Hello bridge Family!
My name is Chase Bethel and I’m privileged to serve as one of your board members here at the bridge, as well as a member of the Finance Committee. I’m pleased to provide an Impact Report to you today, from the perspective of finances.
As we reflect on the church’s finances over the fiscal year ending August 2020, the Board and Finance Committee are awe-filled to witness God’s provision that has enabled us to impact the Markham community and the world around us. Similarly, we are thankful to see your generosity and sacrificial giving through tithes and offerings, even amidst pandemic and all the uncertainty it brings.
So, what is the financial picture here at the church from an operating perspective?
First, we ended the year with a surplus of $392,716. That’s an outstanding result and compares to an operating deficit of about $78,000 last year! The surplus was driven by total revenues of $2.29m exceeding total expenses of $1.9m.
By definition, our revenues include income related to giving—things like tithes and offerings, capital campaigns, contributions to missions initiatives, and so on, but also includes interest income, Hub revenue and cost recoveries from events such as retreats.
Giving continues to account for over 90% of total revenues. For the past fiscal year, giving totalled $1.9m, an increase of 11.7% compared to $1.7m in 2019. Of the 11.7%, approximately half of the increase came from the sign campaign that raised just over $100,000, and the balance came from traditional sources. Giving at the bridge has historically grown at an average of about 4.5% per year, so even excluding the sign campaign, it was a very strong year from a giving standpoint. By the way, you can see that giving from electronic sources such as Pushpay and pre-authorized debit continues to increase as a share of overall giving. Due to COVID, we also began to accept e-transfer this past year, so you can see e-transfer represented as a new giving source.
Let’s move on to expenses. Our expenses totalled $1.67m in 2020, a decrease of 10.2% vs $1.86m in 2019. Particularly once COVID hit, a lot of our facilities and utility expenses fell dramatically. Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t commend all of the pastors and staff at the bridge, who—as they’ve consistently done in the past—were very good stewards of church finances in managing their ministry expenses to below their original budget. Within expenses, salaries total just over $1m and increased by 2.8%—reflecting increases in salaries and hours worked.
To highlight one item from the church’s balance sheet, the church ended the year with operational cash of just under $420,000, which provides very strong liquidity and flexibility.
As is customary practice, the Board has reviewed and passed the church’s operating budget for the fiscal year ending August 2021. We are expecting a deficit slightly below what we saw two years ago in fiscal 2019, but this includes non-recurring expense items, some of which relate to COVID reopening preparedness and to the building project. More details about the budget will be provided in conjunuction with our upcoming AGM. If you’re interested in further details beyond the areas covered in this review, I invite you to peruse both the graphs below, as well as our audited financial statements. I’d also like to express sincere thanks to the members of the Finance Committee: Tim Jenkins, Sonia Tan, Ken Mo, Cynthia Yoon and Kevin Aide, who give so generously of their time to help in the budgeting and monitoring of church finances.
Thank you for your time, attention and your interest in finances here at the bridge. On behalf of the Board, we are very grateful for your faithful giving. the bridge remains a Gather, Group, Give and Go church with all 4Gs being integral to the pursuit of our mission to connect with God, each other and the world around us.