PROPOSED MOTION: Annual Program Contribution rate by Member Congregations to the Canadian Unitarian Council
PROPOSERS: Canadian Unitarian Council Board of Trustees
UPDATE: In January 2017, a motion was circulated regarding an alternate method of calculating the Annual Program Contribution by member congregations to the CUC. Please note that that motion has now been withdrawn by the CUC Board. This is due to the fact that instructions are now available for congregations to project calculations for their APC based on a percentage of operating budget, and more time is needed for congregations and the CUC to consider the impact. New information is contained in points numbers 10 – 15 below.
- The Canadian Unitarian Council is the national association of Unitarian Universalist congregations in Canada. The CUC is a beacon for Unitarian Universalist communities across Canada, providing them with leadership, support and connection as they strive to foster a just and sustainable world and to enrich the spiritual lives of their members.
- Member congregations of the Canadian Unitarian Council (CUC) contribute to the work of the CUC through Annual Program Contributions (APC) to the CUC.
- The APC is currently calculated by multiplying the number of members in a congregation by a set amount approved by them at each Annual Meeting of the CUC. The APC has been set at $93 for several years.
- This calculation is straightforward but there are several concerns; for example, the APC amount does not take account of relative prosperity of financial challenges of congregants or of regions, and it may lead to discouraging people from formally joining a congregation.
- Over the years, this method of calculation has resulted in a gradual decrease in financial support for the CUC, despite increases in the annual amount, as congregational membership numbers have waned.
- This is not sustainable for the CUC in its engagement with, and support for, member congregations. A sustainable and equitable method for congregations and for the CUC is necessary.
- A CUC Board task force looked at alternatives to this method of calculation in 2014. The task force consulted with congregations and treasurers, and recommended that the CUC move to a calculation based on a percentage of each congregation’s operating expenses in the previous year.
- The APC amount for a congregation would increase or decrease along with its capacity to spend, meaning that the CUC would share in both the good and the lean times.
- Within the past year, attempts have been made to test the impact of this change by asking each congregation to report their annual operating expenditures and applying a uniform percentage to determine what the new “fair share” amount would be. It became clear during this exercise that congregations do not report operating expenditures uniformly.
- A Guide to Calculating Annual Program Contribution Based on Percentage of Operating Expenditure has been developed by Grant Thornton, the CUC’s auditing firm for congregational treasurers, or their accounting advisors, to determine what to include in the annual operating expenditures that they will report to the CUC. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain this Guide.
- The CUC Board requests that congregations use the Guide to calculate the amount of your congregation’s APC based on this alternative method. Please send your calculations to the CUC office by March 31, 2017 by email to email@example.com or mail to 215 Spadina Ave | Suite 400 | Toronto ON M5T 2C7
- The calculation information provided by congregations using this alternate method will help inform the CUC Board about next steps in the APC process.
- The level of APC amounts to the CUC has continued to decrease annually despite an increase in 2013 from $91 to $93 per member. Please see Table 1 below for details.
- There has been no application of a cost of living index (CPI) over the intervening years, which means that congregations have been contributing less each year to the CUC over the past six years. If adjusted for CPI, the per member fee would now be $100.
- Closer to the date of the 2017 AGM, the Board will propose a motion to set the 2018 per member fee to an amount sufficient to sustain the current level of CUC operations and provide fair compensation for all existing staff within a balanced budget. The amount of the fee increase will likely be in the range of 3% to 7% (from $93 to $96 or $100 per member). Should this motion fail, a second motion will be made to approve a fee at the current level of $93 per member. This option is likely to lead to a reduction in CUC service levels
The CUC Board would like to invite you to a series of conversations to discuss the implications of changing to method based on operating expenses, and to address questions in advance of the AGM. Please choose from the following dates for your leaders and delegates to participate, and register here:
- Sat, Feb 25 at 10 am pst | 11 am mst | 12 pm mst | 1 pm est | 2 pm ast
- Sat, Mar 4 at 10 am pst | 11 am mst | 12 pm mst | 1 pm est | 2 pm ast
- Wed, Mar 8 at 2:30 pm pst | 3:30 pm mst | 4:30 pm cst | 5:30 pm est | 6:30 pm ast
- Fri, Mar 10 at 4 pm pst| 5 pm mst | 6 pm cst | 7 pm est | 8 pm ast
|Year ||APC amount per member||Number Of Members Reported by Congregations||Total APC Fair Share||Amount Pledged||Actual APC Amount Received|