I found out a little bit more about the KFUO budget situation. Recently we discussed how odd it is that the 2008/2009 budget for KFUO would increase over the previous year. Remember that BCS Executive Director David Strand claimed that he fired Todd and Jeff and canceled the Synod’s only nationally syndicated broadcast program for some bizarre concoction of financial and programmatic reasons.
The primary causes for the budget increase are, apparently, an increase in costs charged by the LCMS Foundation for fundraising and an increase in overhead costs (G&A) charged by Synod, Inc.
It’s pretty awesome that the Foundation could do such a horrific job with fundraising and still get so much money to do it. But whatever. Let me explain the overhead charge. Basically, the Synod controls the back office and assumes that each department has the same needs for phones, copiers, human resources, etc. So they charge each department a set amount for each employee they have. Somehow, the fundraising and G&A for KFUO increased by over $200,000 for this year.
It’s important to understand how shrinking support from districts plays into this situation. The unrestricted assets (aka “surplus”) of Synod has gone from $7 or $8 million in the early 2000s to nothing today. And congregations tend to target their giving to missions, human care, seminiaries, etc. Back office support is not what people usually earmark their donations for.
Particularly when people outside Synod, Inc. are paid very low wages and people within Synodical headquarters are paid absolutely insane salaries.
Probably the best thing that could be done to increase the funding of Synod, Inc. by congregations and districts would be to align the salaries of the elected officials and bureaucrats at Synod, Inc. with the local district pay scale. It is nothing short of a scandal that there are salaries of $140K and up at Synod, Inc. David Strand, for instance, makes a six-figure salary that most of us would envy.
About the kitchen remodel at KFUO. Supposedly this is being done with grant money. It’s an interesting investment for this particular time — not only because of the, uh, programmatic hemmoraghing but also because many people would like to sell the (Classical) FM license.