2017 Budget Discussion

Submitted by DieramaDave on Sun, 11/20/2016 - 21:21

Hi Richard and all
  I've been looking at the budget and have a couple of questions:

  1. Looking at the membership statistics as well, I wonder about the breakdown of memberships.  Can we list the number of regular memberships and the number of associate memberships for each regular membership with associate member(s); the number of foreign memberships, student memberships and patron memberships?  There is a figure in the budget, but I don't see how that number was derived for the Total 4000
  2. Total 4070 - Is that supposed to be Bequests?  Otherwise, what is a Request?
  3. 7020 ยท Stipends - We're saying in our donation letter that we're bringing them back, but there is no money budgeted.
  4. Total 7500 BANK FEES- S/C & MERCHAN - How are we reducing this category so drastically?
  5. What is causing the $3700 jump is Website expenses?  Most of this is in the site hosting.  I thought Elisabeth had found a less expensive hosting service.  Hopefully the web programming costs can be lowered, since I have been learning Drupal and the underlying programming language, PHP.  And I'm free. 
  6. May we have a more detailed breakdown of the Quarterly expenses?  What with having to contract a new Editor, and discuss the various options regarding the Quarterly, these figures would be very helpful.

  Perhaps this would be a good opportunity to express my opinion regarding the elimination of the multi-year renewal options.  I think this is not to our advantage for several reasons.  This sends the message that we're not sure we're going to be around more than a year, NOT what we want to convey.  I, and 217 other members (from statistics) have exercised the option in the past, making it less a hassle to renew on a yearly basis, and perhaps reducing the transaction fees as well.  Eliminating this option serves no purpose as far as I can tell; those that have paid ahead still won't renew until their due dates.
  I'm sure we can hold the extra years' money in some sort of investment account until we arrive at the year in which it is to be spent, making some small amount extra.  It might also aid the budget process, knowing that that money is going to be available at the start of a fiscal year.  As I understand it, the money was not held in the past, creating a shortfall in membership revenue in the subsequent years.

  One final thing I'd like to mention.  In reading about Drupal, I've found that there are polling modules available that can be plugged into our website (in fact, one is built into the core program.)  With some work, we could conduct our own elections and surveys, at no extra cost.  This would save $300.00 alone on elections.