LWF reports sound financial situation
Year-end results for 2017 contribute to financial stability
(LWI) - The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) continues to report sound financial progress, recording a balanced budget and growth across the organization.
Total income in 2017 reached EUR 166.11m, which is an increase of EUR 14.74m – or 10 percent – on 2016, LWF finance committee chairperson Oberkirchenrat Olaf Johannes Mirgeler said in his report to the LWF Council this morning.
Over the past three years, LWF income grew by 43 percent or EUR 50m. This is largely due to an increase in the LWF’s global humanitarian and development work. In the face of growing humanitarian crises in the world, LWF has been able to step its response to those in need.
Contributions to the 2017 result were made from member churches and related organizations (35 percent of total income), the United Nations and government grants (29 percent) and the Augusta Victoria Hospital (29 percent). Other international organizations, ecumenical partners, non-project income and other income made up the remainder.
The LWF’s 2017 results contributed to the financial stability of the organization, Mirgeler said. The positive financial situation of the LWF is indicative of good stewardship of resources and enables the LWF to engage in new partnerships.
“We are committed to shaping excellence for future LWF finances with the vision to continue building on the progress made by the previous outstanding leadership of this committee and ensuring that LWF member churches are at the center. LWF’s key role is to express the LWF member churches’ call into communion as they live and work together for a just, peaceful and reconciled world,” he said.
Although 2017 had been a positive year for the LWF, it had been challenged by heavy exchange rate volatility risks and other financial uncertainties.
Membership fees, Twelfth Assembly, Endowment fund
The chairperson of the finance committee said the LWF was grateful for the consistent financial commitment from members, which enabled the communion to provide vital services for the smooth running of the LWF. He offered thanks for their contribution of EUR 2.92 million, an increase of EUR 363,000 against 2016.
Twelfth Assembly income was EUR 2.7m, with spending just under at EUR 2.6m. The balance will be carried over to the next Assembly. Mirgeler extended deep appreciation to member churches for the strong financial support for the Assembly and to the three Lutheran churches in Namibia for their generous financial contribution and local fundraising.
The LWF Endowment Fund was founded to ensure the long-term sustainability of the LWF. Funds, given by the member churches, are invested, and the earnings used to pay for essential running costs and priority programs. The value of the fund rose to CHF 16.5 million by the end of 2017. Successful investment last year has enabled a distribution of CHF 450,000 this year and a further CHF 530,000 anticipated for 2019.
The 2018 LWF Council meeting takes place in Geneva from 27 June - 2 July. The theme of the Council is “Freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8, NIV). The LWF Council meets yearly and is the highest authority of the LWF between assemblies. It consists of the President, the Chairperson of the Finance Committee, and 48 members from LWF member churches in seven regions.