In 2014 God provided the World Mission Prayer League with more than $2.6 million in regular day-to-day donations – mostly through donors like you. It was the highest operating income we have ever had. More than 1,300 individuals contributed nearly $1.2 million, while 185 congregations contributed nearly $1 million more. Other contributions came from Bible study and fellowship groups, the Thrivent Choice® program, and donor-advised investment funds. In addition to regular contributions such as these, nearly $900,000 was contributed to our Estate Fund as the final testimony of 20 faithful supporters who have recently passed away. All together, God has blessed the Prayer League with $3,658,603 in income for the year.
So how was that money used? As is the case every year, more than half was used directly on missionary support (which includes both allowance payments and benefit expenses). Allowance payments went up slightly in 2014, due in part to an increase of approximately two percent in target allowances and in part due to increasing family size. Even so we were able to pay 100 percent of target allowances for the entire year.
Missionary benefit expenses were just about the same as the previous year. About 80 percent of our missionary benefits costs are health related – which means that as go health insurance costs, so go our benefits expenses. Overseas health insurance costs increased by 12%, which amounted to $50,000 over the course of the year. This was offset by a 13% decrease in U.S. health insurance premiums, the result of a change in carrier.
Designated support fund donations are the primary source for missionary allowances and benefits. When these don’t meet our target goals, the General Fund may be used to supplement missionary allowances while our Estate Fund, if available, may supplement benefits expenses. Last year 51 percent of all support needs were met by designated support fund gifts. Thankfully, we had enough in the General Fund and Estate Fund to cover the remaining 49 percent.
Office and Property expenses increased in 2014 due to an unexpected repair begun on a major retaining wall at our Minneapolis office location. This issue is not yet resolved and will mean additional expenses in 2015. Please pray with us for a reasonable resolution. Another significant administrative expense was the result of a non-recurring increase in our audit fees.
Last year we were able to have more representation at mission and church conferences around the country. We believe that these are great opportunities to let others know of the opportunities available to pray and serve in missions. This higher level of participation was the largest factor in the 20 percent increase in expenses related to information and publicity.
A detailed Statement of Revenue and Expense for 2014 can be found at wmpl.org/financial-report. The report remains unaudited at this point. Audited Financial Statements are typically ready by the end of September, and are available upon request. It is a pleasure to pray and work and serve with you in the task of world mission. Thank you for your partnership and ongoing support!