Latest numbers from the Interpreter Foundation

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Tom
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Latest numbers from the Interpreter Foundation

Post by Tom »

The Interpreter Foundation has released its financial summary of the 4th quarter of 2013. Major points: spending during the 4th quarter was up by approximately 115% from the 3rd quarter ($16,137.86 vs. $7,511.55), while time donations rose by 153% (1,059 hours vs. 481.5 hours).

The dramatic increase in spending in the 4th quarter of 2013 can be attributed to significant spending for last fall's science and Mormonism symposium ($10,601.67) plus greater costs for book editing ($2,835) (presumably devoted to editing the Foundation's first book, which is favorably reviewed by Interpreter Foundation editorial consultant S. Smoot here).

The latest financial summary is confusing in several respects. First, the box on the bottom of the page has a heading titled "Account Disbursements." The corresponding boxes on the financial summaries for previous quarters have been titled "Time Donations." Inside the box on the bottom of the 4th quarter's summary is a second heading titled "Time Donations." Second, underneath the parenthetical note on the next line "(No Remuneration was received)" is an entry titled "Book Publishing." A monetary amount of $14,640 is listed on the same line. It appears that this entry actually belongs in the top box on the page, which lists the account disbursements. If so, the account disbursements for the 4th quarter of 2013 would actually total $30,777.86. In either case, the 4th quarter was a record spending period for the Foundation, which had not been granted 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status as of yearend 2013.

For some reason, "Ruth M Stephens Article Prize Award" is listed in the bottom box as well. There is no corresponding monetary amount listed, so the entry may be there by mistake.

Here are the 4th quarter disbursements compared to those of previous quarters/months:

4th quarter of 2013: $16,137.86 (average: $5,379.29 each month) (or an average of $10,259.29 each month if the correct quarterly disbursement total is $30,777.86)
3rd quarter of 2013: $7,511.55 (average: $2,503.85 each month)
2nd quarter of 2013: $5,682.12 (average: $1,894 each month)
1st quarter of 2013: $5,093.08 (average: $1,697.60 each month)
December 2012: $3,056.94
November 2012: $989.95
October 2012: $297.33
September 2012: $1,108.54
August 2012: $240

Time donations during the 4th quarter were up from the previous quarter, reversing a marked trend of declining volunteer activity at the Foundation since the 1st quarter of 2013.

The 12 members of the Executive Board (whose time is worth $50 an hour) gave 716 total hours during the latest quarter (vs. 250 total hours during the third quarter) or 60 hours per member during the quarter (vs. 21) or 20 hours each month (vs. 7).

The 14 members of the Board of Editors (whose time is worth $50 an hour) donated 123.5 total hours during the latest quarter (vs. 68 total hours during the third quarter) or 8.9 hours per member during the quarter (vs. 4.9) or 2.9 hours each month (vs. 1.6).

The 16 Contributing Editors (whose time is worth $50 an hour) donated 63 total hours during the quarter (vs. 20 total hours during the third quarter) or 3.9 hours per editor during the quarter (vs. .44) or 1.3 hour each month (vs. .15).

The 13 Editorial Consultants (whose time is worth $20 an hour) donated 16.5 total hours during the quarter (vs. 20 total hours during the third quarter) or 1.3 hour per consultant during the quarter (vs. 1.5) or .4 hour each month (vs. .89).

The 4 Media and Technology Volunteers/Consultants (whose time is worth $20 an hour) donated 21 total hours during the quarter (vs. 11.5 total hours during the third quarter) or 5.3 hours per consultant during the quarter (vs. 2.9) or 1.8 hour each month (vs. .96).

Finally, "Others" (whose time is worth $20 an hour) donated 119 total hours during the latest quarter (vs. 62 during the third quarter).

Grand total for monetary equivalents of time donations for the quarter: $48,255. Monthly average: $16,085.

