Briercrest closes 2020-21 fiscal year debt-free, with balanced budget
At the close of the 2020-21 fiscal year, Briercrest is reporting a balanced budget with no outstanding debt.
God’s provision has been evident as Briercrest has emerged from a period of deficits and a pandemic in secure financial position. “God has provided for us in some remarkable ways throughout this challenging year,” said President Michael Pawelke. “We continue to be extraordinarily grateful for our faithful alumni, friends, partners, and supports this year.”
Provision has come about in numerous ways, explained Chief Financial Officer Leighton Reimer. “Donations have remained strong throughout this past year and a half, including some significant estate gifts. Every donation, big or small, is a huge blessing. We also received government funding and assistance that helped us achieve greater financial stability. Finally, God has provided for Briercrest with careful management of expenses and in some cases, significant savings that were not expected.”
This year’s balanced budget marks the end of a period of board-approved deficit spending to pursue enrolment growth. “Many schools like Briercrest have seen a gradual decline in enrolment over the past 20 years. The turnaround was slow, but we have seen progress in our enrolment trend, alumni engagement, and our donations,” said President Pawelke.
“While some of our energy was on growth initiatives, we were at the same time making difficult decisions to restructure ourselves in our goal of financial stability.”
To eliminate outstanding debt, Briercrest’s leadership also identified and sold some non-strategic properties.
Continued donor support has made it possible for Briercrest to reach this financial milestone. God’s people have rallied around the Keeping the Faith campaign, a fundraising initiative that also raises awareness of Christian education’s role in fostering lifelong faith in young adults. To date, over $7 million has been raised towards the goal of $8.9 million. The two-year campaign ends in December 2021.
“I want to say ‘Thank you!’ to each donor that partners with Briercrest,” said Reimer. “Your support of our mission to educate disciples, equip the Church and engage the world is greatly appreciated. We are so thankful to you, and God, that you continue to support Briercrest, especially during the pandemic.”
Going forward, Briercrest’s secure financial position will enable an even greater focus on this mission. President Pawelke said, “We have increased our focus by reducing some of our activities. Today we are educating disciples, equipping the church and engaging our world with renewed commitment and extremely careful planning.”
A full annual report for the 2020-21 fiscal year will be published soon. You can access past annual reports and financial statements at https://www.briercrest.ca/about/reports.
Briercrest’s Keeping the Faith: The Fight for Tomorrow’s Church campaign continues. To learn more about the campaign or to give, visit https://www.briercrest.ca/give.