BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP)—The board of national Woman’s Missionary Union approved a 2020-21 budget for the missions organization that is down about $1 million from its $5.8 million 2019-20 budget.
The board learned 12 WMU staff members opted to accept the voluntary retirement offer announced by the organization in early August.
Both developments came as a result of a decline in sales due to COVID-19.
The 12 employees who accepted the retirement offer are “valued friends and colleagues (who) made countless contributions to our work over the years and will be greatly missed,” said Julie Walters, corporate communication manager for national WMU.
Current personnel at national WMU stands at about 40 staff members.
Walters explained that the 2020-21 budget was “adjusted based on anticipated expenses and projected revenue.”
Even with a decrease in staff members and budget, WMU leaders remain focused on the organization’s “mission of making disciples of Jesus who live on mission,” Walters said.
“Next steps include serving churches well and supporting pastors, providing more missional resources for individuals and families and exploring modifications to our business model,” she said. “Through WMU’s missions discipleship, leadership development and compassion ministries, we will seek to advance our current level of kingdom impact in every state and 39 countries.
“We are grateful for many who are coming alongside us to help—state WMU leaders, executive board members, independent contractors, volunteers. It is inspiring to see so many actively using their passion to serve God and serve others through WMU.”
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National WMU is not a part of the Cooperative Program allocation budget and receives no funds from the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering or Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. National WMU is supported through the sale of magazines and products and from investments and charitable contributions through the WMU Foundation.
In late August, the WMU Foundation gave national WMU a $45,000 grant in an effort to help offset the loss for 2020 through pandemic.