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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Discussion: Smith 2016!

in: iansmith; iansmith > 2016-08-09

Aug 9, 2016 8:48 PM # 
Where do I sign up for a bumper sticker?
Aug 9, 2016 9:04 PM # 
Just put your contact information here.
Aug 11, 2016 8:55 AM # 
Fundraising: It is conceivable the funds raised went to clubs rather than OUSA.

I would consider regional cups/leagues to be more useful than national event promotion... eg in the NE, combine scores from results in three A-meets and a Billygoat, or whatever, to find a champ. Similar in midwest and west coast. Though this perhaps ought to be regional initiatives.

I still have a hard time conceiving of a body looking after 9,000 orienteers in 9,000,000 square kilometres.

You'd have my vote.
Aug 12, 2016 1:00 AM # 
It's great to see more younger OUSA members interested in serving on the board. Kudos!

Unless there's a bylaws change, though, there are only four seats available per year (12 seats on board; 4 voted on each year; three year terms). See articles VI (proposals at AGM) and VII.
Aug 12, 2016 1:42 AM # 
There are seats available via vacancies, or resignations also. They bylaws say that a for a resignation someone is elected to fill the remaining term of that person, and then will have to be reelected for a three year term as normal.
Aug 12, 2016 1:44 AM # 
There are four up for reelection this year, Fleugel, Meehan, Dady, and Pataki. Only Fleugel and Meehan are running again. There is also a vacancy currently as they couldn't get enough people to run, and word is that Bleau is also stepping down, making for a total 6 spots up for election this year.
Aug 12, 2016 2:58 AM # 
When is the voting and what is the protocol?
Aug 12, 2016 3:31 AM # 
Towards the end of the AGM (last item on agenda as listed in bylaws). Clubs are represented by a member (or proxy where another club's representative is empowered to vote for that club) and votes are cast as a block based on OUSA members in the club, or individual OUSA members can vote separately at the meeting; the club representative's block vote count is then reduced by individuals voting separately.

I knew about the vacancy but hadn't heard about Charlie Bleau.
Aug 12, 2016 4:14 AM # 
Ok, I recall this strange voting protocol. No particular reason for people who can't or don't intend to go to the AGM to pay any attention.
Aug 12, 2016 2:35 PM # 
Except they can let their club leadership know how they would like the club's votes to be cast. There's the potential for a lot of voting power through lobbying.
Aug 12, 2016 8:04 PM # 
The biggest way you can influence this election is to persuade your club to vote at the AGM, and to send a representative with a clear mandate. It is challenging to change the status quo, but the AGM is often not well attended. Even a few clubs voting our way could make a tremendous difference.

There are many people who have worked very hard on behalf of OUSA over the past few years, and I'm thankful for all their efforts. But it is time for a change.
Aug 13, 2016 8:29 PM # 
And the second biggest way to influence it is to be a member of multiple clubs?
Aug 16, 2016 11:28 PM # 
I was curious about your fundraising numbers, so I took a look. I think the disconnect is that fundraising expense is mostly money spent on the annual fund drive. But the income from that is not classified under fundraising - it goes under contributions. Fundraising income is mostly from team fundraisers like auctions, etc. These generally have little or no expense and are mostly run by volunteers.

Ignoring Major Gifts, if you take contributions income - fundraising expense, you get the following net values:

2011 - $29,348.89
2012 - $44,085.40
2013 - $39,277.11
2014 - $81,083.99
2015 - $76,770.00

It would appear that for about $30,000 of expense, we have netted an additional $50,000 in contributions. It's not clear this is cause and effect, but it seems to be a generally positive trend and is much more revenue than we typically got from contributions 10 years ago.

I am surprised at how high the fundraising expense is anyway. Would love to know what that $30,000 buys.
Aug 17, 2016 2:28 AM # 
The fundraising activity statement is deceiving in its final numbers(as most of the OUSA accounting seems to be), or if not deceiving, then obscure. The dec 2105 financial statements have full year accounting for each activity, and break them out to some detailed accounts. The fundraising expense for the year was mainly made of of $15075.18 of payroll (part of Glens salary), and $11848.35 of ED expense, which is part of Glens expense budget. The rest is completely opaque being made of 2600 for board and committees, and 664 of programs for members and clubs.
I say that it is deceiving, as Glens costs are broken up across different activities without any clear statement as to why or what percentage, or if certain trips are billed to that activity instead of others. The rest of his salary and expenses are in the management, and program services activities.

When you add up the total of the payroll account, I get ~95K, which does not include Erin, as he is separate coach, junior team account, of ~38K, nor Robin, who is in the accounting and membership services for 21K. There is also 33K in the executive director account, which I think is Glens expenses, and nearly 10K in board and committee expenses.

I too have been spending a lot of time trying to make sense of the financial statements, and am very disappointed in our reporting in terms of year end vs budgeted. They way everything is reported now we are using the endowment income to prop up our year end numbers, when we are actually running much larger deficits in operating expenses. The budgeting is still done much closer to a fund basis, but reporting is mostly a sum of all activities. It makes it very hard to track where our revenue is actually being spent. For example, the Ski-O team has had a large budget for a number of years, but that has been offset by large fundraising goals in the budget. In reality, since at least 2011, not a single OUSA general revenue dollar has gone to the team. All ski-o spending has been out of restricted contributions due to the policy that the teams restricted balance must be spent to $0 before any board designated funds can be spent, which is a stupid model especially for a team that has cynical large and small spend years, and needs a longer timeframe to fundraise.

