Mr. Ronald Tak Fai Yam spoke on Friday July 8th, at the YMCA’s 20th World Council. He spoke on his four years as World YMCA Treasurer, and reflected on the positive experiences he has had with the organization. “Through these past four years, from 2018 to 2022, the world has gone through a lot of change. And with it, so has the YMCA.”
In 2018 the YMCA saw a dip in its operating income and expenditure report for two reasons. Firstly, it was a year in which the YMCA held its quadrennial World Council, with its accompanying expenditure. Secondly, the JR Mott Fund performed poorly, allowing virtually no disbursement to the 2019 operating budget. This led to a CHF 463,000 deficit at the end of 2019.
In 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there was a reduction in the ‘Fair Share’ income (the money paid to World YMCA by National Movements). Also, because of the pandemic, the budget was revised to include risk contingency measures. These measures include: staff being put on reduced hours with government support of 50% of the salaries of Geneva staff; a CHF 268,000 government interest-free loan repayable in five years; overseas staff accepting a 10% pay reduction.
In 2021, Covid-19 continued to have an impact on the financial situation of the YMCA. The budget again included risk contingency measures. Income of some CHF 155,000 was generated from renting space in the World YMCA’s new headquarters building in Vernier, Switzerland. It supplemented the operating income and led to a small operating surplus of CHF 4,255 for 2021.
2019 investment committee re-aligned the strategic allocation which, together with market performance, improved results.
Date on which the value of the JR Mott fund would be used to calculate the disbursement was changed from 31st December to 30th June
A new model for the way disbursements can be calculated was developed and tested for use from 2022
The Executive Committee increased its number to bring in fresh expertise, including financial expertise.
In 2020, World YMCA sold property Clos Belmont in Geneva, Switzerland and purchased a new building in Vernier, Switzerland with rental potential.
A CHF 5 million mortgage was approved which included a CHF 1 million tranche that could be repaid in one year or used as a buffer in case of cash flow issues during the transaction
World YMCA registered (and received) for VAT to reclaim the CHF 980,000 VAT payable on the new property
Negotiations are still ongoing regarding a potential CHF 1 million capital gain tax liability
In January 2019, the Financial Sustainability Committee took the decision that the necessary controls were in place to be able to upgrade the 2018 audit to meet international auditing standards, including more rigour in disclosure and greater assurance for partners and stakeholders
The role of the Financial Sustainability Committee is critical
There are excellent internal control systems in place
The role of the Investment Committee is crucial
There remain big challenges is raising new funds
The process to address the ‘Fair Share’ contributions is in place