Some folks have asked what we do with the membership fees we collect. In this post, I want to give you an idea of what we’ve done so far and propose some ideas of what we might do going forward.
There are many, many expenses related to building a successful membership association at a national level. As an MSP, not-for-profit associations were always one of my verticals. But I just dealt with their technology, so I don’t have personal history with running such a group.
What We’re Spending Today
Our membership started with a big bump, of course. We have been adding about 20 new members per month. In January 2022, we added 19 (for a total of $1,900 revenue). In February we added 24 (for a total of $2,400 revenue).
In total as of March 9th, we have:
- 162 professional (paid) members
- 480 registered members
- 931 subscribers to our email list
Here’s a summary of what we spent in January:
|Advertising & Marketing (includes Constant Contact)||$70|
|Web and Email||$60|
|Card Processing Fees||$70|
|Contractors (running the association)||$1,000|
Most of the expenses now are to defray the cost of having my staff process memberships, maintain the web site, process payments, balance the checkbook, assist committees with communications, and so forth.
Please note that my company is significantly supplementing the cost of running the organization. I have three part time administrative assistants helping with various tasks related to managing the NSITSP. I don’t expect this to be reimbursed. I am committed to getting this group well established and moving forward.
Until March 2022, I also paid for all the meeting resources, building the web site, and all the software licensing and hosting services related to the web site. Eventually, these will be part of the ongoing budget.
Board members, notably Rayanne Buchianico, have donated the cost for setting up corporate paperwork and bank accounts. Rayanne (an Enrolled Agent) is also filing the taxes for 2021.
The Budget Going Forward
The Finance Committee has begun the very difficult process of trying to figure out a budget for the remainder of 2022. Our fiscal year is January through December. Building a budget requires some idea of which activities we wish to perform. It’s a chicken-and-egg thing, but we need to start somewhere.
The Membership Committee is discussing possible membership levels, including levels for companies, individuals, “associates” of a company, and vendors. The Membership and Finance Committees are working to define vendor memberships.
And, of course, the Legislative and Marketing Committees are planning activities – all of which require money. So, going forward, we will need a lot of financing.
Here are some thoughts on what spending might look like, if we have the funds. NOTE: This is not an official document. It has not been discussed or approved by the Finance Committee or the Board of Directors. It’s just a place to start. Note, also, that there are a lot of blank areas for future expenses. Eventually, as we grow, these numbers will become real.
Obviously, if we don’t have this much money, we won’t spend it. One great example is marketing materials. Ideally, we will have signs and handouts for in-person events. So, when a member volunteers to attend an event, we can send them a box with materials. That’s not super expensive, but we won’t do it if we don’t have the money.
Right now, we need members to join. If the 770 people on our mailing list who are not professional members joined today, that would give us about 1/3 of the possible budget above. Obviously, with tiered memberships and vendor assistance, we can do all this and begin filling in the blanks.
We Operate in the Open
All professional members have access to the committee minutes, board minutes, and monthly reports. They are all under the Meeting Minutes menu at the top of the NSITSP web site. If you have questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Your feedback is welcome!
Thank you for your support.
— Karl P.