2015 Annual Report – Secretary-Treasurer
2015 Annual Report
Only one provincial council submitted a secretary report. I followed up this past year with a communiqué and a submission to The Canadian League with information about motions. I found from questions received and from first hand observations at parish councils and other diocesan councils that sometimes things are done just because they have always been done a certain way. Motions to adopt minutes, when discussion was permissible and roll call were other issues that came up. At the national level, I suggested to the executive the roll call be dispensed with at business sessions when a credentials report was given to establish quorum.
E-mail was used more as was technology to record minutes and handle correspondence. Secretaries were cautioned to ensure minutes were stored in two different ways and not just to rely on a computer file, USB flash drive or disc. It was reported secretaries still handled correspondence for councils and often council presidents. Secretaries reported more accessing of websites, including the national website. Membership lists and records were made easier with technology, and secretaries assisted executive members with preparation of annual reports. Challenges remained the same. Secretaries found keeping up with technology, finding time for League work, and keeping contact information updated challenging.
At the national level, I had no problem getting review committees for each of the executive meetings and the annual national convention. Minutes of executive meetings were prepared by staff and reviewed by a committee of the national secretary and two provincial presidents. There was little done in the way of correspondence as this mostly came from or through national office.
I redesigned the expense reporting form for national executive and officers and worked on a conflict of interest policy with the executive director and a committee. It would be vetted by legal counsel and presented at the 2016 pre-convention executive meeting. Some work was done regarding a gifting agreement from the League to the Catholic Women’s League Leadership Foundation (Foundation).
It was gratifying to see the treasurers’ reports come in, and 11 provincial councils reported. A temporary national voluntary fund was added this year in support of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.
The national voluntary funds contributions (both through the voluntary funds and directly to the organizations) to Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace, Catholic Missions In Canada, Coady International Institute, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and Velma’s Dream/Canada Near East Welfare Association totalled $251,683. Contributions to other causes and organizations falling under the standing committees totalled $2,125,861. Other donations including donations to parishes amounted to $2,054,185. The grand total for all donations and contributions from the League for 2015 amounted to $4,431,729. The Military Ordinariate reported having its own provincial voluntary fund and collected $2,135 for it.
At year end, national council incurred a deficit of $463,672 as compared to budget of a positive $24,300. Total income from all sources totalled $1,334,042 and expenditures totalled $1,801,227. There was a small amount of additional income from investments in the amount of $3,513. The negative impact of a $400,000 donation to the Foundation was the main reason for the negative year end balance.
Per capita income totalled $1,114,399 as compared to the 2014 income of $1,135,241 and the budget of $1,116,700. The market value of the socially responsible investment (SRI) fund decreased by 14% as $100,000 was withdrawn to cover part of the donation to the Foundation, and a market devaluation of about $50,000 affected the fund. The fixed bond portfolio was also affected when $300,000 was withdrawn to fulfil the obligation to the Foundation set by national council at the annual national convention. Three bonds were sold, and the value of the fund decreased due to the cash withdrawal.
Amounts carried at year end in national voluntary funds increased by nine percent with the addition of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition as a temporary voluntary fund. The total in the funds were $63,129. Monies in these funds would be disbursed in August 2016. Interest rates affected the various funds and it was noted the bursary fund shrank by four percent Almost $11,000 was disbursed, but only $3,700 was earned in interest.
There was an increase (24%) in inventory, mostly due to the stocking of new service pins.
Convention costs were over budget last year and this always fluctuates depending on where the convention is held, the venue and activities. The League was $37,124 over budget. It was good to see The Canadian League stay within budget ($250,067).
Eighty-four thousand, seven hundred forty-one per capita payments were collected for 2015, and 982 back payments were processed for previous years. It was very close to budget; however, there was a 1.8% decrease in membership. It should be noted 448 members received free membership through the Catch The Fire! participation contest.