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MCCs in Canada prepare for budget shortfall, cutbacks

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WINNIPEG

Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) is behind budget for the first 9 months of the 2008–2009 fiscal year ending Aug. 31, 2009.

“Two months ago there were hopeful signs that cash donations to MCC were increasing but our current financial reports indicate a budget shortfall that could be as high as $1.5 million,” said MCC Canada executive director Don Peters.

When MCC Canada and the 5 provincial offices planned their budgets in early 2008, staff optimistically predicted giving would continue to grow, and thus budgeted for an overall increase of 10 per cent.

Donations in the Prairie Provinces are steady and close to budget, but donations in the West Coast and Eastern Canada reflect the downturn in the Canadian economy and are well below budget.

Although overall cash donations have declined from last year, revenue from thrift shops, relief sales, and non-cash revenues from contributions to material aid resources (relief kits, blankets) has increased.

Working collectively, MCCs in Canada are addressing this budget shortfall through “sharing the pain” of reducing administrative and local programming costs by 5.5 percent for the remainder of the fiscal year, spending down reserve funds, and increasing efforts to raise funds, said Peters, making it possible to meet financial commitments for international programs.

Budgets for 2009–2010 have been finalized, with further reductions of 6.4 percent for administrative and local programming costs approved. There could also be reductions in the amount allocated for international programs in 2009–2010.

—Gladys Terichow, MCC
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