As I promised in the last newsletter, I want to bring you up to date on our financial status and our needs. EAF operates on a "bare bones" budget. We currently employ two staff members, a full-time Executive Secretary and a part-time Director of Development. We have no secretarial help, no office support of any kind due to lack of financial resources.
Our 1995 budget was $61,900. Actual expenses came to $47,745 or more than $14,000 below budget. Income for the year was less than $40,000. Of that amount, $25,000 was a single gift. The remaining $15,000 came from members, conference offerings, honoraria, etc. We began the year with a $9,000 balance and finished with less than $300 in our general fund. Another special gift of $25,000, received in late 1995 and held in escrow until the beginning of the current fiscal year, made it possible for us to continue in 1996.
At their meeting last fall the EAF Board of Directors took a major step of faith by recommending a budget of $80,000 which was approved by the members in the business session at Annual Conference '95. This amount includes current staff salaries and travel costs, office expenses, newsletter costs, other publicity and promotion, etc. It does not include funds for staff expansion or program development. It is a "bare bones" budget, but it represents a 30% increase over our 1995 budget and a 100% increase over our actual income for last year. As you can see, we desperately need to broaden and deepen our financial base if we are to meet our projected expenses in 1996.
Broadening And Deepening Our Base
In our three and one half year history, EAF has been able to grow and develop as a ministry due, in large part, to the generosity of a couple who share the vision for this work. Since 1993 they have given $125,000 to EAF. While we hope they will continue to include EAF in their giving program, we have no special claims upon their generosity, and they have no obligation to us. If EAF is to survive and thrive, our donor base must broaden and deepen. You can help this happen.
You Can Help
How? In several ways. First, you can pass along to Vernon Myers, our Director of Development, or to me the names of persons of means who might be interested in supporting a ministry like EAF. Second, you can organize a meeting of potential donors at which either Vernon or I can be present to introduce EAF and answer questions. This meeting doesn't have to be either large or formal. We're as happy to talk with three or four people over coffee as to address a roomful over a meal. Third, you can encourage your congregation to put EAF in its annual budget. Fourth, you can dig a little deeper and increase your personal giving to EAF. (One of our members, a young pastor with small children and limited resources, is giving EAF $100 each month. We are grateful!) And fifth, you can pray earnestly that the Lord will supply our needs according to His perfect plan.
Please let us hear from you. If you would like a detailed, printed copy of both our 1995 financial report and our 1996 budget, contact our Harrisonburg office. And thank you for your ongoing interest and support.