This page gives some information about how the temple is doing financially. It currently shows the financial position as of the end of May 2017.
First of all, there is a summary of the costs the temple has to cover each month in order to be able to keep going.
The temple's current financial position is then presented visually in different ways:
- Net Core Income
This is a graph of "income minus expenditure" and shows whether the temple is covering its costs month by month.
For an explanation of what is meant by "core" income and expenditure, see below.
- Comparison of Core Income and Core Expenditure
These are plotted separately on the same graph in order to show what has caused the changes in the net income graph.
- Core Income
This is just the income part of the above, and looking at this in detail is a good way to assess the ongoing health of the temple's finances.
- Net Total Income
This includes all income and expenditure, and shows the amount that the temple would have each month for other purposes, such as making mortgage repayments.
- Net Worth
This is the value of the resources that the temple owns. It goes up or down each month depending on whether there is an overall income or loss during that month.
Following this are the numbers, for each of the last twelve months, that the graphs are based on:
- the Income and Expenditure and the Balance Sheet
- the Core Income and Core Expenditure
What does it take to keep the temple going?
It costs about £850 per month to cover the basic bills, shown in the diagram (tapclick to enlarge).
At the moment we are receiving about £790 per month in regular donations by standing order.
This means that we would need an additional £60 per month from donations in the alms bowl to cover our costs.
Any help with covering these costs is greatly appreciated, either from donations in the alms bowl or from regular donations made by standing order. All donations are received with gratitude, and any surplus will help us in our goal to purchase a property to give a long-term home for the temple. Thank you for your support.
Net Core Income
Recent income and expenditure
The Net Core Income for recent months can be seen on the following graph, which shows "net income", which is "income minus expenditure", for each month since April 2015 (tapclick to enlarge):
Net core income for April and May has continued at a healthy level, with May being the largest we have had so far. This has been helped by lower fuel bills in the warm weather, but is mainly due to an increase in standing orders over recent months (see below).
The "trend lines" show the running average over the previous 6 and 12 months, and help show the overall movement within the large month-to-month fluctuations.
For an explanation of what is meant by "core" income and expenditure, see below.
NB The figures for income and expenditure are for cash income and expenditure, and don't include donations of food or other items.
Comparison of Core Income and Core Expenditure
Some of the temple's core expenses, particularly heating costs, vary quite considerably from month to month. Because of this it is not possible to tell from the previous graph whether, for example, a reduction in net income is due to a reduction in income or an increase in expenditure. To find this out we can plot Core Income and Core Expenditure separately on the same graph, as is done below (tapclick the graph to enlarge it).
You can see that Core Expenditure (the red line) varies seasonally; higher in winter and lower in summer, whereas Core Income (the green line) is much more variable. The two lines come very close in January and July last year, and crossed in November for the first time since March 2015. This graph really highlights the great variability that there is in the temple's income, as well as how narrow the margin can be in some months.
It is also helpful to look specifically at the Core Income, which is made up of standing orders and guest donations. This is shown in the following graph, which includes Core Income for each month since April 2015. The blue bars show regular income from standing order donations, the red bars represent donations placed in the temple alms bowl (guest donations), and the yellow bars are the sum of these two (tapclick the graph to enlarge it).
Several new standing orders have started in April and May, which has significantly increased the total for those months. Guest donations were at a medium level in both months, but the higher level of standing orders meant that the total core income for May was the highest we have had since the temple opened.
Thank you to all those who are so generously supporting the temple, through your standing orders, donations in the alms bowl, food donations and other donations in kind, in addition to the support of your practice.
Net Total Income
In addition to looking at the Net Core Income, it is also important to look at the Net Total Income, which includes all income and expenditure. Any surplus on this is the amount which would be available to put towards mortgage repayments, for example (in addition to our current rent payments of £625 per month). The following graph shows the overall net income for each month since April 2015 (tapclick to enlarge):
Again, the "trend lines" show the running average over the previous 6 and 12 months, and help show the overall movement within the large month-to-month fluctuations.
The graph shows that over the last six months there has been an overall net income of nearly £300 per month, which means that we would currently be able to make mortgage repayments of about £925 per month, if other costs remained the same.
NB These figures include the value of food or other items donated as "Gifts in Kind".
Net Worth: The Temple's financial resources
Another way of looking at the temple's financial position is to look at its net financial resources, which are termed its Net Worth. Net Worth is equal to the temple's assets (the value of everything that it owns) minus its liabilities (what it owes to others). At the moment the temple has no significant liabilities, and its assets mainly consist of funds in our bank account.
The value of these resources is shown in the following graph (tapclick to enlarge). Each bar represents the position at the end of a month. When there is an overall net income in a month the bar goes up, compared with the previous month, and when we have a deficit it goes down.
