Annual Program Contribution Update

audit

On behalf of the CUC Board of Trustees, here is an update on the status of the Annual Program Contribution (APC) decision process. After thoughtful discussion at its September 2017 in-person meeting, the CUC Board is recommending the following:

  • The current method of calculating the APC based on a per member amount will remain in place for 2018 and 2019. The amount approved by delegates at the CUC’s 2017 Annual General Meeting for 2018 is $100 per member.
  • Constitute a second-phase Task Force to continue exploring alternate and equitable options for calculating the APC. The Task Force will operate between November 2017 to May 2019 and will be comprised of 4-6 members, including two CUC Board members and congregational treasurers from congregations of various sizes.
  • The Task Force will bring a report or motion to the 2019 AGM, which means that any approved changes will not take effect until January 2020 at the earliest.

The CUC Board wishes to acknowledge and thank Kristina Stevens, former CUC Board Treasurer who ushered in this exploration process and spent many hours in conversation with treasurers and the CUC’s auditor, and even more hours in calculating congregational APCs based on an alternate method. The Board appreciates the diligence with which Kristina pursued this interesting conversation.

The Board also thanks the treasurers and administrators who spent time puzzling over how to calculate their APC based on a percentage of their operating budget, and appreciate the feedback provided. This feedback will inform the work of the Task Force as it embarks on the second phase of exploration.

Questions or comments can be sent to treasurer-board@cuc.ca.

Annual Program Contribution: The Conversation and The Vote at AGM 2017

In January 2017, a motion was circulated to the CUC leaders’ group regarding an alternative method of calculating the Annual Program Contribution to the CUC from member congregations. Please note that the proposed motion to vote on this method at the 2017 AGM is being withdrawn by the CUC Board. This is because explicit instructions are now available for congregations to project calculations for their APC based on a percentage of operating budget, and the Board believes that more time is needed for congregations and the CUC to consider the impact of the possible change. An updated motion regarding method of APC calculation will be brought to the 2018 Annual General Meeting.

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 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.

A Guide to Calculating Annual Program Contribution Based on Percentage of Operating Expenses 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 treasurer@cuc.ca to obtain this Guide if you have not already received it.

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 treasurer@cuc.ca 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 paid to the CUC has continued to decrease annually despite an increase in 2013 from $91 to $93 per member. Please see Table 1 in this linked document for details. (Note also the increasing level of commitment congregations have been making to pay their full fair share contributions.)

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.

Financial support for the national and global initiatives undertaken by the CUC is understood to be part of the commitment or covenant that member organizations make when they join the CUC. When individuals join a CUC member congregation, they are joining not just their local congregation, but also the wider UU community. A small, dedicated CUC staff and groups of volunteers work hard every year across a very large country to fulfill these national and international mandates efficiently and effectively through carefully chosen supportive programs, special projects, and public statements by the Executive Director and National Voice Team that affirm and promote UU principles related to selected important issues. Member financial and volunteer support for the CUC to sustain this work is essential, and deeply appreciated.

Join CUC Board Treasurer Kristina Stevens and Board President Keith Wilkinson on March 4th, 8th, or 10th to discuss the alternate method of calculation and what this means for your congregation. Please see the dates, times and registration information on the CUC web site here.

 

2017 CUC ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING: Information for Presidents, Leaders and Delegates

Where: First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto, 175 St Clair Avenue West, Toronto and online via Zoom platform

When: Saturday, 13 May 2017 (6 hrs including 2 breaks)
Atlantic 12:30 pm – 6:30 pm | Eastern 11:30 am – 5:30 pm | Central 10:30 am – 4:30 pm l Mountain 9:30 am – 3:30 pm | Pacific 8:30 am – 2:30 pm

2017 Annual General Meeting Information Package contains:

  • Official Call to Meeting – p5
  • 2017 Credentialing Figures – p7
  • Number of Designated Delegates According to Congregational Size – p9
  • Motion to Allow Youth Participation – p10
  • 2017 Annual Meeting Agenda – p11
  • Annual Meeting Rules of Procedure – p14
  • Minutes of 2016 Annual General Meeting – p18
  • 2017 Nominating Committee Report – p29                
  • Motion on CUC Goals and Strategic Priorities – p34
  • 2016 Audited Financial Statements – p36                
  • 2017 Revised Budget & 2018 Proposed Budget – p53
  • Motion to Approve Annual Program Contribution Amount for 2018 – p59
  • Motion to Appoint Auditor – p61
  • Delegate Certification Form for On-site Delegates – p62

The CUC’s 2016 Annual Report is available here. 

Instructions for On-Line Delegates – please read ahead of the AGM!

The Canadian Unitarian Council’s 2017 Annual General Meeting (AGM) marks the first time that delegates from all over the country will participate and vote on-line. At the 2016 AGM, the CUC successfully piloted an online voting system that allowed delegates to participate and vote online, and a similar system will be used at AGM 2017 on May 13th.

