Given the unprecedented financial crisis of the last several weeks, we felt a few comments of its impact on the Foundation and its wider impact on Christian ministries in the City are appropriate.
Of greatest concern is the impact of this turmoil on the approximate 75 Christian ministries serving the City of Memphis. With annual budgets of approximately $40 million and hundreds of dedicated employees sacrificially serving the under-resourced, these ministries are almost totally dependent on contributions from individuals, churches and foundations. Reports of budget shortfalls were widespread prior to September. Such concerns will worsen as year end approaches and when most ministries raise a large portion of their annual budgets. We ask that donors prayerfully continue their support of these ministries that faithfully serve our City. With the current state of the economy, there has never been a greater opportunity to make an impact on the ministries you love. As the financial need has grown, so has the opportunity for significant impact.
Financially, the Hope Christian Community Foundation remains strong with assets at the end of September slightly below the April 30th (our most recent fiscal year end) level of $70 million. While a declining stock market has reduced assets by about $10 million, this has been more than offset by contributions to donor advised funds. Grants made from donor advised funds for the first five months of the current fiscal year were a record $14 million or 70% higher than last year during the same period. The Lord is truly working through Hope to impact His Kingdom in the City and around the World.
We recently announced the curtailment of plans for the Servant Leader Awards Luncheon in order to save this expense. We will, however, make the Servant Leader Awards totaling $15,000 to three ministries but without the large crowd and fanfare.
We thank you for your confidence and generosity as we help you serve the Lord.