These figures compare to:

3rd quarter 2013: $18,120 ($6,040 each month on average)
2nd quarter 2013: $31,335 ($10,445 each month on average)
1st quarter 2013: $56,475 ($18,825 each month on average)
December 2012: $7,000
November 2012: $9,750
October 2012: $10,250
September 2012: $12,600
August 2012: $13,395

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Re: Latest numbers from the Interpreter Foundation

Post by Maksutov »

$50/hr for shoveling s#i+. Not bad. :lol:
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Re: Latest numbers from the Interpreter Foundation

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Maksutov wrote:$50/hr for shoveling s#i+. Not bad. :lol:

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Re: Latest numbers from the Interpreter Foundation

Post by Doctor Scratch »

Absolutely fascinating material here, Tom. I, too, was rather blown away at the fact that their symposium cost a whopping $10,000+. What on earth were they doing? Serving caviar and black truffles? I've been struck all along by the tendency (or insistence?) of the Interepreter Foundation to underscore their own "transparency" and/or the notion that this is all purely a "volunteer" effort. And yet, as you point out, they've been having significant problems securing 501(c)(3) status. One of the commentators on "Sic et Non" wonders aloud at the reasons for this:

Brock Lesnar wrote:
Dan,

18 months? That is surprising to me.

Are you sure your application was prepared properly? The only reason I ask is that I've had several (at least 6) 501(c)(3) applications processed and approved during the last 18 months. In my experience, the process takes around 3-4 months at the most.

Something does not sound right. Email me if you need another pair of eyes to review your application.


Huh. Well, let's just say that I hope things are cleared up sooner rather than later. Then again, I admit it would be interesting if this were to keep up for the entirety of 2014, with Mormon Interpreter eventually deciding that the "Kafkaesque" bureaucracy is too much of a hassle and that they've decided to operate on a for-profit basis instead.
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Re: Latest numbers from the Interpreter Foundation

Post by Tom »

Doctor Scratch wrote:I, too, was rather blown away at the fact that their symposium cost a whopping $10,000+. What on earth were they doing? Serving caviar and black truffles?

I hope not. I know a particular Relief Society sister in Parowan who would be very unhappy to learn that her donation to the Interpreter Foundation for the purpose of increasing understanding of scripture was being used to pay for extravagant refreshments at a symposium sponsored by an organization on a "shoe-string budget" (see 0:57 of Professor Peterson's remarks here). (My own mother is still unhappy about the fact that her donation to help build a new FARMS facility back in 1995 was likely diverted to the FARMS endowment fund, without her consent.)

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Re: Latest numbers from the Interpreter Foundation

Post by Tom »

As noted here, Professor D. C. Peterson recently released a plea for additional contributions to The Interpreter Foundation (TIF). He writes: "[O]ur expenses are rising.... Our expenditures of late have been higher than our income. Not by much, and we're not in a crisis. But I'm writing with the long-term prospects of the Foundation in mind."

TIF has now released its financial summary of the 1st quarter of 2014. Major points: spending dropped quite a bit from the 4th quarter of 2013 ($5,903 vs. $16,137.86) while time donations were nearly identical to those in the 4th quarter of 2013 (1,060.5 vs. 1,059 hours). Major expenses for the 1st quarter of 2014 were $2,255 for book editing, $1,803 for subscription printing, and $1,444 for web design, digital publication, and set-up. Income for the 1st quarter of 2014 is not reported.

Account disbursements for the 1st quarter of 2014 were fairly consistent with recent quarters (see the table below). The 4th quarter of 2013's disbursements of more than $16,000--$10,600 alone for expenses related to a science symposium--may appear anomalous, but such spending may become closer to the norm if we are to believe Professor Peterson's recent statement that TIF "intend[s] to continue" to sponsor conferences and publish books "on an even larger scale."

Here are the 1st quarter of 2014's disbursements compared to those of previous quarters/months:

1st quarter of 2014: $5,903.04 (average: $1,967.68 each month)
4th quarter of 2013: $16,137.86 (average: $5,379.29 each month)
3rd quarter of 2013: $7,511.55 (average: $2,503.85 each month)
2nd quarter of 2013: $5,682.12 (average: $1,894 each month)
1st quarter of 2013: $5,093.08 (average: $1,697.60 each month)
December 2012: $3,056.94
November 2012: $989.95
October 2012: $297.33
September 2012: $1,108.54
August 2012: $240

As stated earlier, time donations were nearly identical to those of the previous quarter.

The 12 members of the Executive Board (whose time is worth $50 an hour) gave 595 total hours during the latest quarter (vs. 716 total hours during the 4th quarter) or 50 hours per member during the quarter (vs. 60) or 17 hours each month (vs. 20).

