Travel Expenses

January 24, 2013 in Sovereign Grace Ministries

The other day, in the comments of the Amended Lawsuit post, the topic of Sovereign Grace Ministries’ financial statements came up.  You can view SGM’s newly released 2012 statement here.  A previous statement can be viewed here.  Commenter “Unassimilated” had some interesting observations about SGM’s travel expenditures:

So it appears that SGM operations were in the RED for $1,231,370 for 2012.  Perhaps they could trim the $560,660 in travel expenses.  (This amount is typical for both SGM and CLC.)

If the average travel day cost them $280 per day, that translates into 2002 travel days, or 133 days of travel for fifteen SGM employees.

How that heck does one rack up these kind of cost???  What kind of entourage goes out with these SGM men?

Who cares? These numbers are hard to relate to you say?  Not so. Some thoughts:

The typical Fortune 500 company spends only .83% of their annual revenue on travel, while the typical government and non-profit entity spends only .24%. Both according to JP Morgan.   With revenues for SGM at $4,702,559, their travel budget should be about $11,286 to match other non-profits. They would have to spend $39,031 in travel to match the typical spending patterns of a Fortune 500 company.  They spent $560,660.

Let’s unpack this a bit more and see how they compare to…let’s say…the Southern Baptist Convention.

The SBC in 2009 had a budget of $9,481,903.  So did they spend a million, a million five?  Nope, $68,901.  That’s right, $68,901.

The SBC is an organization with a reported 45,764 churches in 2011.

People of SGM, and CLC for that matter, who spends about the same as SGM for travel.  You are being fleeced in a monumental way.  Demand some deeper accountability. There is no reason why this ministry, or CLC should be spending more than fourteen times of what Fortune 500 companies spend on travel. Or fifty two times more than the typical non profit spends in travel.

Just who’s in your wallet?

I’ve never been much of a numbers girl, but even I can see that SGM’s travel expenditures seem disproportionately high.  What do you think?