Changes to the 2025-2027 UTO Budget
By Sherri Dietrich, UTO Board President
Over the past few months, the UTO Board has been wrestling with our triennial budget and how best to meet the needs of our members while also being good stewards of the resources bestowed upon our organization through the foresight of past UTO leaders. One of the realities of Isabelle’s departure from UTO is that we could live within the offset of our trust funds (the Wright Trust, the Bell Trust, and the Memorial Trust Fund) again this year even though we also had one in-person committee meeting and sent UTO Board members to represent UTO at events over the summer.
As we reflected on the changing landscape of the work UTO does, we felt called to move toward no longer taking any funding from the General Convention budget, the wisdom of which was confirmed when we were invited by the Budget Committee of The Episcopal Church to consider if we could change our budget to work without the $80,000 a year it had provided UTO in the past due to the large projected budget deficit.
Through prayerful discernment and reflecting on our goals, needs of members expressed through the member survey so far, and the realities of the gig economy, we determined that we could let go of the General Convention budget, not hire a second staff person, and tighten our belts by eliminating all full Board in-person meetings and independent staff travel without decreasing the quality and variety of resources we offer to our members.
The pandemic taught us new ways to work together as the Board and with the UTO community members, so we hope you won’t notice a change for the worse in the services you receive from UTO. For the past few years, UTO has not needed funding from the General Convention Office, so we see this as a call to live into a new reality and a chance to be more creative and flexible with how we continue to do the work of building up grateful hearts in The Episcopal Church and beyond.