Each year the FFAM receives many financial funds through membership dues, corporate sponsorships, donations, and other funding sources. The annual amount of income as you could probably guess fluctuates quite a bit dependent on the various funding sources that are not all guaranteed at a given rate. Many of your agencies, municipal and tax-based districts, generally have a fairly good idea each year what the income and available funds may be. For those paid subscription agencies you no doubt understand how your funds fluctuate depending on who pays each year to be a member.
You might wonder how this affects the overall functions of the FFAM. As with any business, agency, organization, or group, it takes financial support to be able to function as the FFAM. Each year we go through a process of setting a budget to be utilized to get through the year and always try to end up with unused funds to carry on to the next year. Each committee serving the FFAM is tasked with creating a budget request reflecting what funds they will need to accomplish their particular purpose in support of the overall mission of the FFAM. Those requests are due by the October FFAM Board of Directors meeting.
Once received the requests are individually considered by the Budget Committee for merit. At times a follow-up conversation takes place to determine if the request is a “need” or a “want” and alterations are made as appropriate. Once the details get hammered out the committee creates a proposed budget that is presented at the December meeting of the Board of Directors for adoption.
Discussion is held at that meeting to make the fine-tuned adjustments that may be needed before the final vote is made to adopt a budget.
The committee faces a bit of a challenge each year as they cannot always fully fund each committee’s entire request. When you review the treasurer’s report and you see money in a reserve or investment account you might question why a particular request was not fully funded. The need for reserve funds always exists not only in business and organizations but even on a personal level. The question has come up before asking, what is a budget? My answer to that has always been that a budget is our best educated and informed guess as to what funding will be needed to operate the entire year. The budget is built with income and expenses in mind and we strive to make sure we have reserved funds to cover those unexpected or catastrophic expenses. It may take time to build the reserve fund, but once there you want to be judicious in how often you must draw from that fund with the risk of it being depleted when a “major” unexpected issue arises.
The goal each year is to present a balanced budget without pulling from the reserve funds to allow the reserve funds to grow through outside investment providing long term financial stability to the FFAM. When you have the opportunity don’t forget to campaign to recruit new members, sponsors, or donors as all of these funds are needed to keep the FFAM in a healthy financial position. If you ever have a concern or question about the budget please contact the Budget Committee.
Budget requests are due before the end of the October Board of Directors meeting to be considered for funding in 2021.