Stewardship is at the core of our parish identity, as we acknowledge that all we have is a gift from God and that we bear responsibility for faithful giving and prudent asset management for the spread of God’s Kingdom. Reflecting our location in the heart of Greenwich, CT, Christ Church Greenwich has historically benefited from a deep pool of financial services professionals and other financially savvy parishioners who generously volunteer their time and talent for the good stewardship of our resources. These assets include the historic buildings of our campus, most notably the 1861 Calvert Vaux Tomes-Higgins House and the 1910 church buildings, the extensive campus grounds, and the parish’s endowment.
In 2017, Christ Church Greenwich achieved a balanced budget for the seventh consecutive year. Total income, including Parishioner Income, Fee Income, and the planned 5% draw on our Endowment, totaled $2.5 million. Expenses totaled $2.4 million. Key expense items for 2017 included $1.3 million for Wages and Benefits, $500,000 for Property, $200,000 for Outreach, $200,000 for Programs, and $200,000 for Administration. The financial statements of Christ Church Greenwich are prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and audited by the Michael A. Duca Company. For further information on our financial life, please refer to our 2017 Annual Report.
Stewardship and the Annual Appeal at CCG
Our 2017 Annual Appeal raised $1.3 million from 429 pledges, with an average pledge of $2,975 from our very generous parishioners. Each fall, our Annual Appeal program incorporates meditations on stewardship from parishioners over a series of services, with launch of the appeal on Celebration Sunday. In contributing to the Annual Appeal, parishioners are offered a wide variety of pledging and payment options, including online giving, Securities Transfer, and IRA, and are invited to supplement their contributions with any corporate matching gifts that might be offered through their employers.
Our Recent Capital Campaign
Christ Church Greenwich recently completed a capital campaign, which successfully met its goal of raising $10 million in pledges in current and planned gifts. The corresponding plan of extensive church renovations and campus improvements was completed on time and on budget in 2015. The major projects which were completed included: a complete restoration of the interior and exterior of the main Church building, renovation of various building exteriors, replacement of several windows including the restoration of two stained glass windows in the main church, the addition of an elevator, and many significant improvements to building grounds and drainage systems, while adding $350,000 to a new Organ Fund.
Christ Church Greenwich is blessed with a generous endowment and a coterie of experienced investment professionals and other interested parties that comprise the Commission which oversees it. The Endowment, which had a gross value of $11.1 million as of the end of 2017, is managed by an Investment Committee consisting of parishioners reporting to the Endowment Commission, with the oversight of outside advisor Fiduciary Trust providing a third-party imprimatur. The Endowment is conservatively invested in funds and ETFs designed to provide income, capital appreciation, and preservation. Particularly important considering that there is an annual drawdown of just under 5% in the budget, the Endowment has consistently beaten its benchmarks since its inception in its current form 35 years ago. Details of recent endowment portfolio construction and returns can be found in the 2017 Annual report.
Christ Church Greenwich has a planned giving program, the Arbor Society, which exists to encourage parishioners to honor their spiritual values as they consider stewardship with estate and end-of-life plans. Parishioners are encouraged to help CCG plan for its own future needs by including the church in their wills, or by making it the beneficiary of life insurance, IRAs, annuities, or other financial or investment vehicles. The Arbor Society is pleased to work with parishioners and their financial advisors to create effective giving strategies. There are currently nearly 100 known members of the Arbor Society.
The Horseneck Foundation, Inc., an independent 501(c)(3) organization, solicits support and funding beyond the parishioners (including corporate matching gifts) for projects to repair, restore, renovate or maintain the historic buildings on the Christ Church Greenwich campus as well as providing support to other historically significant properties in the town. Funds contributed to the Horseneck Foundation expressly exclude the religious activities of the church and its congregation but provide an opportunity for support from people and organizations that share an interest in restoring and maintaining local architectural heritage.