May 5, 2003

Rankin: IMB facing $10 million budget shortfall this year
___By Greg Warner
___Associated Baptist Press
___RICHMOND, Va. (ABP)--The International Mission Board faces a $10 million budget shortfall this year and is looking for ways to cut expenses.
___The shortfall, confirmed by IMB President Jerry Rankin in a memo to staff, would represent less than 3 percent of the agency's basic budget of $269 million.
___In January, IMB officials blamed a drop in investment income and slower growth in contributions for tighter finances.
___Rankin's April 22 memo called the staff to a special forum to be held the next day "to discuss the implications of our budget shortfall this year." The discussion was cancelled after news of the meeting leaked to the local newspaper, the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
___"The trustees have asked us to present options for making up $10 million of our anticipated budget deficit," Rankin said in the memo. "Administrative leadership has been working for several weeks to identify ways to do this without being deterred from accomplishing the strategic objectives of the organization."
___Wendy Norvelle, IMB spokesperson, declined to answer questions about the shortfall. "We have some projections coming in," she told the Times-Dispatch. "We are looking at the projections. They are based on thinking rather than fact. It is premature to speak to them at this point."
___The IMB trustees, who meet May 6-8 in Framingham, Mass., are expected to address the shortfall. However, no final action is expected until the end of May, when the agency closes the books on the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, its primary source of funding.
___At the trustees' January meeting, the IMB said record missionary appointments and slower resignation rates have caused the agency to spend more than planned for missionary support. The IMB supports about 5,500 missionaries at various levels.
___Additionally, the IMB has spent $50 million from operating reserves during the past two years to make up for reduced investment income.

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