Saturday, March 08, 2014

AFSC Governance

I'm blogging from the back row of the meeting hall, having been in a breakout session with the general secretary and other board and corporation members.  I learned from Shan that we had not actually fallen below quorum in these annual meetings.  That was a fear, not a reality.

Upon returning to the main worship room, I took the microphone to mention my experience earlier this year, of wanting to share a draft regional strategic plan to which I was privy as an Area Program Committee person, with other corporation members from North Pacific Yearly Meeting.  Although the co-clerk of the regional Executive Committee approved such sharing, the Regional Director overruled that decision, saying this draft was eyes-only to AFSC staff and Area Program Committee.  This seemed to me a breakdown of the feedback loop.

AFSC has made a come back since a financial meltdown in 2009.  We're much healthier, financially, today, in 2014.  About 20% of the budget is spent on administration.  Annual income hovers at around $30 million with $39% from planned gifts, 42% from charitable donations, 6% from endowment, 10% from grants.  Reserves (separate from the endowment, which is valued at almost $40 million) are up to almost $28 million, after going negative in 2011.  Reserves as a percent of budget are still not up to 1990s levels.

AFSC spends non-admin funds on staffed programs, internships and fellowships, and various strategic initiatives.

The idea of streamlining the corporation of to allow at most two, rather than at least two, Yearly-Meeting-appointed representatives, is still under discussion but with no plan for action this year.  I had expected that would be our main business, so was naturally surprised by the deferral.  I won't be here next year I don't think, as my term ends this year.

Carol, my mom, is also here.  She's an "at large" corporation member.  We've enjoyed having meals together and walking to and from the hotel.  She's on the sixth floor, me on the twelfth.