Financial Update 2020-21
With a new year beginning, and our congregation year -- which started on July 1, 2020 -- half over, I wanted to update everyone on CUUC’s financial outlook.
Overall, so far so good:
  1. CUUC has been very disciplined about expenses, which are lower than the same period last year.
  2. Our income has taken a hit, both from lower Pledge income and from losing one regular renter (Westchester Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy [WCSPP]). Income through December is $70,000 lower than last year.
  3. When we passed the 2020-2021 budget, we assumed we would need to withdraw $70,000 from our endowment. If current trends continue, however, we may be able to withdraw slightly less.

Here is how we are saving approximately $45,000-$50,000:
  1. Custodial expenses are significantly less because our building remains closed except for the Montessori Garden School. The expected savings are $20,000-$24,000.
  2. Our bookkeeper is working fewer hours because there is less activity to record, resulting in savings of $5,000.
  3. Con Edison utility expenses are down because only part of the building needs to be fully heated. For the year we expect to save $10,000.
  4. Other smaller expenses are expected to save us $10,000-$14,000.

The income side is trickier. Pledge income is down because some have lost their jobs or are feeling a high level of financial uncertainty. After sending out a general Pledge reminder in December, we now have total Pledges of $310,000. We had budgeted $360,000, however, and this number was already $35,000 less than the year before. If you have not sent your Pledge number to the treasurer yet, please do so now (

If anyone is in financial need, we have funds available to assist you. Please contact Rev. Meredith Garmon ( to learn more.

We are also losing income because (1) we are receiving no incidental rental income (a loss of about $10,000), and (2) we had significantly lower Auction income, which we already anticipated when we set the budget in May/June.

There are some positive developments that have insulated the negative financial impact due to Covid-19:
  1. The endowment, which had lost almost $120,000 in value in March 2020, recouped those losses after the market recovered. The recommended level for the endowment is 2x our expenses for the year; we are slightly below that level. If we have to draw the full budgeted $70,000 in June (though we expect to need less), the endowment will be reduced by that amount.
  2. CUUC was able to apply for a Paycheck Protection Program loan, and received about $65,000, of which we expect about $60,000 to be forgiven. The condition for the loan is that CUUC retain its staff, which has not been an issue: everyone has kept their job, despite the financial stress at CUUC.

In summary, CUUC is doing ok, but we need anyone who hasn’t already done so to confirm the amount of their annual Pledge by emailing the treasurer ( The Pledge payments themselves may be made later. The Pledge drive for next year (Jul 1 2021–Jun 30 2022) is expected to start in April, so it is important that we wrap up the old 2020–2021 Pledge drive quickly.

In March, I will update everyone again about where we stand. To everyone who has already confirmed their Pledge amount, a big thank you!

If you have additional questions about CUUC finances, I invite you to attend one of the three online information sessions I am offering next week. Choose the date and time that work best for you.

Information Sessions with the Treasurer
Mon Jan 18, 7:00pm * Wed Jan 20, 8:00pm * Fri Jan 22, 7:30pm
or phone (audio only): 929-436-2866 · Meeting: 336 956 2210 · Passcode: 468468

Chris Kortlandt, Treasurer