Treasurer Report for NACCS, May 2020

by Ernesto Colín, PhD, Treasurer

Dear colegas:

I wish to open my remarks with a note of sincere gratitude for my predecessor, Dr. Chalane Lechuga, who served as treasurer of the organization for several years and mentored me in the role. Under her stewardship, we organized data for comparative trend analysis, maintained sound fiscal strategies, and aligned reporting to tax categories. Similar gratitude goes to Dr. Julia Curry Rodríguez and Kathy Blackmer Reyes who helped me reconcile at least five different and complex financial systems in operation at NACCS and have supported our infrastructure, website, conference, policy, by-laws, and incorporation processes in the past year.

We are currently in the 2019-2020 Fiscal Year, which spans from July 1, 2019 until June 30, 2020, but I return to the previous fiscal year for a moment. We ended the previous fiscal year (FY 18-19) in an auspicious position. Using round numbers, we finished the previous fiscal year with about $61,000 in our main account, compared to about $25,000 the previous year (FY 17-18; Minnesota conference). I attribute our financial standing in the FY 18-19 to good membership renewals/enrollments and a remarkably successful conference in Albuquerque, where our executive director negotiated a favorable contract and conference registrations were strong. The location, theme, turnout, panels, as well as donations, in-kind contributions, and ad/vendor sales were also markedly strong.

The revenue (and expenses) of our “financially fragile organization”–to quote Aureliano De Soto–are closely tied to the annual conference. Going forward, if we are going to practice responsible stewardship of the organization we must continue to be mindful of conference site selection. Additionally, I take this opportunity to remind all members of the crucial importance of membership renewal, advertisement and vendor sponsorships, and paying conference registration.

Turning to the current fiscal year, we are still in a stable financial position. Attached, please see our detailed mid-term FY report. (Not included is our Castañeda endowment account, whose balance is tied to stock indices, and had experienced positive gains in the past two FYs). Our key expenses included the mid-year board meeting and conference-planning for the Seattle location and our professional services costs. Additionally, and in accordance with the memorandum of October 2018, the board approved a payment of 10% of the organization’s outstanding debt for past professional services. Seattle was an attractive site, but one that represented higher costs (space, audio-visual, room rate, food & beverage). The organization made a significant down payment on the conference and the conference was subsequently cancelled in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the second half of FY 19-20, our revenue streams were less active because we did not hold a conference, but our expenses came down in tandem. We will finish the FY in a sound fiscal position and will continue to monitor the developments in the emergent health, economic, travel, and academic environment and adjust the planning and execution of future NACCS gatherings. Our organization will certainly contend with the impacts with the support of the membership.

Lastly, I share some of the ongoing projects the treasurer is coordinating with the board of the organization. These projects include solving the organization’s burden of unsustainable merchant fees for credit card transactions, studying the alignment of the membership term to the FY instead of the calendar year, updating the website, and refreshing leadership orientation.

In solidarity…

Spring 2020 – Vol. 45 No. 1

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