Finance chairperson thanks LWF’s churches and partners for “faithful support”

Members of the LWF Council follow the finance report during the 2018 meeting in Geneva. Photo: LWF/Albin Hillert
Members of the LWF Council follow the finance report during the 2018 meeting in Geneva. Photo: LWF/Albin Hillert

LWF Council receives 2020 financial results  

(LWI) – Generous contributions, “faithful support” of member churches and funding partners of The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and close cooperation between the governing bodies, ensured financial stability “during an ongoing crisis.” 

LWF Finance Committee chairperson Oberkirchenrat Olaf Johannes Mirgeler made these remarks when he presented the 2020 financial results to this year’s Council meeting, taking place online. The consistent financial commitment enabled the Communion Office to provide vital services and respond quickly and efficiently to current challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.

“In these difficult times, LWF has succeeded in ensuring the economic and financial stability at all times,” he emphasized.

In these difficult times, LWF has succeeded in ensuring the economic and financial stability at all times.
LWF Finance Committee chairperson Oberkirchenrat Olaf Johannes Mirgeler

In 2020, the LWF spent EUR 139 million to implement its programs and projects around the world. The overall annual expenditure declined—from EUR 152 million in 2019—mostly because of the pandemic’s restrictions.

The COVID-19 pandemic measures slowed down implementation of approved and funded program and project activities throughout the year, which negatively affected the financial performance against the approved budget.  

In his report, the finance chairperson presented the measures applied to ensure the LWF functioned successfully during the pandemic. Proactive response, good relations and communication with donors, and investments  yielded possibilities to carry forward delayed activities and funds to 2021, he said.

In 2020, LWF’s consolidated income was EUR 143 million. The primary income sources are the churches’ membership fees, distribution from the LWF Endowment Fund and program support by church-related agencies. Major funds also come from the United Nations, European Union and United States governments, ecumenical partners, and individuals. In addition, the Communion Office received CHF 409,354.40 from the Canton of Geneva as support for reduced working hours because of COVID-19.

Mirgeler’s report also referred to the growth of LWF’s reserves as “a very positive development that contributes to financial stability and sustainability, allowing LWF’s operations “to continue through crisis and difficulties.”  

The LWF Endowment Fund, a separate legal entity established in 1999 to secure LWF’s financial stability, had a total asset of CHF 15 million by the end of the year. In 2020, the fund distributed CHF 892,562 to LWF programs.  

By LWF/P. Mumia 

 

Report of the Chairperson of LWF Finance Committee