The 14 members of the Board of Editors (whose time is worth $50 an hour) donated 208 total hours during the latest quarter (vs. 123.5 total hours during the 4th quarter) or 15 hours per member during the quarter (vs. 8.9) or 5 hours each month (vs. 2.9).

The 17 Contributing Editors (whose time is worth $50 an hour) donated 31 total hours during the quarter (vs. 63 total hours by 16 contributing editors during the 4th quarter) or 1.8 hour per editor during the quarter (vs. 3.9) or .6 hour each month (vs. 1.3).

The 15 Editorial Consultants (whose time is worth $20 an hour) donated 40 total hours during the quarter (vs. 16.5 total hours by 13 consultants during the 4th quarter) or 2.7 hours per consultant during the quarter (vs. 1.3) or .9 hour each month (vs. .4).

The 5 Media and Technology Volunteers/Consultants (whose time is worth $20 an hour) donated 0 total hours during the quarter (vs. 21 total hours by 4 consultants during the 4th quarter) or 0 hours per consultant during the quarter (vs. 5.3) or 0 hours each month (vs. 1.8).

Finally, "Others" (whose time is worth $20 an hour) donated 186.5 total hours during the latest quarter (vs. 119 during the 4th quarter).

Time donations for book publishing during the 1st quarter of 2014 are valued at $1,199.60.

The 1st quarter of 2014's time donations value compared to those of previous quarters/months:

1st quarter of 2014: $46,230 ($15,410 each month on average) (time donations for book publishing not included in the total here)
4th quarter 2013: $48,255 ($16,085 each month on average) ($14,640 in time donations for book publishing not included in the total)
3rd quarter 2013: $18,120 ($6,040 each month on average)
2nd quarter 2013: $31,335 ($10,445 each month on average)
1st quarter 2013: $56,475 ($18,825 each month on average)
December 2012: $7,000
November 2012: $9,750
October 2012: $10,250
September 2012: $12,600
August 2012: $13,395

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Re: Latest numbers from the Interpreter Foundation

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Maksutov wrote:$50/hr for shoveling s#i+. Not bad. :lol:


I deserve $50/hr for being on the receiving end of it here. The Church only pays me in free cookies whenever I can make it over to a Relief Society activity.
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Re: Latest numbers from the Interpreter Foundation

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bcspace wrote:I deserve $50/hr for being on the receiving end of it here. The Church only pays me in free cookies whenever I can make it over to a Relief Society activity.


It's intellectually dishonest to say there's any evidence of cookies or any other baked goods.
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Re: Latest numbers from the Interpreter Foundation

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Runtu wrote:
bcspace wrote:I deserve $50/hr for being on the receiving end of it here. The Church only pays me in free cookies whenever I can make it over to a Relief Society activity.


It's intellectually dishonest to say there's any evidence of cookies or any other baked goods.


Indeed! Non sequitur and yellow journalism as well! :wink:
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Re: Latest numbers from the Interpreter Foundation

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Maksutov wrote:$50/hr for shoveling s#i+. Not bad. :lol:


bcspace wrote:I deserve $50/hr for being on the receiving end of it here. The Church only pays me in free cookies whenever I can make it over to a Relief Society activity.


Spacey you don't get s#i+ you get the truth. Methinks you may be being overpaid, and you're not being paid by the church, you're being paid by the generosity of the Relief Society ladies.
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Re: Latest numbers from the Interpreter Foundation

Post by Jesse Pinkman »

Scratch wrote:Huh. Well, let's just say that I hope things are cleared up sooner rather than later. Then again, I admit it would be interesting if this were to keep up for the entirety of 2014, with Mormon Interpreter eventually deciding that the "Kafkaesque" bureaucracy is too much of a hassle and that they've decided to operate on a for-profit basis instead.



I don't know that it would be the end of the world if it did function as a for-profit business. My understanding is that it still has a technical separation from anything "officially" LDS. It is not bankrolled by the Church.

Still, if something is amiss with how the paperwork was filed, I hope it is resolved.
So you're chasing around a fly and in your world, I'm the idiot?

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Re: Latest numbers from the Interpreter Foundation

Post by Runtu »

Jesse Pinkman wrote:I don't know that it would be the end of the world if it did function as a for-profit business. My understanding is that it still has a technical separation from anything "officially" LDS. It is not bankrolled by the Church.

