TFI-WS Budget & Accounting

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Posted by CB on June 03, 2010 at 10:40:53

In Reboot 10, Peter gives the membership a general fiscal accounting. This is clearly another area where P&M could use some outside intervention (expert advice), but it is a step in the right direction to offer it up to public scruitiny.

The 10 line items in the WS operating budget are a little confusing at first, but this is how they aggregate into a simpler form:

1. Publications (Creation, Development, Translation, Production, Distribution) = 35%
2. Organizational Administration & Management (Boards & National/Regional Leadership) = 47%
3. FAF, Aid & Reserves = 16%

Administration & Management (mid and lower echelon leadership) will be taking the biggest cuts, because it's the biggest part of the budget and clearly what P&M have identified as having had a stultifying effect on revenues and organizational growth. In the world of charitable organizations and nonprofits, 9 out of 10 such organizations spend 35% or less on administrative overhead.

In the words of Charity Navigator, "We believe that those spending less than a third of their budget on program expenses are simply not living up to their missions. Charities demonstrating such gross inefficiency receive zero points for their overall organizational efficiency score."

While the mission of TFI is to spread the gospel, the the programmatic role of WS is to create/produce publications to support the mission. When you break the publications/product line portion of the budget down, you'll see that only 5% goes to outreach materials--the majority--30% goes to the creation, production, translation, and distribution of internal, organizational publications, e.g., the Reboot Documents, websites, MLs, etc. Out of this 30% of products for internal consumpation, about 1/3 (11%) funds M&P's work as spiritual and organizational writers.

The publications/product line portion of the WS budget is another area where ratio of administrative overhead to program activity is way out of whack. I mean, think about it: A missionary organization where 5% of its publication budget goes to outreach materials?

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