Finance Report for the Phoenix Shambhala Center

From Phoenix Shambhala Chagdzö, Andre Shearer

Since becoming Chagdzö/treasurer for the Phoenix Shambhala Center, I have worked to understand trends in our income and spending and to develop a simple, clear way of providing information about finances for the Phoenix Shambhala Community. This work is ongoing. In the interest of answering questions that are being held by the sangha, I wish to share a summary of our financial position and discuss how Year to Date results as of June 30 of this year compare to the first half of 2017.

We continue to maintain stable balances in checking and savings, relative to targets set by the council. The goal of our savings is to maintain at least 6 months of expenses, plus moving expenses.

On a cash basis, we have experienced a shortfall of $660 during the first half of 2018. However, this includes the large purchases that have been made to accomplish the space improvements. The total budget for the space improvements was $3000, which is offset by a corresponding increase in donations in late 2017. This project is discussed in greater detail below.

Absent of the space improvements, our Year to Date June 30 net operating income is $2340, compared to $3700 over first half of 2017.

Our primary sources of income are membership dues, programs, and donations. Together, these represent about $23,000 of $25,000 total revenue for the first half of 2018, which is slightly less than the revenue during first half of 2017, which was about $26,000.

Membership dues and program income are remarkably similar year to year, but donations have dropped off somewhat, from about $3500 in first half 2017 to $2500 in the first half of 2018. Dues have amounted to about $8100 in each period, and programs have brought in just under $13,000 over Jan-Jun in both 2017 and 2018.

Our major expenses are facilities and programs. Facilities expense covers necessary recurring costs such as rent, utilities, and insurance. Rent has increased over time, reflecting our rental agreement. Our rent increased by $100/month in the second half of 2017, resulting in $600 higher expense for rent year over year. The Phoenix Shambhala Center also continues to contribute $200/month to the Center of the Mandala through the Unified Giving Model.

Programs have increased in frequency and complexity, but program spend has been steady at about $7600 in the first half of both 2017 and 2018. Not all programs have net revenue, but together they generally contribute a net of $2,000/quarter, or about $8,000/year. This program net is necessary to cover our base expenses; membership dues only cover about 60% of fixed costs.

Space Improvement Details
Special projects are undertaken after community consensus and only when there are sufficient funds in reserve to cover the expenses without going below our savings targets.

The space improvement efforts largely consisted of removing walls from the community space, and refurnishing. Wall demolition cost $800, and the additional furniture was $1,700. Additional $500 for linens puts us exactly at the expected spend for this project.

Conclusion & Recommendation
Overall, this is a picture of conservative expense management, growth in programming, and steady membership. Total financial performance is somewhat lower year over year, with the difference coming from slightly less income, compared to stable expenses.

Our current position is good, and continued close monitoring will help maintain our stable footing going forward. My next objective will be to establish a quarterly communication process to relay information on financial performance to the community.

Supporting Documents

Phoenix Shambhala Meditation Center financial report, 1st and 2nd quarter 2018

Finance Report to the Shambhala Community, August 15, 2018 (from Shambhala International)

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