But Board of Trustees needs more training in fiduciary duty, adds Lucia Santini Field.
Financial Advisor Lucia Santini Field reports to the General Assembly. (© Christopher L. Walton)
The Unitarian Universalist Association’s financial position “remains healthy,” reported Lucia Santini Field, financial advisor to the UUA Board of Trustees, during her official report to delegates on Thursday, June 22, at General Assembly 2017 in New Orleans.
“While is it still too early to report on fiscal results for 2017, it appears that the association’s income statement and balance sheet remain in good shape,” she said.
However, both the board of trustees orientation and training program needs improvement with regard to fiduciary duty, she added. “This duty, broadly outlined as the duties of care and of loyalty, encompasses many key areas including stewardship and financial management,” she said. “There is broad agreement to review and revise the training to include clear emphasis on these important topics and I am committed to working with those responsible to enhance future training in this area.”
Santini Field also reported that despite significant challenges faced by the publishing industry, the performance of Beacon Press “has been impressive beyond rational expectation.” Publisher Helene Atwan will give a more detailed report about Beacon Press on Friday morning. In reference to the Annual Program Fund, through which congregations make financial contributions to the UUA, Santini Field thanked the Southern Region and the APF Task Force for piloting a formula based upon operating expenses rather than number of members. The new formula moves from one based on number of members in a congregation “to a more equitable and sustainable formula” based on a congregation’s operating expenses.
“This is a critical time for UU leadership and UU values in this country and around the world,” she said. “We must remain committed to each other and our values, and demonstrate that commitment in our words, our actions and with our resources, spiritual, physical, emotional and financial, despite our differences, challenges and disappointments.”
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Elaine McArdle is a UU World senior editor and a member of First Unitarian Church in Portland, Oregon. An award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience, she has also written for the Boston Globe, Harvard Law Bulletin, and others.
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