The Budget and how it is determined

Use this forum to discuss issues that are not found in any of the other clerk and stake technology specialist forums.
kisaac
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Postby kisaac » Fri Aug 12, 2011 5:15 am

JohnShaw wrote:What about the idea that wards and stakes not in the greater populated member areas are spending more budget on items out of necessity, and sometimes because of policy.

Other than your "bus to the temple" example, what other "items out of necessity, and sometimes because of policy" can you cite that require spending more of your budget because of your location? While transportation costs may be greater as the distance from member to member and to the church location increases- to meetings, to collect fast offerings or home teach, these are not budget items...And I believe all shipping on curriculum and supplies is constant for most units. I'm not being critical, I'm trying to understand.

As for your sacrament count, I agree that a one month sampling out of three doesn't seem statistically accurate, I've lobbied both ward and stake to return to counting every organization and Sacrament every month. Not only for budget reasons, but for shepherding of members. For the budget example, weather could affect the count for units in temperate regions for December. I've tracked major snowstorms on Sunday mornings, and these drastically affect our count for sacrament and attendance for every organization. If you get two bad storms on two Sundays in December, our count is very low. Is it fair, No. Correctable? Not presently- unless you factor in a budget adjustment for units in snowy areas...

What concerns me more than budget (as it does you) is the other anomaly this sampling can produce for leaders who are charged with shepherding their members. A member who attends the Christmas program, and thus attends his quorum meeting on that sunday as well, and no other meeting for the whole quarter, is counted as a "member attending" for the quarter. He only attending one meeting, but to call him "attending" in any fashion, is certainly misleading! His leaders, if collecting only the required data for "Quarterly report" attendance, might miss the fact that he really is not attending his meetings. I'm a big fan of a monthly "members not attending any meeting" report to the bishopric.

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johnshaw
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Postby johnshaw » Fri Aug 12, 2011 8:48 am

kisaac wrote:Other than your "bus to the temple" example, what other "items out of necessity, and sometimes because of policy" can you cite that require spending more of your budget because of your location?


Mostly I was hoping to identify some other items as well. I can tell you that when I compared Girls camp costs (facility cost) that the abundance of local church owned camps is also a benefit that can be a 2-3K difference per year to a stake.

Responding to crislapi - We have 2 assigned Youth Temple Baptism trips in each of our units. Basically it is 'required' to attend the temple 2 times a year for us.

For the budget example, weather could affect the count for units in temperate regions for December. I've tracked major snowstorms on Sunday mornings, and these drastically affect our count for sacrament and attendance for every organization. If you get two bad storms on two Sundays in December, our count is very low. Is it fair, No. Correctable? Not presently- unless you factor in a budget adjustment for units in snowy areas...


I can't believe I totally forgot about this one.... we did, in our stake have 1 week in December where we didn't actually shut down church, but many didn't attend, and a 2nd week we cancelled all together. This is also an issue in many places as you said...

I'm with you, I like the attended lists like we do in YW and YM. On Sunday I'm going to test the thought. I'll use my current ward and take a look at counting active/attending families to see what that number is in comparison to what the Average Sacrament Meeting attendance would be.

atticusewig
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Postby atticusewig » Fri Aug 12, 2011 9:08 am

Weather is definitely a factor, especially for Natural Disasters.
In one ward I was in, we had cancelled meeting for nearly a month after a hurricane.
Had that been a reporting month, our budget could have been really low.
(Not really, I'd just use a different month, but not everyone is as rules-adaptable
as I am.)

kisaac
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Postby kisaac » Sat Aug 13, 2011 12:17 am

atticusewig wrote:..not everyone is as rules-adaptable
as I am.

Nice! I like the term!

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Postby jwnice » Sun Sep 04, 2011 11:43 am

I take attendance every Sunday and record in an Excel spreadsheet, that calculates the attendance for each month, each quarter and for the year. Those variations are there -- but what I find even more interesting is when the average attendance for Q1 was 150 and for Q2 it was 175, yet our budget allotment based on Q2 went down from what we received based on Q1.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Sun Sep 04, 2011 11:49 am

jwnice wrote:I take attendance every Sunday and record in an Excel spreadsheet, that calculates the attendance for each month, each quarter and for the year. Those variations are there -- but what I find even more interesting is when the average attendance for Q1 was 150 and for Q2 it was 175, yet our budget allotment based on Q2 went down from what we received based on Q1.


That's entirely possible. The budget allocation is not based on average attendance for the quarter, but on the average attendance for the last month of the quarter. And sacrament meeting attendance is only one component of the budget allocation; attendance by youth, Primary children 8-11, and YSA also are components. All these details are explained in the Budget Allocation letter that is sent through MLS (it appears in the Finance Statements section) each quarter. If you examine that letter, you'll see precisely how the allocation is calculated each quarter.
Questions that can benefit the larger community should be asked in a public forum, not a private message.

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Sun Sep 04, 2011 11:49 am

The allotment you receive in Q3 will be based on the Q1 numbers, not the Q2 numbers.

So to answer your question, you probably need to compare the Q4 and Q1 numbers, not Q1 and Q2.
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