May 27, 2012
Good morning Friends,
These are sad times, having recently lost two dear Friends. It is often at sad times that we are reminded of
the importance of our physical presence, and how we each support and care for the Meeting. At times like this,
it is clear that we are here only through the Grace of God, that it is through God’s Grace that we each provide
the care and support so necessary to sustain our Meeting. So perhaps it is not too big a stretch to consider also
the importance of our financial support of the Meeting. Since it is also through God’s Grace that we have this
building in which to gather.
And so it is that we introduce ourselves to you today as members who are working on the Financial Health
and Care of Durham Friends Meeting. We are members of the ad hoc Fundraising Committee which was
appointed by Monthly Meeting in February. We come to you today to introduce ourselves and to speak about
the need for this committee. Our task is to explore ways to strengthen our weekly giving which supports our
operating budget, and to rebuild our capital funds.
You might ask: Why?
For the past several years we have been falling short in our operating budget, and we have been relying on
savings to fill the gap each year. Using this method, we are steadily depleting our savings. Also, with the
accomplishment of several major building improvements, we have depleted our capital funds.
We want to develop wise practices so that we can move forward toward a bright future for our Meeting.
But where and how to do we begin?
Appreciation: As a committee, we began with deep appreciation for what we have been given. We are
fortunate in many ways at Durham. We know that we have a generous membership, with people giving in
many ways to support our Meeting. We realize that each contributes as they are able. We know that all gifts
are accepted with gratitude. We recognize that all gifts, be they monetary, volunteer or in-kind contributions
come from a sense of spiritual and loving generosity.
Through this loving care we accomplish many things. We pay our bills each month. We have made many
improvements both at the Meetinghouse and at the Parsonage: (Fellowship Room, Library, Children’s Room,
Parsonage boiler). All of this demonstrates our loving care for each other and for the Meeting. The physical
improvements and maintenance of our buildings help ensure us all that Durham Friends will continue to be here
for us, as our Spiritual Home. We know that our ability to continue to function is due primarily to the
commitment to giving that comes from each person active in the meeting. It is this faithfulness that forms the
core of Durham Friends as a vibrant and loving community.
For these things we are deeply grateful. We are all blessed to share in this good fortune.
Current Status: However, our financial strength at Durham Meeting needs careful attention.
A. Operations: Our Operational Budget is like our heartbeat. It keeps us going each day, just like our hearts do
for us. Sometimes it is easy to forget that our hearts are working for us all day, every day. Similarly, we find
ourselves now in a situation where we our weekly giving does not match our operational expenses. We are not
keeping up with our heartbeat. The Heart-blood of our Meeting needs some help. Although we live modestly
at the Meetinghouse and the Parsonage, we find that we will fall short this year by about $15,000.
We currently take in about $42,000 a year in the weekly offering. With about 45 people attending each
Sunday, that averages about $18 per person per week. Some give more; some give less. But, in order to reach
our goal of $57,000 the average individual giving would need to increase to about $25 per week.
We are asking each of you to consider your current giving level, and determine whether you have room to
increase your offering. We realize that this is not an easy task, nor a very tempting one, and we know that there
are some who may not be able to make any changes. But for those of you who do have room for change we
have some ideas…
Page 7 of 14
I recently found a quote that spoke strongly to me on this subject, and I modified it a bit: “There is no set
formula for financial giving. Just as each person is unique, so is their ability and their response to financial
That has become my mantra for this committee.
In a few minutes, some of our committee members will speak about ideas that work for them. Perhaps one
of these ideas may inspire you.
B. Capital Fund: Although we come to you today primarily to present and explain our operational needs,
our group will also be working on ideas to re-build our capital fund. Similar to the needs and care of our
physical bodies, our capital needs also require attention to maintain the physical health of our Meeting
How can we best support our Meeting?
Just as Durham Friends feeds your Soul, which enlivens your heart, breath and body, may each of you
discern with wisdom how best you can financially support the Heart and Body of Durham Meeting, so that we
may remain spiritually vibrant, active and well-nourished.
— Presented by Sarah Sprogell
May 27, 2012