Financing the construction
The construction cost of the temple was over $5.0 Million (excluding the land and other development costs).
Acquiring the required finances for building the temple was very challenging. Although all commercial banks were approached for a loan, they refused since they do not provide construction loans, particularly to charitable institutions. Therefore, the board of directors had to come up with alternate options.
Private Loan: After several attempts, one of the private financial institutions agreed to provide a loan of $ 2.4 Million for the construction at commercial interest rates with the condition that the rest of the funds will be raised by the community.
Patron loans: The Board of Directors provided personal loans of close to $1.0 Million to start a patron loan scheme. A total of 95 devotees contributed a total of $2.75 million to help complete the project.
Mortgage Loan: On completion of the temple and after getting the occupancy permit, the Board of Directors approached all the commercial banks to get a mortgage loan. Only BMO Bank of Montreal offered the mortgage loan of $3.265 Million. This has allowed us to repay the private loan with interest and repay some of the patron loans.
However, BMO Bank of Montreal, has placed two conditions while approving the mortgage.
- The Board of Directors should maintain their loan of $920,000 throughout the term of the mortgage.
- The Board of Directors should legally sign a Personal Guarantee for the total mortgage value.
The current Board of Directors met these two conditions before the funds were released.
Temple’s Outstanding Loan Liability
Interest costs: At the end of May 2021, we have a total of $2.90 million outstanding as mortgage and another 2.05 million of patron loans. Total loan is $4.95 million.
Temple’s Operating Costs
Interest costs: The temple is required to make payment of $17,882 every month to BMO Bank of Montreal. This is expected to increase increase because of the increase in interest rates announced by the Bank of Canada. In addition, the temple is accruing an interest of 7,000$ each month on patron loans, which are paid at the end of each year.
Therefore, the total funds required to cover mortgage and interest each month is about 25,000$ per month; likely to go up to 30,000$ with interest rate changes.
Facility costs: The temple is about 11,000 sq ft facility which requires all utilities such as hydro, water, drainage, garbage and other services. In addition, there are other regular maintenance items such as grass cutting/lawn sprinkler upkeep and maintenance / replacement of plants, snow removal, cleaning and related expenses plus insurance to cover the property and assets. Average cost per month for operating the building is about $8,000 per month.
Staff costs: Our temple is open on all 365 days of the year. It operates on mornings and evenings, weekends and statutory holidays. There are many rituals that take place on a daily basis at the temple. In addition, there are special weekly, monthly and other important events. There are also bookings for outcall services which we provide to the community, most of which are very early morning and late evenings. We have three full time priests who cover all these requirements.
There are also other support services required to operate the temple. This includes staff at the booking counter, washing of temple utensils, lamps and other temple items daily, processing all the bookings, purchasing items for the temple, flowers and garlands on a daily basis, accounting and record keeping. We have 4 to 5 part time staff who cover these duties. Staff costs on an average is $ 15,000 per month.
Pooja and other costs: In addition to the above, there are pooja expenses, administrative and professional services/expenses that the temple requires on a regular basis. This includes bank charges for processing of credit card payments, auditing services, pooja related purchases and other office expenses. Average monthly cost is about $9,000$.
Repayment of Patron Loans
After meeting all the above expenses, the temple needs to generate surplus funds to start repaying the patron loan. We want to generate surplus each year (i.e. net income after paying off all expenses) to start repaying the patron loans. Out of the total patron loan of $2,050,248, Directors loan as security is $920,000. Balance amount of the patron loan is $1,130,248. Table below shows the surplus amounts to be generated and the time required to repay the patron loans.
To generate the surplus $36,000 per month, we need to increase our revenue to nearly $100,000 per month.
Following graph shows the current revenue and target revenue for each category.
How can you help?
- Monthly pledges (Target: $40,000 per month).
Please sign up for a monthly pledge. It is easy to set up. Please click the link below and enter your credit card information and the amount you wish to contribute. It will be processed every month. This helps the temple in two ways. (i) helps cover the costs and (ii) shows the strength of our community support to the financial institution for mortgage renewal. A tax receipt will be provided at the end of the year for the full amount of the donation.
- Donations (Target: $15,000 per month). Donations are accepted throughout the year. Donations can be through sponsorships of special projects, general donation towards the liabilities of the temple or contribution for annadanam. All donations are compiled at the end of the year and all donations over $25 will be eligible for a charitable tax receipt.
Following special projects are currently awaiting individual, or group sponsorships. Please contact the temple office for arranging sponsorships.
- Fence and gates around the temple
- Security & Protection Alarm Systems
- Stage improvements (Poonthanam Kalavedi)
- Poojas (Target: $40,000 per month)
Divasa pooja bookings
Divasa pooja offerings cover the cost of all poojas for the day. This is a good offering for special occasions like birthdays, anniversary and other special life events. Prasadam is available at the end of the day.
This is another offering to cover most of the poojas for the day; recommended on your star birthdays. Please book this pooja for birthdays of all your family members. Prasadam is available at the end of the day.
This pooja is not available for booking in Kerala as it is fully booked for many years. Our temple conducts this pooja in the same way and it can be conducted on most dates in the year. It is considered as one of the most auspicious offerings to Guruvayurappan covering very special poojas from morning to evening.
There are many other poojas available for all the deities (Guruvayurappan, Ganapathy, Ayyappan and Bhagawati) on a regular basis. There are weekly, monthly and special poojas arranged by the temple every month in which you can participate as a co-sponsor. Please check the emails and book them online.
Spreading the word
Please talk about the temple to all your friends and relatives. Encourage them to come to the temple and participate in all the above activities.
Temple requires volunteers on a regular basis each day, particularly