Higher income, balanced budget despite financial challenges

The LWF has kept a balanced budget and has adequate cash reserves, Finance Committee chairperson Christina Jackson-Skelton told the LWF Council. Photo: LWF/Marko Schoeneberg
The LWF has kept a balanced budget and has adequate cash reserves, Finance Committee chairperson Christina Jackson-Skelton told the LWF Council. Photo: LWF/Marko Schoeneberg

LWF Finance Committee Chairperson Jackson-Skelton Report to LWF Council

(LWI) - The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) has maintained a strong commitment to financial stability, a balanced budget and adequate cash reserves to ensure its ongoing operations, Finance Committee Chairperson Ms Christina Jackson-Skelton told the LWF Council today.

In her report on LWF’s 2015 financial results, Jackson-Skelton noted that despite significant financial pressure, the organization secured a total income of more than EUR 144 million, which was 36 percent higher than the projected budget of EUR 106 million and 24 percent more than the previous year.

She thanked the LWF member churches and funding partners for “highly valued support” and the Communion Office’s “decisive and proactive leadership” that helped to secure a strong performance despite unanticipated losses following the decision of the Swiss National Bank to remove a cap on the value of the Swiss Franc (CHF) against the Euro.

The higher income was mainly due to an increase in LWF’s global humanitarian and development program work. Contributions came from the member churches and church-related agencies, the United Nations, European Union, the United States government funding sources and other partners, as well as individual donors.

Jackson-Skelton said the year was marked by further improvements to LWF’s stated objective of growing in a sustainable manner that creates long-term value through balancing the budget, improving financial systems, maintaining a healthy cash flow and mobilizing resources. The growth in 2015 represents a substantial increase of 71 percent or EUR 60 million over the past four years.

LWF’s expenditure for 2015 was EUR 137.14 million, which was allocated to its programmatic work as follows: 90% for the Department for World Service; 6%, Department for Mission and Development; 2% for the Department for Theology and Public Witness and the General Secretariat and the Department for Planning and Operations also spent 2%.

Membership fees play a large part in ensuring LWF’s financial viability and sustainability, the finance chairperson said. She thanked churches for their contribution of EUR 2.4 million in 2015, which represented a steady increase over the EUR 2.3 million contributed in 2014.

The organization’s reserves also grew to EUR 34 million, compared to EUR 26 million the previous year. 

The LWF Endowment Fund received an additional CHF 680,500 from 21 churches, pushing the total amount to CHF 14.9 million by the end of 2015. The short-term goal of the fund set up in 1999 is to reach CHF 20 million by 2017 and a long-term goal of CHF 50 million.

The member churches have made significant progress in their contributions towards the Twelfth Assembly budget of EUR 2.99 million. The LWF has received indications of funding of EUR 2.75 million, 92 percent of the budget.

The full Report of the Chairperson for the Finance Committee provides a breakdown of LWF’s global income and expenditure; including the Geneva Communion Office Coordination budget by departments.  

About the LWF Council 2016

LWF News

15 June 2016
WITTENBERG, Germany/GENEVA