Each June brings the opportunity for the Haiti Outreach program to take stock of our mission’s budget. Included in this review are the revenues and expenses of the previous year, how these items compare to previous years, and whether our priorities should be adjusted to meet changing circumstances. The good news is our budget will end the fiscal year on June 30 with a small surplus of about $9,000, or roughly 5%, on a total budget of just under $184,000. After two years when we struggled to break even, the surplus reflects a number of factors, both good and not so good.
Perhaps most important, we have balanced our expenditures more accurately with anticipated income. This task is a difficult one for a volunteer organization that must raise funds in a climate when annual giving by friends and businesses can be unpredictable. We encountered this problem when two years ago we raised a record amount, then faced a budget shortfall when our income dropped significantly the next year. Since then we have made budget reductions that reflect a more predicable revenue stream.
Other factors contributed to our balanced budget. On the cost side, the great work of our volunteers made it possible to reduce the cost of the annual medical banquet, an outcome we hope to continue for future banquets in the new Parish Hall. Unfortunately, our reduced expenditures were also a result of continued political unrest in Haiti, which forced us to cancel four mission trips over the last year. The cancellation of these trips meant we spent less on medicines and transportation costs while in Haiti. On the revenue side of our budget, the fantastic efforts of volunteers, both at Sacred Heart and at our partner parish, St. Kateri, generated increased income for both the medical banquet and our joint school sponsorship drive. The combination of lower costs and higher revenues produced the budget surplus and will leave us at the end of the fiscal year with a balance of approximately $130,000, an amount that will fund our mission until the next infusion of income at the October medical banquet.