In a rare move, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America has finally endeavored to provide an updated financial position of the GOA by publishing new documentation on their website. The new set of documents includes records through the end of the 3rd financial Quarter, which is through September 30, 2020. What makes this move even more unique is that they did not even pretend to offer a commentary position that everything is operating normally at the Archdiocese.
By taking just a few minutes to examine the updated GOA financial statements, what are we able to notice?
The numbers tell an interesting narrative. First, the documents confirm that the parishes are not giving through the parish assessment. At the end of the 3rd Quarter, the parishes collectively across the United States owed nearly $1.5 million dollars to the Archdiocese through their respective parish assessment. Compared to end of last year’s third quarter, where the parishes only owed $890,821 dollars, this is a 62% increase in parishes not being able to pay their assessment to the Archdiocese. However, the Archbishop wants the faithful to blindly trust the recent statements from Elaine Allen and Lou Kircos at the Virtual Clergy-Laity Assembly when they stated that 90% of the revenue from the parish assessments would be received by the end of 2020. That seems like an unrealistic expectation based on these new financial documents.
Second, as of September 30, 2020, the following departments/categories have already exceeded their 2020 GOA Budget (with three months remaining in the year):
Restructuring Costs (not budgeted for 2020): $266,521
Retired & Unassigned Bishops: over 2020 budget by $180,500
Ionian Village: over by $102,277
Communications: over by $86,379
Amortization on Loan Costs: (not budgeted for 2020): $32,624
Legal, Audit, Contract Services: over by $2,500
This equals to over $670,000 dollars used for expenses that were not budgeted for 2020.
Third, the revenue raised through ministries has obliviously taken a substantial hit this year. As we have all learned, the Church is not equipped or capable of providing any effective ministry to our communities in need during a global pandemic. Compared to 2019, revenue that the GOA would normally receive through ministries is down by 94% or nearly $2.2 million dollars.
Fourth, what areas and/or departments in the Archdiocese are spending more money compared to this point last year? How much more are they spending?
Community (i.e. Registry, Public Relations, Archives, Family Care, etc.): $651,279 (31% increase in spending)
General Administrative Expenses: $966,481 (16% increase in spending)
Orthodoxy in the World (i.e. Ecumenical Office): $151,187 (8% increase in spending)
Compared to the end of the 2019 3rd Quarter, these areas/departments have increased their spending by over $1.7 million dollars more during a global pandemic.
Finally, which departments have already exceeded their 9-month budgeted amount and/or very close to spending over their allotted 2020 budgeted amount?
Archbishop’s Office (over 9-month budget by $27,884) – $166,366 remaining
Chancellor’s Office (over 9-month budget by $57,901) – $28,349 remaining
Finance (over 9-month budget by $23,349) – $152,901 remaining
Greek Education (over 9-month budget by $12,870) – $33,380 remaining
We will note that there has been an effort to limit the expenditures in other departments throughout the GOA, but those efforts do not nearly come close to resolving the issue of being able to rehire the 11+ employees that the Archdiocese furloughed in August 2020.
But do not be content with our analysis. Take the time to examine the records for yourself. Be informed. Ask questions. Share this information with your local Parish Council Treasurer or accounting experts.