FINANCE

5/22/2022

Dear Friends:

 

Thank you!  In response to our communications, culminating with the informal Town Hall of 5/15, approximately one-third of the regular giving increases suggested has been promised.  Thank you for this information and always, for your amazing generosity.  We will include this information in fashioning our next steps and we promise to communicate those next steps in upcoming days.

Dear Friends of UIL:

We have some difficult information to share. This is a follow up to the financial information we shared in February and the Town Hall we held in early April to update you on our financial challenges.  Know that we love and appreciate each of you.  Always, we welcome communications by writing Board@UnityinLynnwood.org.

Our Current Situation:  UIL continues to face very serious financial difficulties and we are struggling to meet our monthly obligations. This is largely a result of significant reductions in donations during past two years of the pandemic.  Nonetheless, we have been – and remain -  committed to offering highest quality spiritual teachings on Sunday mornings, world-class music, stimulating adult education classes and small groups, social opportunities, and a robust Youth and Family Ministry.  Furthermore, despite the significant costs, we have no plans to discontinue our support and welcome of our virtual community through live streaming of services and events, and hybrid/Zoom offerings. 

 How We Got Here:  Offering revenue since the onset of the COVID pandemic has decreased by $40,000 (14%).  Over the same two years, fundraising (annual auction, spring fundraiser, etc) has decreased by $20,000 (30%).  So, we’ve experience a total a decrease in donation revenue of $60,000, or $5,000 per month since 2019.  In 2020 and 2021, these decreases were camouflaged by government loans, legacy gifts and one-time gifts so the extent of the problem wasn’t realized until early 2022, after several months of particularly low donation income. 

 What’s Next:  We believe it’s possible to close the $5000/month gap through a combination of increased giving and additional reductions to UIL’s expenses. To address our immediate need, we are asking our community to increase overall giving to make up at least $3000 per month. For example, if 40 people were able to increase their monthly tithe by $75, we would meet this goal.   

Because UIL’s major expense is salaries, we will unfortunately need to make additional compensation reductions.  This time, we will be making second salary adjustments among our senior staff – Dr. Richard Loren Held, Rev. Nina Clark and Matthew Wilson.  This will represent a reduction in hours.  Importantly, the more the community is able to donate to offset our total monthly loss of revenue, the less of an impact these cuts will have on our beloved spiritual leadership team. We acknowledge that even making these changes will not represent a full return to 2019 (pre-pandemic) income, but it will represent a balanced budget under the current circumstances, to the best of our ability. 

In the slightly longer term, we are actively looking at other ways to increase revenue, including expanding our facility rentals and launching the SoulGreens restaurant to stabilize our monthly budget.  While we have much optimism about these future plans, they won’t solve our current problem – that solution rests in your hands.

What We’re Asking from Our Community

We create this place together.  Let us acknowledge the love that so many people have for this community that people refer to so often as “spiritual family.”  While  Unity in Lynnwood is so much more than a business, what we accomplish for ourselves, for our loved ones, for our community and our world is made possible to the extent that each of us “votes” with our time and with our dollars. 

We need to hear your voice and your “vote” at this time – as represented by what you feel you are able to give. This will allow us to determine the size of administration and programming UIL will offer for now.

If you’re among the people willing to adjust your regular giving, even if that change can’t start until June, please contact Rev. Nina directly (Bookkeeping@UnityinLynnwood.org) or complete a Pledge Card.  We hope to hear all voices by May 29th that we might fashion next steps.

In closing, please know that we understand the last two years have been difficult for everyone in varying ways.  There is no intended guilt here!  We realize that many made financial adjustments over the past two years, for many good reasons.  This is simply an ask for information from you about your intention in response to our current financial need.