With great heaviness of heart, we write to inform you that VOTF is at the crossroads of financial survival and we need your immediate help in order to keep it going.
During the past two years, the Board of Trustees approved substantial reductions in VOTF's operating budget as decreases in revenue reflected the emerging and now full economic downturn in our country. Between FY 08 and 09, the Board approved a budget reduction of over 30%. As the economy and our revenue stream worsened appreciably, in April 2009, the Board reduced the FY 09 budget by another 35% (nearly $235,000 more). To accomplish this huge drop, the Board made painful cuts in staff salaries and contractor support; relocated the office to a smaller facility at about half the monthly rental costs; and curtailed costly mailings intended to raise revenue. Throughout this period, staff, contractors and volunteers demonstrated remarkable resolve in doing even more with less.
At the same time, the Board continued an aggressive outreach to members, friends, and donors to raise more revenue, as you are no doubt painfully aware from a variety of appeals and fund-raisers communicated in emails and editions of In The Vineyard.
Cash reserves allowed VOTF to continue operations but only by a very thin margin. The Board's plan was to generate a substantial infusion of revenue when the Officers rolled out a comprehensive Strategic Plan in early August. Based on the enthusiastic response from dozens of VOTF members who have been bringing the Strategic Plan to life for several months, we expected that it would result in a revitalization of members' energy at regional and local levels, and with it, a level of necessary revenue as members and donors recognized the opportunity for a renewed voice and influence in achieving VOTF's mission and goals. Previews of the Strategic Plan have been included in several recent editions of In The Vineyard.
Unfortunately, our financial condition has deteriorated before the rollout the Strategic Plan. As of early July, VOTF's reserves have all but been depleted, and it faces the prospects of not being able to pay for recurring costs during July and beyond. After meeting in an emergency session on July 9, the Board foresaw two realistic options: (1) declare that VOTF could not continue to operate and begin to wind it down, or (2) appeal to members to fund operations in the short term and seek sustained funding based on an anticipated enthusiastic response to the Strategic Plan. If the latter is successful, the Board will develop a downsizing plan commensurate with sustained funding expectations, supplemented where feasible with additional volunteer help. . .
They have to shelve the 2009 annual priest of integrity award to Fr. Cutie and close up shop. Boston Chancery employees are despondent. First Michael Jackson and now this.