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Budget Highlights from 2020/2024 General Conference


On Friday, May 3, 2024 at General Conference, the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) presented the 2025 – 2028 revised budget for funding of the general Church, which was accepted by a 95% majority of delegates voting. GCFA is grateful to the local churches and annual conferences who faithfully pay their apportionments and make this budget possible.

 

Apportionments are paid in the jurisdictions according to a formula, which is local church net expenditures multiplied by a base percentage rate, which results is the apportioned amount. The base percentage rate, also called the base rate, was 3.29% in the last budget passed by General Conference. This year, General Conference voted on a reduced base rate of 2.6% and, if collection rates are 90% or above for the years 2025 and 2026, the base rate will rise to 2.9 percent, effectively acting as a conditional base rate. Combined with apportionments from central conference giving, the 2.9 percent conditional base rate budget will garner a total of $373.4 million dollars and a 2.6 percent base rate would be $353.5 million dollars in total apportionments.

 

Those dollars are then allocated to our seven apportioned funds, which include Africa University, the Black College Fund, the Interdenominational Cooperation Fund, the General Administration Fund, the Ministerial Education Fund, and the World Service Fund.

 

Our first apportioned fund alphabetically is Africa University. Africa University is one of the great success stories of The United Methodist Church. Under the 2.9 percent conditional base rate the proposed budget for Africa University is $5.1 million dollars and under the 2.6 percent base rate the budget would be $4.9 million dollars.

 

The next apportioned fund is The Black College Fund. The Black College Fund supports the eleven historically Black colleges in the United States. The proposed budget for this fund under the 2.9 percent conditional base rate is $23.1 million dollars and the proposed Black College Fund base rate under the 2.6 percent rate is $21.9 million dollars. Through your support, together Africa University continues to change lives and develop excellent leaders. 

 

The Episcopal Fund, another of our apportioned funds, provides for the salary, expenses and support of United Methodist episcopal leadership, as well as some ecumenical ministries. Combined with giving from the Central Conferences, under the 2.9 percent conditional base rate the allocation for the fund is $87.4 million dollars and the proposed Episcopal Fund budget under a 2.6 percent base rate is $82.8 million dollars. 

 

The General Administration Fund finances general Church activities that are specifically administrative in nature, as opposed to those activities which are programmatic, missional, or ecumenical. The General Administration Fund for the quadrennium using the conditional 2.9 percent base rate is $29.9 million dollars when combined with central conference apportionments. Under the 2.6 percent base rate the General Administration fund is proposed at $28.3 million dollars when combined with central conference giving.

 

The Interdenominational Cooperation Fund allows The United Methodist Church to partner with Christian sisters and brothers throughout the world to fulfill a shared ecumenical mission.  Our relationships with ecumenical partners are supported through this Fund. General Conference voted to unrestrict previously designated dollars in the fund, as it had a high level of reserves and a capacity to continue doing its ministry. Under the 2.9 percent conditional base rate, the Interdenominational Cooperation Fund is proposed for funding of $2.4 million dollars and under a 2.6 percent base rate funding would be $2.3 million dollars.

 

Another apportioned fund is the Ministerial Education Fund. During the life of the Ministerial Education Fund, we have faithfully given more than $900 million to support the work of clergy leadership in our Church. Twenty-five percent of this fund is retained by the annual conferences.  The Ministerial Education Fund proposed budget under the 2.9 percent conditional base rate is $57.9 million dollars and the Ministerial Education Fund proposed budget under the 2.6 percent rate is $54.8 million dollars.

 

The World Service Fund is the heart of our collective Church ministry.  It funds the work of the Church reaching out into the world.  The World Service Fund provides financial support for the worldwide ministries of our denomination through the ministries of our general Church. The proposed World Service Budget under the 2.9 percent conditional base rate is $167.5 million dollars and the World Service Budget under the 2.6 percent base rate would be $158.5 million dollars.

 

These seven apportioned funds make up the total general Church budget, and GCFA is thankful to the delegates for their thoughtful consideration during General Conference relating to the budget. Together, we know that our budget isn’t about funding and dollars and cents; rather, the financial support received by The United Methodist Church means spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ and focusing on ministry and mission to people and places where it is needed.

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