At the Board Q&A session on March 21, the Calendar Evaluation Committee shared a recommendation to shift the OUUC fiscal year (FY) from the calendar year to July 1 to June 30. About 70 people participated and thoughtful exploration and consideration resulted in a general endorsement for the recommendation and appreciation for the work of the committee.
Proposals to migrate the governance, fiscal, and stewardship calendars to align with the program calendar have been explored as recently as 2018 and as far back as 2009. The committee considered the following:
· previous work to integrate calendars to align with a July-June calendar.
· various calendar options and transition plans.
· consults with former stewardship drive chairs and current accounting staff.
· advice from the administrator’s counterparts; and
· results of a December 2020 UUA survey related to stewardship drives.
The committee also evaluated the options with attention to impacts to the by-laws, stewardship drive, volunteer corps and viability of current signature events, efficiency, accounting costs and other accounting impacts, community-building within OUUC, and broader community outreach.
The stewardship drive is a function of the fiscal year and vice versa. A budget must be developed and approved by the Board for the stewardship drive to orient to an approved goal. The current calendar fiscal year largely dictates that the stewardship drive occur in the fall and requires budget planning out of sync with the program year.
A July 1-June 30 fiscal year supports budget development in the fall and a winter or spring stewardship drive. There are number of benefits to this as compared to OUUC’s current practice of a fall stewardship drive and budget development over the summer and early fall months. A July 1-30 FY:
· aligns with the OUUC program calendar, UUA FY and many other congregations’ FY.
· emphasis in the fall is on member engagement in worship and programming, not fundraising.
· would support newcomers’ engagement and potential to pledge to OUUC.
· may improve success in recruiting volunteers in the fall or winter for a spring drive.
· provides more time for new ministers and board members to acclimate before their first stewardship campaign.
· leverage the experience of many members who are current or retired public employees and are highly acculturated to this fiscal year.
It will be necessary to amend the by-laws to change the fiscal year. If the fiscal year is changed some planning or reporting tasks would have to be done over the summer. There are also likely to be some challenges related to the stewardship drive. Currently the pledge year aligns with the fiscal and calendar year, as well as most members personal tax year. Communicating about and navigating this will require care and attention, especially during transition.
If the congregation amended the by-laws and the fiscal year changed to July 1 to June 30, budget development and the stewardship drive would shift to the winter/early spring and voting on the budget happening later in the spring. The committee also considered impacts to OUUC’s current signature events and included a recommendation that the auction continues to occur in the spring and Books, Beans, and Brownies (BBB) occur in the fall before mid-November.
Staff capacity to manage a transition will be determined by Reverend Mary and will inform the timing, should the recommendation be pursued. An 18-month transition for stewardship and budget/fiscal year is proposed so that two full stewardship drives, budgets, etc. are not required six months apart.
If you would like more information, please contact James Trujillo, Board President or members of the committee which included: Maureen Canny, Brian Coyne, Wendy Endress, Jeff Goltz, Sharon Love, Darlene Sarkela, & Fritz Wrede