2016 Annual Report – National Secretary-Treasurer
2016 Annual Report
Reports were received from eight provincial secretaries this year. Most of the reports highlighted the answers from their provincial council to the questions contained in the new online annual survey form completed by parish council secretaries. The survey indicated the following:
• 89% of minutes were taken by hand
• 46% of minutes were read at meetings
• 60% reported they were signing officers for their council
• 26% maintained the election register
• e-mail (when available) was used most often to distribute minutes; paper copies of minutes were normally available at the next meeting
• procedure for archiving minutes varied widely
• the concept of a motion book required clarification
It was evident from the reports that members worked hard to keep their council’s records up to date. Some found computers to be a necessary tool and others worried because they didn’t have computer skills. E-mail enabled many elderly or shut-in members to keep abreast of their council’s activities while others were grateful for the cards, notes and visits from sister members. A common response from many was that the executive worked as a team to get things done.
As secretary at the national level, my job was made easier since meeting minutes were recorded and then transcribed by national office staff. For each meeting, two members of the national executive and I comprised the minutes review committee, examining the minutes before circulation. Much of the national correspondence was handled directly by the national president and national office staff provided me with unlimited support in any correspondence that was sent under my name.
Reports were received from ten provincial treasurers and contained both financial information as well as summaries of the online annual survey forms completed by parish treasurers. Councils reported over $228,450 given to the five national voluntary funds—Catholic Missions In Canada (CMIC), Coady International Institute, CCODP, EPC and CNEWA. A total of $165,643 was sent directly to national office for forwarding to the respective charities, which is done once a year. Under the various standing committees, a total of $2,023,354 was distributed to groups and organizations both in the community and around the world. An additional amount of $899,072 was donated to parishes and other worthy causes. Given the fact that not all councils submitted financial reports, it was extremely impressive that over $3,150,000 was donated in 2016 to numerous worthwhile causes.
Some of the results from the online annual survey form included the following:
• One-third of councils used computer software to keep track of funds.
• The average parish council membership fee was $28.35.
• Sixty nine percent of councils used bake sales as a source of fundraising.
• Credit unions were used by over 30% of councils for their banking needs.
• Fifty four percent of councils paid bank charges, with an aver-age yearly cost for these councils of $53.99.
• Forty three percent of councils had their books examined annually by an independent individual.
The League’s financial position remained stable this year. Total revenue amounted to $1,287,857 and total expenditures were $1,350,249, which left a net loss from operations of $62,392. However, investment income was $148,933, a considerable increase from last year’s investment income of $3,513, hence a net income for the year of $86,541. Income from memberships was down 1.7% in 2016 and income from product sales was down 4.6%. Most expenditures were in line with those of 2015 and many came in under budget. League development costs were up $21,500 as more provincial councils made requests for funds, although the expense was still under that budgeted for the year. Office building costs were up compared to last year’s budget as a new lease, with increased rent, took full effect in 2016. Office equipment costs were up $15,000 due to photocopy maintenance costs to print paper copies of the new annual survey form for each parish council, and operating costs were up $13,000 due to the printing requirements for the extensive updates to the National Manual of Policy and Procedure. Despite these increases, expenditures were still under budget by $29,000.
The League’s investments consisted of fixed income investments with a value of $1,276,521, as compared to $1,146,809 last year, and a portfolio of socially responsible Canadian equity investments with a value of $905,633, compared to $921,393 in 2015. Equities in the amount of $100,000 were sold during the year and the funds transferred to the fixed income investments to keep the ratio of fixed to equity investments as required by the national executive’s financial management and investment policy. The remaining equity investments continued to do well with market values well above cost in most cases. Because of the continuing low interest rates in the market, fixed investments brought in less interest this year as interest rates ranged from 1.91% to 5.5%.
Since assuming my role in August 2016, I have reviewed the monthly financial statements sent to me by national office as well as quarterly reports of the investment account. I met with Senior Accounting Clerk Valroy Anderson in November and discussed various financial matters with him. Executive Director Kim Scammell was most helpful in providing answers to my many questions.
Sincerest thanks are extended to all secretaries and treasurers of the League, as your dedication and commitment were truly appreciated. Thank you for accepting the task of completing the online annual survey form for 2016. It was a challenge and there were difficulties encountered by many of you, however adjustments will be made so that the completion of your 2017 report should be much less complicated.