Still, if something is amiss with how the paperwork was filed, I hope it is resolved.


I was reading the Provo paper last week, and they were covering a Rodney Meldrum-sponsored event. From the pictures and article, it looked like a cottage industry has sprung up around Book of Mormon research. Why not do the same for apologetics?
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Re: Latest numbers from the Interpreter Foundation

Post by Jesse Pinkman »

Runtu wrote:
Jesse Pinkman wrote:I don't know that it would be the end of the world if it did function as a for-profit business. My understanding is that it still has a technical separation from anything "officially" LDS. It is not bankrolled by the Church.

Still, if something is amiss with how the paperwork was filed, I hope it is resolved.


I was reading the Provo paper last week, and they were covering a Rodney Meldrum-sponsored event. From the pictures and article, it looked like a cottage industry has sprung up around Book of Mormon research. Why not do the same for apologetics?


I agree. It makes a lot of sense.
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Re: Latest numbers from the Interpreter Foundation

Post by Jesse Pinkman »

Runtu wrote:I was reading the Provo paper last week...


Hey, I just caught this. You're an easterner now! Do old habits really die that hard? LOL :lol:
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Re: Latest numbers from the Interpreter Foundation

Post by Runtu »

Jesse Pinkman wrote:Hey, I just caught this. You're an easterner now! Do old habits really die that hard? LOL :lol:


I just sold my old washing machine on Craigslist. The woman who picked it up was from Utah, and she and her husband are BYU grads. I can't get away from it. :lol:
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Re: Latest numbers from the Interpreter Foundation

Post by Kishkumen »

Tom,

Do you suppose that your time donation is included in the donations of "others" at $20 per hour?

K
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Re: Latest numbers from the Interpreter Foundation

Post by Tom »

Kishkumen wrote:Tom,

Do you suppose that your time donation is included in the donations of "others" at $20 per hour?

K

Kishkumen,

I must confess that my meager efforts to place something on the Interpreter altar each month are not formally accounted for by the Interpreter recorder (CPA). Nevertheless, I believe such under-the-table donations do not go unnoted and will, indeed, be recognized and recorded after the Final Accounting (i.e., the IRS audit).

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Re: Latest numbers from the Interpreter Foundation

Post by Kishkumen »

Tom wrote:Kishkumen,

I must confess that my meager efforts to place something on the Interpreter altar each month are not formally accounted for by the Interpreter recorder (CPA). Nevertheless, I believe such under-the-table donations do not go unnoted and will, indeed, be recognized and recorded after the Final Accounting (i.e., the IRS audit).


In my view you have been one of the most valuable, unheralded members of the Interpreter team. How many times have they edited their articles after you pointed out the many errors in them? They should account your contribution at the $50 level at least.
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Re: Latest numbers from the Interpreter Foundation

Post by Bazooka »

bcspace wrote:The Church only pays me in free cookies whenever I can make it over to a Relief Society activity.


You're being overpaid...
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Latest numbers from the Interpreter Foundation

Post by Tom »

The Interpreter Foundation (IF) has released its financial summary of the second quarter of 2014. Major points: spending rose from that of the first quarter of 2014 ($7,389.98 vs. $5,903) while time donations fell off from the donations during the first quarter of 2014 (862 hours vs. 1,060.5 hours). Major expenses for the second quarter included $2,435 for book editing, $1,553.05 for subscription printing, and $3,015 for web design, digital publications, and set-up. Income during the second quarter is not reported.

On a related front, Daniel Peterson, Chairman and President of IF, is again appealing for donations to IF, reporting that IF's "donation income (which is the Foundation's only income) has not, lately, kept pace with its rising expenditures." He writes that "[w]e're not in crisis yet, but I'm thinking ahead." "Fortunately," he says, "our needs are relatively small. I'm not talking millions here. Twenty thousand dollars or fifty thousand, from a few big donors or from a lot of smaller ones, would make a major difference for a relatively long time." He continues:
The Church is the target of very vocal criticisms, and such criticisms are taking a toll on some of its members. FairMormon and The Interpreter Foundation are two of the most effective organizations in existence for responding to such criticisms and for presenting arguments supportive of faith. And, to be blunt about it, they need help.

