Board Treasurer Report  /  Summary of 2020 Financials

March 2021

On behalf of the Common Ground Finance Committee and the Board of Directors, I am happy to report that Common Ground Meditation Center continues to benefit from the community’s consistent generosity.

The overall financial goal of Common Ground is to support our mindfulness practice in a healthy and frugal manner.  Despite the challenges we all faced in 2020, the financial health of the center continues to be very good.  During the 2020 fiscal year, donations (dana) received from the community were $342,867, a decrease of $2,247.  Dana received from other communities for our leaders teaching outside the center decreased from $63,838 to $12,312.  In addition, we received 2020 dana of $27,850 for the renovation and operation of Common Ground Retreat at Prairie Farm.  Total Common Ground 2020 operating expenses were $223,232 versus a budget plan of $276,746.  Net operating income for 2020 was $166,658.  We continue to operate both our city center and the retreat property completely mortgage free.

A Common Ground financial operating principle is to reserve cash on hand at least equal to the annual expense budget for both centers ($291,246 in 2020).  Our 2020 yearend cash on hand is $695,394.  The yearend cash includes $72,978 earmarked for future projects at the retreat property.

In the spirit of freely giving to support our practice (the principle of dana), in 2020 the community offered our Guiding Teacher and Executive Director, Mark Nunberg, a total of $89,298, which includes dana for teaching, administrative work, professional development and benefits.  At year end, the board offered an additional dana gift of $35,000, which Mark and Wynn chose to donate to support the center’s retreat property.

The 2021 budget for dana donations to be received is set at the level of the 2020 actual dana received. Teacher support, compensation and benefits is the largest component in the 2021 budget, and we estimate that we will spend $241,000 in 2021 to support our administrative staff and our many ongoing and visiting teachers.  Shelly Graf, Associate Director works 20 hours a week, Gabe Keller-Flores, Office Manager 20 hours and Gail Iverson, Bookkeeping Manager 8 hours. 

Common Ground volunteers and contractors are nearing final completion of the renovation of the Common Ground Retreat at Prairie Farm. The project cost estimate through this completion is $508,000.  The Board has approved a retreat property operating budget of $15,000 for 2021, the initial year of the expanded retreat center. 

I deeply appreciate my colleagues on the finance committee, Gail Iverson, Mark Nunberg and Doug Swanson – their guidance on financial management is invaluable.  Thank you to our volunteers – Doug Swanson, Andrew Kline, and Evelyn Kaiser, who put in many hours each month to ensure all the dana received is counted and correctly entered into our accounting system.

Please let us know if you have questions about this financial review. 

With gratitude,

Dave Halsey, Treasurer

Common Ground Meditation Center

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