The AGM is hosted by the First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto. Delegates can choose to participate online via a web platform, or in-person in Toronto. To be eligible to vote, your congregation needs to:

  1. Select your delegates early. Information on delegate selection is here.
  2. Register your duly approved 2017 delegates here by April 1st, 2017. Congregations participating remotely will also need to select a board-approved Credentials Officer who will be responsible for confirming the delegates present on the day of the AGM.
  3. Be a member in good standing with the CUC: i) the Annual Program Contribution (APC) shall not be in arrears; ii) your congregation has held its Annual General Meeting within the last year; and iii) there is a governance structure in place

On-line Participation and Voting Orientation Sessions have now concluded. Delegates and congregations will receive their instructions and voting sheets prior to the AGM. Continue reading

2017 Annual General Meeting

AGM VoteThe 2017 Annual General Meeting of the Canadian Unitarian Council is taking place on Saturday May 13, at the First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto. Online participation will be available as well; further details will be available in January 2017.

What about resolutions? Canadian Unitarians have a long history of affirming social justice resolutions, and the CUC has passed many resolutions over the years on a variety of topics, which continue to inform our current policies and practices. Before you submit a resolution, please read the information on process and review our past resolutions to ensure that a new resolution is really necessary; if it’s on a topic relevant to our Principles, there is probably a previously existing resolution. All relevant information is on the CUC’s Resolutions page.

CUC Board Highlights for September 2016: A Top 20 List

L to R: Carol Cumming Speirs (Eastern), Neal Cameron (Youth Observer), Rev. Debra Faulk (Minister Observer), Keith Wilkinson (BC), Jane Ebbern (Western), Jaime Dunton (Eastern), Tanya Cothran (Central), Kristina Stevens (BC), Lorna Weigand (Central), Susan Ruttan (Western).

L to R: Carol Cumming Speirs (Eastern), Neal Cameron (Youth Observer), Rev. Debra Faulk (Minister Observer), Keith Wilkinson (BC), Jane Ebbern (Western), Jaime Dunton (Eastern), Tanya Cothran (Central), Kristina Stevens (BC), Lorna Weigand (Central), Susan Ruttan (Western).

The CUC Board held its annual fall meeting & retreat in Toronto from 21 – 24 Sep 2016. Here are some of the highlights of decisions and actions.

Strategic Planning

1. Reaffirmed our commitment to the CUC Vision Implementation Team.

2. Approved an updated Mission statement for the CUC: Growing Vital Unitarian Communities.

3. Conducted a joint board and staff SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats). From this we saw some key priorities to be:

    1. Develop a sustainable funding model for our operations;
    2. Improve our website to serve both members and visitors
    3. Continue Truth, Healing and Reconciliation work with indigenous peoples
    4. Continue building resources, and link to the many useful initiatives of the UUA
    5. Continue to build a strong relationship between CUC and UU Ministers of Canada (UUMOC)
    6. Enhance our leadership development efforts, especially for youth and young adults

4. Finalized a statement that helps articulate the CUC’s value to its members/owners:

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.

Ethical Issues

5. We formed a task force to investigate how to provide more equitable compensation for our staff.

6. We must continue to develop a fair model for annual program contributions (APC) based on annual expenditures. A revised APC method is in the works, that will aim for sustainability for both congregations and the CUC.

7. We need member generosity if the CUC is to thrive. Therefore, in addition to paying APCs this year, we invite additional voluntary donations to the Friends of the CUC Fund. For example, if the 4,500 members of our member congregations gave an average of $50/year we would generate over $200,000 and be able to compensate all of our staff at an appropriate level.

8. We will continue to issue public statements from our National Voice Team with input from our Monitoring Groups. Three statements have been issued since May and a fourth is in the works.

Governance improvements

9. Reviewed steps necessary to fulfill our compliance agreement with the Canada Revenue Agency.

10. Affirmed the need to streamline our communications by further modifications to the policy governance model such as:

    1. using more familiar language for some of the concepts,
    2. more clearly identifying which goals and measurements the board will track from the many objectives and measures that staff use to be accountable for their work

Operational improvements

11. Get more timely and accurate financial information to the board and membership

12. Continue to use web platforms to improve communicate with members, and make Zoom web meeting tools more available

13. Continue to encourage innovative practices that help our members serve their varied communities

14. Identify practical tasks that volunteers can appropriately take on at the National and Regional levels to become more involved in our national community

15. Continue work with UUMOC to develop more streamlined processes for grant applications and funding, like Sharing Our Faith and Northern Lights.

Less Tangible Outcomes

16. In informal evening sessions, we shared stories about all of our congregations and fellowships. Woohoo!!

17. Got to know each other better and bond as a functional team.

18. Benefitted from the silent meals that were part of the expectations of the convent where we met (partly for reasons of economy). The silence allowed us to a) reflect on what had gone on in the earlier session, b) be mindful of the particular items of food we were eating, or c) read the back issues of The New Yorker magazines that were stowed under the dining tables in the convent.  (Simultaneously, we felt frustrated by the lost opportunity of chatting over meals with board and staff members we didn’t know very well.)

19. Attended an upbeat and inspiring Sunday worship service at First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto.  It was a reminder and affirmation of why we do this work!

20. Affirmed and celebrated each day our commitment to the UU movement through the inspired ceremonies that Rev Debra Faulk, Minister Observer to the Board (MOB) designed for us.