The red bars show the actual position in past months, and the yellow bars show a projection for future months. Some of the numbers that are used for these projections are fairly certain, as we know what a lot of our bills will be in the coming months, and standing orders give some stability to our income. Other income and expenditure is more variable, and an estimate is used for these (more details below).
In both April and May the total net income (including general donations and donations from school visits, for example) was over £300 for the month. As a result, the Net Worth graph continues to rise quite sharply in these months.
As the temple's resources grow this gives us a buffer to help weather any unforeseen expenses; it also helps us accumulate a deposit towards purchasing a property to give the temple a long-term home.
At the moment the temple's net worth is forecast to rise steadily over the coming months (based on conservative estimates for donations and generous estimates for heating bills). The forecasts become less reliable the further into the future we try to project.
The numbers that the graphs are based on
Overall Income and Expenditure and Balance Sheet
(tapclick to enlarge)
Core Income and Expenditure
(tapclick to enlarge)
How the figures are calculated
Accruing expenditure on a monthly basis
The main reason for comparing income and expenditure month by month is to see whether the temple is covering its essential outgoings from the donations it receives. In order to do this we need to know what the income and expenditure are in each month. However, many of the temple's bills arrive at longer intervals than this - for example gas and electricity are invoiced quarterly and water twice a year. If these are only included in the month-to-month comparison when they are paid, then there will be some months with very high expenditure and others with very low expenditure, so that it won't be possible to see the underlying picture.
In order to compare months properly, we need to include in each month's expenditure the portion of those bills that relate to that month. This is called accruing the charges to each month. It can be done for gas, electricity and water by reading the meters at the beginning of each month, and calculating the usage charge and standing charge for the previous month using the rates that the utility companies charge. For other expenses such as insurance and council tax, the monthly amount is simply the yearly total divided by twelve.
Core Income and Expenditure
Even when we accrue expenditure to each month, there can still be significant differences between months. This is because in some months there are additional costs; for example buying items of equipment for the temple such as a cordless phone or a water heater, or hiring a van. These are one-off costs, and if they are included in the comparisons it will be very hard to see whether the temple is covering its basic ongoing costs. Similarly, the temple has received some very kind one-off donations, and including these in comparisons will also obscure the underlying picture. So to make the comparison easier it is helpful to consider each item of income or expenditure to be either "core" income and expenditure or "additional" income and expenditure.
"Core" Income and "Additional" Income
Core income includes regular donations by standing order, and donations placed in the temple alms bowl (guest donations). Any other income is considered to be "additional" income, including large one-off donations, donations received in the post, and single online donations. It should be emphasised that these categories are simply to help the month-to-month comparisons give us useful information; all donations are very much appreciated, in whatever form they are received, and all help to support and sustain the temple and the resident monk.
"Core" Expenditure and "Additional" Expenditure
Core expenditure includes rent, council tax and insurance, as well as utilies - gas, electricity, water, phone and internet. It also includes food, household and other similar expenditure which is essential to the running of the temple. Additional expenditure is anything other than these, and can be regarded as "discretionary" in the sense that we will buy it if we can afford it, but if we can't, the temple can still function without it. Additional expenditure includes purchasing items that would upgrade or improve the facilities that we can offer.
Gifts in KindThe graphs of core income and expenditure that are presented are for cash income and expenditure only, and don't include donations of food or other items. "Gifts in Kind" are actually an important aspect of the support which the temple receives; food donations are often more than £100 worth per month, and donations of household items (such as cleaning products, toilet paper and soap) and items of equipment are also gratefully received. These donations are not included in the core income graphs, as it is the cash incomings and outgoings that we are focussing on there. However, they are included in the Overall Income and Expenditure and Balance Sheet numbers. Although they are included in the Net Total Income and Net Worth graphs, Gifts in Kind are accounted for as both an income and an expenditure (because, for example, food is donated, and then eaten), and so the values in these graphs are unchanged by their inclusion.
- income is from standing orders and guest donations
- expenditure is the minimum necessary to run the temple
- income is any income other than from standing orders and guest donations
- expenditure is "discretionary" items
Estimates used in the Net Worth graph
The temple's financial resources increase or decrease each month according to the total income and expenditure, which includes both core and additional. This is shown by the red bars in the Net Worth graph, which includes all income and expenditure during each month. This is the same value as shown on the Balance Sheet at the end of each month.
To give an idea of how the temple's resources are likely to change over coming months, the Net Worth graph also includes projections for future months (the yellow bars). The values that are used for the projections are as follows:
- Standing Orders: the value for the current month is used
- Guest donations: an average of guest donations for the same month of previous years (since April 2015) is used
- Other "additional" income is assumed to be zero
- Rent, council tax, insurance, phone and internet are known in advance: the actual figures are used
- Gas, electricity and water are estimated based on past usage, which varies seasonally
- Food, household etc.: an average of the previous six months is used
- Additional expenditure: an average of the previous six months is used