Balance sheet strategy
CEO NOTES | WORLD aims to be a faithful steward of the resources God gives us
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WORLD News Group’s status as a nonprofit organization means a lot of things—some technical, some legal. But it may surprise you to know that it does not prevent WORLD from making “profit.”
We always aim for some sort of surplus of revenues over expenses, and most years, we succeed. Sometimes, we don’t—and we spend more than we have taken in. That has happened a few times in the past 20 years, but it can’t happen often if we don’t want to run out of resources altogether.
Rarely, we have a large surplus at the end of the year. Although we don’t aim for that, it’s of course better than a large deficit. If we have large surpluses year after year, we worry that we’re not doing enough with the resources we’re stewarding. It’s one thing to have a healthy reserve to weather unexpected difficulties. It’s another thing to accumulate unnecessarily large reserves.
Discerning what constitutes “unnecessarily large” requires wisdom. For some nonprofits, huge financial needs may arise suddenly from the normal circumstances of their mission. I think of disaster-relief organizations, which do well to have reserves sufficient to respond when big needs arise.
We don’t expect to have that sort of sudden financial need, but honestly, we’ve never really had to wrestle with whether our reserves have been too large. They haven’t been.
Our goal, then, is to have modest surpluses every year, but to do absolutely as much as we can with the resources God has entrusted to us. That’s why I use this space so frequently to tell you about new projects and platforms: We want you to know that we’re not sitting on our hands—or on a big pile of money.
We regularly ask you to support our work precisely because we need your current support to do our current work. And at the end of a calendar year, or the end of a fiscal year, your giving helps us plan the work for the coming months.
We’ve just come through one of those seasons, and I’m thankful I’ll be able to share with you in coming weeks all of the work we’ll be able to do with the funding you provided.