Search icon Looking for something?

Modest fees will rebuild reserves
2000, November (March 04, 2007)
Contributed by Michael Harvey, Carolina Chapter Treasurer

Treasurer's Message

I've been privileged to serve as Treasurer of the STC Carolina Chapter for nearly sixteen months. During that time, I have come to truly appreciate the wide range of services that our chapter offers its members and other local professionals. For the dollars that our chapter invests, we create enormous value for technical communicators in our area.

When I became Treasurer on July 1, 1999, we had over $24,000 in the bank. The 1999 Summer Conference, held later that month, made a modest profit. That year, the chapter's leadership embarked on a program to use our cash resources for the betterment of our membership, emphasizing the value of the services offered over the expense of providing them.

Expanded services prove costly

The expanded range of services provided by our chapter proved costly.

The 2000 Summer Conference spent nearly $10,000 more than it took in. This cost overrun had an unintended ripple effect. If we keep to our chapter's approved 2000 budget, spending over $45,000 on programs for you and other professional communicators, we will end the fiscal year with a little over $6,000 in the bank. That's a big drop from a cash reserve of $24,000.

For non-profit organizations like STC, the IRS generally accepts, without question, a reserve of two to three times annual operating expenses. Generally, STC chapters keep about 75% of their annual expenses in the bank. Our annual expenses in 1998 were about $19,000; in 1999, they were about $24,000. You can do the arithmetic. Our planned 2000 expenses are over $45,000. So for 2001, we are probably going to end up with only 13% of our annual expenses in the bank. This smaller cash reserve will constrain our ability to offer services in 2001 and beyond.

Nominal fees needed to keep budget balanced

For that reason, we are charging nominal fees for activities that had, in the past, been free to members. So when you are digging in your pocket for $5 for a chapter-sponsored event, please remember, we're not charging just to make money. We're charging to keep our budget balanced, and to begin rebuilding our cash reserve for future programs.End of article.

More articles like this...
Comments powered by Disqus.