FY 24 Finance Committee Recommendations

To: UUSA Board

From: Finance Committee
Re: Possible Budget Shortfall for FY’24

Hello, friends.

The Finance Committee met on Monday, 4/24, to discuss the possible budget shortfall and to suggest possible solutions to get to a balanced budget.

It probably goes without saying, but the FC wants to stress that most of the suggested cuts are not in any way the desire of the FC or a comment about what ought to happen. They are a means to an end, which is a balanced budget, given a set of mostly immutable facts.

Our target was to come up with additions to revenue or cuts to expenditures equaling $23,000. Here are our ideas:

$2000 in interest incomeWe have not factored in our budget interest earnings on our checking accounts at Florence, and we are looking into risk-free ways to generate 2K or more on our substantial cash on hand.
$2,500 transfer from reservesThis transfer from reserves (ERTC if/when it materializes) would pay the one-time sabbatical costs.
$500 lower electricity budgetThis is based on observation of current year use.
$1000 reduction to music budgetThis can be distributed among expected costs as music determines is best
$2700 – elimination of transfer to capital and unrestricted reserve 
$500 – cut from REThese savings would be sought in various smaller lines.
$2500 reduction to program expensesThis is based in part on observation of low use of budgeted funds generally.
$2000 UUA “dues”This is simply a cost-reducing suggestion.
$6500 reduction of COLA for staff from 8% to 4% 
$1825 reduction of professional expenses for minister during sabbaticalThis could also be accomplished by a transfer in from reserves in this amount.
$500 cut from Kitchen expenseWe are looking into other sources to make up this money

TOTAL: $22,525

Additional thoughts:

  • The Finance Committee is exploring additional/alternative savings in several other areas that are currently speculative. (For example, we are reaching out to our insurer to see if there are savings to be had by combining our liability with our worker compensation coverage; we are approaching Craig’s Doors about a possible donation to offset some kitchen expenses.) We will report any significant findings that would alter the picture presented here.
  • We have noted that for previous years (and this current year) we are in a position to realize a surplus. This happens when events planned in April play out differently than anticipated over the ensuing 14-15 months 

    While the Finance Committee would not advise making budget commitments that will need to be honored indefinitely on the basis of hoped-for outcomes, it does seem reasonable to risk erring on optimistic side about some speculative revenue sources with the understanding that we have surplus from the previous year to cover a small shortfall.

    For example, we would consider increasing anticipated revenue from rentals or possibly fundraising by a few thousand with the knowledge that the previous year’s surplus would cover that.

    We do understand and are paying attention to the fact that there are several claims on our reserves and we have to be careful not to overpromise.

    Respectfully submitted,

    The Finance Committee

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