I’m not a natural-born fundraiser. I find asking for other people’s hard-earned money embarrassing. I hate it. But I believe in this cause, and I believe in these two organizations. I’ve seen how much labor and devotion has gone into them, and I have some sense of how very much more they could do with relatively small amounts of additional funding. So I overcome my aversion to soliciting donations, and I raise the issue. And, soon, I’ll be approaching a few people directly, seeking their help.

There have been several recent developments at IF. First, Bryce Haymond, who, first, led a campaign to "restore FARMS" and and then helped launch Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, has apparently resigned from the Executive Board. Second, Matthew Bowen is now a member of the Board of Editors (he formerly served as a Contributing Editor). Third, the IF Board features a new position: production editor.

Here are the second quarter of IF's 2014's disbursements compared to those of previous quarters/months:

2nd quarter of 2014: $7,389.98 (average: $2,463.33 each month)
1st quarter of 2014: $5,903.04 (average: $1,967.68 each month)
4th quarter of 2013: $16,137.86 (average: $5,379.29 each month)
3rd quarter of 2013: $7,511.55 (average: $2,503.85 each month)
2nd quarter of 2013: $5,682.12 (average: $1,894 each month)
1st quarter of 2013: $5,093.08 (average: $1,697.60 each month)
December 2012: $3,056.94
November 2012: $989.95
October 2012: $297.33
September 2012: $1,108.54
August 2012: $240

As indicated above, IF spent heavily during the 4th quarter of 2013, largely to stage a science and Mormonism symposium. Thus far, there has been no announcement that an IF symposium will be held in 2014.

The 11 members of the Executive Board (whose time is valued by IF at $50 an hour) gave 539 total hours during the latest quarter (vs. 595 total hours during the 1st quarter) or 49 hours per member during the quarter (vs. 50) or 16 hours each month (vs. 17).

The 15 members of the Board of Editors (whose time is valued by IF at $50 an hour) donated 175.5 total hours during the latest quarter (vs. 208 total hours during the 1st quarter) or 11.7 hours per member during the quarter (vs. 15) or 3.9 hours each month (vs. 5).

The 16 Contributing Editors (whose time is valued by IF at $50 an hour) donated 29 total hours during the quarter (vs. 31 total hours during the 1st quarter) or 1.8 hour per editor during the quarter (vs. 1.8) or .6 hour each month (vs. .6).

The 15 Editorial Consultants (whose time is valued by IF at $20 an hour) donated 58.5 total hours during the quarter (vs. 40 total hours during the 1st quarter) or 3.9 hours per consultant during the quarter (vs. 2.7) or 1.3 hours each month (vs. .9).

The 5 Media and Technology Consultants (whose time is valued by IF at $20 an hour) donated 22 total hours during the quarter (vs. 0 total hours during the 1st quarter) or 4.4 hours per consultant during the quarter (vs. 0) or 1.5 hours each month (vs. 0).

Finally, "Others" (whose time is valued by IF at $20 an hour) donated 38 total hours during the latest quarter (vs. 186.5 during the 1st quarter).

The second quarter of 2014's time donations value compared to those of previous quarters/months:

2nd quarter of 2014: $39,545 ($13,181 each month on average)
1st quarter of 2014: $46,230 ($15,410 each month on average) (time donations for book publishing not included in the total here)
4th quarter of 2013: $48,255 ($16,085 each month on average) ($14,640 in time donations for book publishing not included in the total)
3rd quarter of 2013: $18,120 ($6,040 each month on average)
2nd quarter of 2013: $31,335 ($10,445 each month on average)
1st quarter of 2013: $56,475 ($18,825 each month on average)
December 2012: $7,000
November 2012: $9,750
October 2012: $10,250
September 2012: $12,600
August 2012: $13,395
Last edited by Tom on Wed Jul 16, 2014 11:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Latest numbers from the Interpreter Foundation

Post by malkie »

DCP wrote:The Church is the target of very vocal criticisms, and such criticisms are taking a toll on some of its members. FairMormon and The Interpreter Foundation are two of the most effective organizations in existence for responding to such criticisms and for presenting arguments supportive of faith. And, to be blunt about it, they need help.

I wonder how effectiveness is measured?
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