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Fwd: [ahspol] Preston Littleton's questions


From: Giboshiman@aol.com

Preston, I will attempt to answer some of your questions, as they relate to 
me and my responsibilities.

Q1.  If the costs are decreasing why doesn't our financial statements show 
lower amounts?  Please explain the entries in our budget.

Answer:  There are many ways that costs can be measured, two of the more 
common ways to measure costs are "absolute", and "per capita".  In most 
membership organizations such as ours budgets are presented on a gross assets 
and liabilities basis, but when discussing the costs of producing a good the 
person making the report has reduced this to a per item, or per capita basis.

    In 1994 when $50814 was expended for the Journal there were 1800 members, 
and there were an additional 200 copies of the issues published for future 
sale.  These back issues are maintained by Steve Greene and sell for $12.50 
as advertised in the Journal.  If you divide the $50814 by the number of 
members, the cost per member to publish the Journal was $28.23, or if 
calculated by the number printed it would be $25.41.  During the 1980's and 
1990's the Journal costs were "subsidized", or covered by the auction 
revenues, without them Clyde and his predecessors would have had a hard time 
publishing what they did, and thus they deserve kudos for what they 
accomplished on such a thin line.

    In 1999 we hit a milestone.  I wish I could take credit for all of it, 
but I can not.  Our membership has increased to 3800.  Yes, we have continued 
to grow this year!
This increase in membership combined with some cost cutting I have been able 
to accomplish have allowed us to reduce the cost of the Journal, on a per 
capita basis as follows: [the actual numbers for 1999 will be less than the 
$80000 budgeted -- I am a conservative budgeter and prefer to build worst 
case scenarios as will be discussed further in my answer to your question 2]  
$80,000 divided by the number of members 3800 results in a cost per member of 
$21.05, at the same time we have upped the number printed for "back issue" 
sales to 350 copies thus the cost per printed (2 copy package) is $19.27.  
Thus, the need for the auction to cover the Journal virtually has been 
eliminated, as the costs for 1999 include layout costs for 25 pages of 
articles to be used in the Spring!

At this point I would like to tie in your question 2 which was "Why does our 
1999 Budget only show $5000 for advertising revenues if they increased 
As I intimated in the last paragraph that I am a conservative budgeter.  It 
is my fault that the budget only estimated $5000 in revenues from 
advertisements as, although I believe that Jim Tock has done a great job 
getting ads, you never know when you may have a bad year.  Therefore, as you 
provided the numbers, 1995 and 1998 could be considered aberations and 
therefore I told Glen to estimate low at $5000, even though I felt Jim would 
prove me wrong.  Well, he has!  The actual advertisement revenue for 1999 was 
$8265.  Jim Tock has been a wonderful addition to the Journal staff nearly 
doubling the revenues in the 3 years he has been doing it for US!  I will 
warn you that, as good as Jim is, my conservatisim will only budget $6000 in 
revenues for next year's budget.  And I hope he proves me wrong again!

Now back to your first question, if we reduce the costs by the added revenue 
from advertisements, 1999 was the first year in the last 2 decades that a 
membership paid for both Journals with no need for "help" from the auction.  
Also during this period we have increased the number of color pages in the 
Journal due to contributions by individuals, and locals and due to certain 
cost cutting allowed by the use of the computers in layout, etc.

With regard to your question #3 on the Nematode Action Fund, I will let 
Clarence explain, but I believe that some clubs earmarked their contributions 
for the Nematode Action Fund and others simply said for Scientific Research, 
which resulted in the difference you point out, but I believe it is not a 
critical difference.  Again, I will leave this to CH.

Question #4 relates to a revenue from savings.  Please note that in 1995 only 
one issue of the Journal was actually prepared and sent under that year's 
budget.  In 1996, we published 3 issues "catching" up the schedule to what it 
is today.  The costs of this catch up, was funds not expended in 1995 but 
expended over the next 3 years (lag time in billing and cost accounting 
result in the fact that it didn't have to be transferred to cover bills until 
1999, this is not the same as the cash number.  I am responding to this one 
since Don Hawke is not on-line.  Don may be able to answer any additional 
questions you may have on this item if contacted directly.

Regarding the "Sharing Circle", unlike other societies, up until this time 
Memorials have gone into the general revenues of the society.  Yes, from day 
1 until this proposal, if Kevin Walek contributed $50 in memory of Judy 
Rocco, it simply went into the general fund.  Other plant societies have one, 
or more, "memorial" funds where contributions can be earmarked to honor 
someone who has passed.  I mention Judy specifically as she was a member of 
another plant society and made a point of contributing to specific Memorial 
funds to advance the respective society.  Several members, among them Judy, 
and her husband Lew suggested that this is something we should also do.   The 
funding for this "Sharing Circle" will come from memorials and specifically 
earmarked contributions, thus fulfilling the request of the person making the 
donation to advance the society.

Question #5 The increase in membership proposal, is largely due to the fact 
that over 1000 persons have asked for a third or even 4 Journals a year.  A 
$6 per year increase times 4000 members equals $24,000.  This is not even 
enough, if taken alone to pay for another issue of the Journal, but, I have 
been asked, and I have accepted the challenge of proposing a consolidation 
and restructuring of our publications to provide more of what members are 
telling me they want.  I have set nothing in concrete, and even if approved 
it would take a phase in period.  I look forward to any suggestions you or 
other members of the robins may have and I will be soliciting additional 
comment from the membership in the Spring isue of the Journal and in next 
year's Yearbook.

Preston, and others, feel free to provide me with any suggestions you may 
have.  Keep in mind that there are a wide range of members in this society.  
I also look forward to your input on this subject at Hosta In Focus, as I 
know you plan to attend.



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