Money & Mission
Volume VI, Issue 9 - February 3, 2016
Editorial: Charities Need To Invest In Themselves
The article “To be effective, charities need to invest in themselves” in The Globe and Mail on December 24, 2015 may have come as a welcome Christmas gift to many charities. Too often we read that charities need to spend more on program delivery and less - much less - on “overhead”, sending the message that those who work in such areas as accounting, technology, systems, training and recruitment are not a good use of donors’ hard-earned dollars.
The article pointed out that fixation on overhead costs is harmful to the cause of the charity. It is only by investing in themselves that charities can best help those they seek to serve. Indeed, the authors make the point that we would benefit by thinking of charities as businesses. By helping them scale, become more efficient and deliver a better return on investment, charities can have a greater impact on the people, communities or causes they support.
The article also referred to “venture philanthropy,” which takes concepts and techniques from venture capitalism and business management and applies them to achieving philanthropic goals. The venture philanthropist would not simply make donations to a charity, but rather, would invest in the expertise and resources required to help it grow and function most effectively, such as in management and leadership training.
Money & Mission Readership Survey
This is a quick reminder that the due date for completing the Money & Mission Readership Survey is February 10. We thank those who have already responded. If you have not, we urge you to give us your input as this will help us to provide a newsletter that meets your needs. You will find the link to the survey below:
Budgeting: My Conversion Experience
By Lieut. Colonel Neil Watt
In January 2014, I wrote an article “Death, Taxes and Budgets” for Money & Mission, making the point that, within The Salvation Army, the budget cycle is continuous. In the same article, I wrote about “my conversion” to the critical importance of the budget process.
I wish I had taken the budget process more seriously in my days as a Corps Officer. I did not realize that the budget and the strategy for the corps were inter-related. I simply thought that if I increased or decreased a few budget lines here and there, it would all balance out and everyone would be happy. It was easy to check the budget off my “to do” list and submit it to DHQ by the specified date. It was only later that I came to realize that the harder task would be to align the budget with specific strategies that the corps needed to address for its ministry.
Today I would do three things differently. I would want:
a planning mechanism in place that involved corps leadership.
the congregation to understand the budget process.
corps leadership to take ownership of the budget.
Am I dreaming? Perhaps, but I would want to give it a try. I understand that the landscape has shifted since my days as a corps Officer. There is a greater need to involve more people in the process, and so build a level of trust that allows for intentional ownership and ministry participation.
I confess that “my conversion experience” to the budget process took time, but as I gained ministry experience, I began to see the value in connecting dots previously unconnected. We all recognize that if you want to know what people are passionate about, look at how they spend their money. This is just as true for a corps budget. While my conversion to the importance and benefit of budgets is complete, that does not make it easy. In Richard Kriegbaum’s book Leadership Prayers he says, “budgeting is a leadership process”. I think he is right.
“ .. let all things be done properly and in an orderly manner.” (1 Corinthians 14:40 NASB)
Agresso Implementation Tip #6
General Ledger Detail Enquiry
To search for account transaction details in the General Ledger, you can use an enquiry in Agresso by navigating to Reports/Global Reports/Ministry Unit Enquiry/Reports, expanding “4. GL”, then opening up “1. GL Detail General”. In the “Account between” fields, type in the account you wish to view in both fields provided, or the range desired. We recommend limiting the number of accounts selected in order to optimize on-line viewing. Enter your RESPC and department numbers in the corresponding fields. In the “Period between” fields, enter the periods you wish to see (format is yyyymm, where yyyy is the fiscal year and mm is the fiscal period e.g. 201604 is July 2016). Click on “Search” and your data will appear in the grid area at the bottom of the screen.
If your selection criteria include multiple accounts and/or multiple periods, we strongly recommend summarizing the data by using the “Detail level” dropdown box in the “Result” section. The summarization can be changed prior to, or after, clicking on the search button. If the detail level is left with the default value “All levels”, you can still summarize the information by clicking on the “Ʃ1” or “Ʃ2” at the end of each account and period. Depending on the selection criteria used, the data can fill multiple pages because the default “Rows per page” is set to display 50 only. You can change the display setting to 100, 250 or the maximum of 500 rows per page by selecting from the “Rows per page” dropdown box.
There are two other “GL Details” enquiry reports available: the “DA Query” (Deposit Accounts), and the “MMClient Query” (Money Management or Trust Accounts). The selection criteria are the same for all three enquiries, so you would follow the same steps as described above for the “GL Detail General” report. The difference in the queries is the output that is returned. The output for the “DA Query” will include the deposit account number and its description, while the output for the “MMClient Query” will include the client’s ID number and name.
Did You Know?
On January 17, Goodwill Toronto, the second-hand clothing store that is part of Goodwill Industries International, abruptly closed its 16 stores in Barrie, Orillia, Brockville and in the Toronto area, putting 430 employees out of work. The reason given was "a cash flow crisis"; Goodwill stores in other parts of Ontario were not affected by this closure.
The Globe and Mail had a three-page feature article on this event on January 23. The second page was headed by a quote from a retail strategist, which ran across five columns in a banner headline: "I'd love the Salvation Army to take them over. They know what they're doing."
Money & Mission Editorial Team
Design Editor & Production Manager:
The Salvation Army Translation Department