Committee for Financial Affairs 2014 Annual Report


Summary Report -- September 2013-August 2014

Committee: Metropolitan Antony (Chairman); Consultants: Fr John Troy Mashburn, Fr Aaron Warwick, Fr Gregory Rubis, George “Gus” Caras, Geofrey Greenleaf, Eric Namee, Bert Moyar; 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 2013-August 2014
Meetings: The Committee has held six teleconferences with the consultants since Assembly IV in Chicago.

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. An introductory brochure on the Assembly has been produced. The Virginia H. Farah Foundation has given a major grant to cover the 2014 Assembly research expenses. Efforts continue at soliciting other major donations, but results have been disappointing.

- Best Practices: The CPA firm of Barnes Wendling has completed the audit of Assembly financial accounts ending December 31, 2012 and an unqualified opinion was received. The audit results have been published on the Assembly website. The same CPA firm has been engaged for an audit of 2013 financial accounts. A proposed Financial Best Practices Workshop for all jurisdictions is on hold for the time being.

- ACOB Activity and Committee Funding: Annual jurisdictional contributions for 2014 have been received. Due to the difficult cash flow outlook faced by the Assembly, jurisdictions and individual diocesan hierarchs have been asked to increase or initiate their contributions to the assembly. To date, no jurisdiction will be making the increased contribution this year, but most are advising they will attempt for next year.

- 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. 

Discussion Issues for the Dallas Assembly meeting
--Our Committee is 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 and that you keep the Communications Officer informed on the progress of your Committee.

--Due to the difficult cash flow situation, we have asked all Committee chairman to provide us with a detailed month-by-month projection of their committees’ expenses through the end of 2014. Unless financial prospects significantly improve, we will be making the same request for 2015.