Committee for Financial Affairs 2013 Report
COMMITTEE FOR FINANCIAL AFFAIRS
Summary Report to Assembly IV -- September 2012-August 2013
Committee: Metropolitan Antony (Chairman); Consultants: Fr John Troy Mashburn, Fr Aaron Warwick, Fr Gregory Rubis, George “Gus” Caras, Geofrey Greenleaf, Eric Namee, Bert Moyar, George Matthews; Facilitator / Secretariat Liaison: Protodeacon Peter Danilchick
Objective of the Committee: The Committee for Financial Affairs is i) to determine the means whereby the Assembly of Bishops and its activities will be financed; ii) to oversee fundraising and development; iii) to create a budget for the Assembly; iv) to catalogue and compare the financial practices of the various jurisdiction, agencies, and organizations attached to the Assembly; v) to study and develop standards related to financial operations and practices of the Assembly, jurisdictions, organizations, departments and other entities associated with them.
Activities and Status of Work: September 2012- August 2013
- Meetings: The Committee met with the consultants in person in November 2012 and most months during the year by teleconference (total of seven teleconferences).
- Subcommittees: Work was carried out continuously during the year by four separate subcommittees, which also involved other volunteers with significant experience and expertise, for whose contributions we are very grateful:
Fund Raising/ Development: Chrysanthe (Santhe) Loizos has been appointed as communications officer to support the annual campaign as well as promote the work of the Assembly through the website, interviews, and other media. The production and publication of an introductory brochure on the Assembly is in process. Efforts continue at soliciting major donations.
Best Practices: A questionnaire was issued to jurisdictions and organizations for the documentation of current financial practices with requested submission by April 1. To date, only five jurisdictions, namely, ROCOR, Carpatho-Russian, OCA, Bulgarian, and Ukrainian Churches, have responded, as well as some endorsed organizations. The CPA firm of Barnes Wendling has been selected for the audit of Assembly financial accounts ending December 31, 2012.
ACOB Activity and Committee Funding: Budget 2014 planning requests have been sent to the various Assembly Committees. Past years’ responses have been mixed. Annual jurisdictional contributions are being received.
Receipt and Investment of Funds: The Assembly funds are presently retained in cash. As more funds are received, alternative investment dispositions will be reviewed in accordance with the draft Investment Policy.
Action Items and Special Discussion Issues for the September 2013 Assembly
- Approve the 2014 Assembly Proposed Budget as presented by the Treasurer.
- Several of the committees have not yet provided their 2014 funding requirements to the Financial Affairs Committee. For proper financial stewardship, all committees need to develop detailed goals and plans underpinning their 2014 estimate.
- Our Committee was given the task by the Assembly (see items iv) and v) above) to review existing financial practices and to develop best practices for the Assembly. To do this, we need input from member churches on their current financial practices. Some have provided information on their practices and others have not. We would like to determine whether there are any obstacles to providing this information, what they may be, and how they might be overcome.
- Our Committee is also charged with overseeing fund-raising and development. To raise funds, we need to show the potential donors what is being accomplished by the Assembly and especially by the Assembly committees. More information from the Committees is necessary for us to do this. To make this easier for all, we would like to ensure that good communications channels are established between the committees and the Assembly Communications Team. In addition, we pray that the enthusiasm and engagement to be expressed at the upcoming Assembly IV in Chicago will help to motivate present and future major donors.