2009 Annual Report – Secretary-Treasurer
2009 Annual Report
My term of office has been a very enlightening and rewarding experience. Long and short term plans were drafted to be used as a guide with which to explore and implement solid strategies to help meet financial goals. The national executive continued to work as part of a team and built on the strong foundation laid by predecessors to ensure the sustainability of the League for future generations and to enable the League to attain its goals.
Provincial secretaries and treasurers are to be commended for submitting their excellent annual reports. The League was very fortunate to have such a dedicated group who gave so freely of their time whenever needed. Many served in dual capacities as corresponding and recording secretary or as secretary and treasurer. They were Women of Peace and Hope working together for the betterment of the League, always encouraged and appreciated for their vigilance and suggestions. Their point of view was always respected and they were to be commended for a job well done.
Provincial secretaries referenced the National Manual of Policy and Procedure and the Handbook for Secretaries, and encouraged their counterparts at other levels to do the same. Agendas, minutes, correspondence, and to do lists were compiled, distributed and filed. Selected pieces of correspondence were read out at meetings and made available in a binder for review. Copies were forwarded to past presidents for archiving. Motions books were maintained and updated and secretaries familiarized themselves with the location of charters and archives. Some challenges still arose such as receiving written and signed reports from executive members (especially annual reports in a timely fashion), written motions, keeping contact lists accurate, and keeping lines of communication open between all levels.
Provincial treasurers also reported they referenced the National Manual of Policy and Procedure and the Guidelines for Treasurers. They utilized and adapted the forms and samples enclosed in this guide to suit the needs of their provincial councils and encouraged treasurers at other levels to do the same. In response to members’ requests, some developed new application forms for accessing provincial development funds and travel subsidies that assisted members in northern and remote areas to attend provincial conventions. In some provinces “outreach projects” continued to be funded in order to bring the League and issues to members. Some ongoing challenges were keeping on budget and receiving reports from other levels (complete with compilation of figures).
I would like to share with you a helpful recommendation from one provincial treasurer who reported, “When archiving materials, destroy all cheques, invoices, deposits and other material after five years, but keep your council ledger as it tells a part of your history, (especially those ongoing projects) that may be overlooked in your minutes. As with other council historical archives, mark the ledger ‘Permanent Record – Do Not Destroy’.”
Members were to be commended for their continued acts of charity and most generous financial support at home and to the global community. From the figures compiled, $4,064,006 was donated to various groups, some of which may not have been sustainable without this continued support. What a positive impact League contributions have on so many lives! It was very heartwarming to see so much peace and hope given to so many.
Included in the figure reported above was $479,544 which was generously donated directly to the National Voluntary Funds. As in previous years, it is again requested that donations be sent to national office. Members’ contributions allocated to each fund could then be reported by the national standing committee chairpersons in their oral reports. There are probably many other donations that should have been included, but because not all reports were received by the provincial treasurers from other levels in their province, these amounts were not known and could not be compiled. Members’ generous donations to the National Voluntary Funds totalled $180,588 and were broken down as follows:
Catholic Missions In Canada $28,275
Coady International Institute $28,015
Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace $70,020
MaterCare International $35,286
World Union of Catholic Women’s Organizations (WUCWO) $8,902
As good stewards and under the leadership of National President Danielle McNeil-Hessian and with the guidance of Executive Director Kim Scammell, CA, the finance committee and fi nancial advisors continued prudent management of administration costs and restraints were implemented whenever necessary. At the same time, they ensured the highest level of service, programs, and projects were provided to members at all times.
In order to formulate plans that enabled the League to deal with any challenges arising, projections were made factoring in current revenues and financial challenges facing the League. Decline of memberships, increased costs, losses on investments, and the slow recovery of the market have had a great impact on how to continue to ensure the growth of the League for generations to come.
At the winter meeting in February, the national finance committee reviewed a proposal received from CIBC Wood Gundy Vice-President Maurice Bohemier and decided to remain with the company instead of moving investments to Richardson Financial Partners where former investment advisor Janice Ricken had transferred. This decision resulted in a saving on fees for service to the League. Mr. Bohemier was introduced at the fall meeting of the national executive where he gave a presentation.
Also, at the fall meeting the accountability of the national executive regarding National Voluntary Funds was discussed. It was decided that organizations that receive these funds be required to submit annual financial reports and/or audited statements to national office to have on file for members’ reference upon request.
The 2009 audited financial statements reflects the strength of the League’s asset position. The finance committee is proud of the fact that due to having a properly diversified and well-managed portfolio the League did not experience a serious decline in the value of its investments.
The Statement of Revenue and Expenditure reflects a slightly higher than planned operational deficit for 2009. While not raising per capita fees, and in response to members’ concerns that the League was not using its surpluses, the national treasury provided additional significant increases in the advertising and promotions budgets to attract new members.
In the fall of 2009, an operational deficit budget of $261,600 was adopted for the fiscal year 2010. Despite the adoption of three consecutive deficit budgets, the national treasury remained healthy. However, due to the slow recovery of the market and reasons listed above, the League’s multi-year financial forecast revealed that something must be done now to ensure the growth of the League.
Thank you for your prayers, time, generosity and support. I am very grateful to have been one among you and for the time spent as part of this wonderful team. I am happy knowing that together members touch the lives of those around them as Women of Peace and Hope !