumption should be that all positions are safe for 2009; however, if another budget adjustment must occur next year due to a lower rate of giving by those congregations, then it would appear that jobs will be lost again (in that case, start with last ones on are first ones off? If employees are to lose their jobs, it would be irresponsible for hiring managers to delay long in telling them of the prospect).

    By the way, I re-posted an earlier posting in a different thread last night–as I want to emphasize its statements, particularly those in the final paragraph (“tail wags dog” part) which seems continually now to be forgotten–at least in terms of how we function–by almost everyone affilitated with the BGCT. Doing so, of course, essentially make the convention be something it wasn’t intended and actually isn’t.

  7. John Says:

    I’ll be honest, I’m trying to figure out how to better explain this. Because I’m not a budget expert, I’m struggling a bit here. Maybe even a bunch. If you’ll stick with me, I’m going to take another stab at this.

    The numbers on the BGCT home page are correct. I think the math I’ve outlined above works as well. I’m just struggling to convey my point.

    To me, the most important number on the BGCT home page regarding the budget is the YTD comparison to budget. Giving rates are currently filling 88.35% of the 2008 messenger-approved budget of $50.1 million, according to the site. At that rate, churches will give about $44.263 million toward the 2008 budget, which runs through December.

    That number is slightly below the 2008 adjusted budget and even less below the 2009 proposed budget of $45.755 million.

    I spoke with Jill again this morning. The short answer to your staff question is the 2009 budget proposal eliminates three positions — 2 in what was called the service center and 1 in IT. This is simply the result of wanting to use funds in a different way to meet needs. Jill indicated eliminating the two calling positions allows us to put more funds in church starting, for example. I have been told all these people know the situation.

    Because I’m doing such a bang up job at explaining this, I’ve asked Jill to call you. I want to make sure you have all the information you’d like in a clearly presented form. It matters a great deal to me that you have that.

    As to your tail wagging the dog comment, I’ve seen it. I’m thinking about it still. There’s a lot of good stuff there I want to mull over before responding.

  8. David Troublefield Says:

    The $32 million reported as received YTD September do not equate to 88% of $50 million; it equates to 65%–and to only 69% of $46 million.

    I appreciate your consideration of my “tail wags dog” comments; however, unless the director of news reporting for the BGCT also is the convention’s chief spokesperson, someone else might need the info and to offer any required reply. Not a slight to you.

  9. John Says:

    You’re right, $32 million isn’t 88 percent of $50.1 million.

    As I read it, $29.101 million is the actual income this year to the point listed on the BGCT web site. That is 88 percent of the YTD budget listed, which is the $32 million figure.

    Giving is running at an 88 percent clip at this point. If giving continues at that pace, we’ll be at $44.263 million at the end of the year.

    Have I further confused things?

    No slight taken on the comments deal.

  10. David Troublefield Says:

    OK. Got it.

    The $29 million actually received is being reported as 88% of the total anticipated to be received–versus the 2008 budget (totalling $43 million, apparently)–by YTD September. If congregations/investments were fully-funding the FY08 budget by YTD September, $32 million actually would have been received.

    Thanks for the update about personnel. Still appears, unfortunately, some lay-offs could become necessary next year.

  11. wackypreacher Says:

    Seems all across the board people are hurting financially. Of course just like anything else the blame game is played and darts are thrown at supposed targets. The supposed target of the financial struggles appear to be the BGCT itself. Some imply or flatly state that the leadership at the top is the problem. And that churches are leaving the BGCT to go over to the SBTC. If that is the case then why is the SBTC having the same financial problems? All across the state, budgets are being tightened and trimmed. It does appear the BGCT budget will need to be trimmed again. It aint the end of the world or the BGCT as some seem to say.

  12. David Troublefield Says:

    Wacky:

    Unless your reference to ones casting blame is to others you know or have read about elsewhere, you can’t mean many who blog here–because there aren’t many who blog here, and few who do ever criticize the convention or its staff.

    I suppose that a wealthy person who’s given lots of money directly to the convention AND responded positively to requests for assistance AND offered more help besides COULD be considered a bigger life-long supporter of the BGCT than I’ve been during the past few years. However, it’s those very interactions with BGCT staff–and former staff members–which have caused me to become a bit jaded of late toward the convention. Some of the blame the staff gets is deserved, in my opinion; people at tiers lower than the very top don’t manage as well as it may appear, are arrogant, and essentially use others. The input of former staff members confirms it, and I’ve observed it myself. I understand that the convention’s staff ISN’T the convention–and I can agree that the majority of the convention staff knows how to do its job and does it.

    God’s kingdom has its own economy, set down in the middle of the world’s economy. Believers living by God’s stewardship/service principles will be OK, and have a more special testimony to tell because of it–so will groups of Baptists doing the same.

  13. John Says:

    David, I’m not sure what happened in the interactions between you and BGCT staff members, but I’m sorry. Like everyone else, we’re flawed. But that still isn’t an excuse for what may have left you a little jaded. We have to do better.

    You have been a great supporter of Texas Baptist work. Even on this blog, people can see your willingness to help others by pointing them to resources. I want to thank you just for what you’ve done on this blog.

    Hang in there. Next time I’m near Wichita Falls or you’re down here, let’s get together.

  14. David Troublefield Says:

    John:

    Thanks for your kind words. It’s true that we’re all flawed.

    I won’t be traveling to DFW area/Baptist Building any time soon, but maybe our paths will cross elsewhere.

    Keep up your good work telling the BGCT story. Best wishes.

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