I have lots of other problems with the accounting, like not being able to make roll over team designated funds match up exactly, and lack of use of prepaid expense accounts for teams to make year budgets more sensible etc. We should get together at some point and try and find better ways to present all of this to a greater audience.
Aug 17, 2016 2:37 AM # 
I think most Board members would agree that we preferred the old fund based statements, but our auditor insisted that our official financial statements change to the current system. It's not because the BOD is trying to be obscure. It's because the standard accounting system doesn't handle how we operate well. It's possible that they chose to break up Glen's salary into different categories to try to make better sense of where the money they spent on him was going? That happened after my time.
Aug 17, 2016 2:49 AM # 
I read the auditors insistence differently than you. I believe the auditor correctly insisted that income be tracked on the basis of unrestricted, temp restricted, and perm restricted bases. That can be done, as it is for many non profits, with a fund based accounting system. We changed to a board designated funding system though instead of properly implementing the correct accounting for all the funds. I will say that I think there may have been too many funds, and funds that were just hoarding money with no long term plans, but to go so far in the direction we have that it has made it nearly impossible for teams to properly track their money, or for federation members to figure out what money is being spent on seems crazy. There is a balance somewhere in the middle that would allow for fund based accounting for teams and other areas where it makes sense, i.e. e punch fund.

Take an e punch fund for example. If we had continued to have a fund that revenue from rentals was going into, then rental revenue may have been higher than it currently is, and we would have been building up some money to purchase the next gen of equipment, i.e. touch free air+ sticks. In the current system, all rental revenue was non restricted and essentially went to pay Glens salary. If we want to buy anything new, it will be begging the board to take money from something else, and look greedy. I can't see how that is good for any form of long term planning when you know you will need capital for a certain project in the near future. The team accounting is an even clearer example, and is a bigger mess. The teams have to have someone designated to separately tracking their accounting and checking it against the official OUSA records, and frequently asking for corrections.

I don't think anyone has purposely tried to be obscure or deceiving, but the combination of decisions that were made have left us here, and I think its easy to see why people are frustrated at an apparent lack of transparency.
Aug 17, 2016 3:16 AM # 
I'm not really the one who interpreted the auditor's insistence. I trusted that the person who handles our books and was dealing with the auditor was following the auditor's instructions. I'll admit to asking a lot of questions and getting explanations, but I don't have the expertise to question the explanations. And yes the team fund accounting is atrocious. I'm just dealing with Trail-O, which has very few transactions and it often needs corrections. I can't imagine trying to handle something like the Junior Team.

I thought we got out of the e-punch rental business? Is OUSA still renting e-punches?
Aug 17, 2016 1:56 PM # 
The rental of SI equipment is slowing petering out. OUSA owns 75 BSF-8 controls and misc items, as well as about 250 SI-5 cards, many in need of new straps and with missing tips.

In the last several years, the SI cards were used at 3-4 junior/scout events per year.

In 2016, the controls were used at OCIN, Tuscon B-meet, RMOC, and at the upcoming September events. This is about average for the year.

When I took over the rental program, I believed that the rental money was being collected to make future purchases, and/or to refurb the equipment. I was hard nosed, charged the max I could get away with, hounded people for payment when necessary, and I was pleased with the nice amount in the account.

Then the account was absorbed, or whatever happened, and over time I stopped caring about the rental money. So, clubs paid the postage and for any lost/damaged equipment, and some were charged rental fees, usually on a sliding scale based on how much they irritated me. :)

And, unless I get "fired" before, then after NAOC, I will hand over the box of controls, and someone else will have to decide what to do with them...maybe a small club would like to take them over and send them out as loaners a couple of times per year.

As for the SI-cards, I will recommend that they be split between the two main borrowers - DVOA and BAOC.
Aug 17, 2016 11:38 PM # 
Hmmmmm...might need to talk about that small club thing....
Aug 20, 2016 6:56 PM # 
I have been reading this and see that there is a statement that there is $30,000 in fund raising expense for a year. Looking at the budget (which can be accessed on the OUSA website), the actual figure is $3000. If someone can find a place where it shows a value ten times as high, I would love to see it.
Aug 20, 2016 6:56 PM # 
I have been reading this and see that there is a statement that there is $30,000 in fund raising expense for a year. Looking at the budget (which can be accessed on the OUSA website), the actual figure is $3000. If someone can find a place where it shows a value ten times as high, I would love to see it.
Aug 20, 2016 7:16 PM # 
Hi, Peter; I think you may be looking at the month data. However, if you check out this document from 2015, you will find the figure I'm referring to. On page 5 of the document, fundraising has an expense of -30,192.95.

The breakdown is:
Payroll: 15075.18
Programs for members and clubs: 664.52
Executive Director: 11848.35
Board and Committees: 2604.90

I'm very curious what these fundraising activities are and if they are generating positive revenue. As smittyo notes above, it may be that some of the revenue generated is accounted under contributions. I question whether contributions are sustainable - relying on people to donate money to prop up OUSA will only work so long, especially since that money (I think) is coming from within the community.
Aug 21, 2016 7:12 PM # 
The fundraising part that is attributed here is, in some ways an artifact of the original way that the ED job was set up. It has not been changed even though the time spent on the particular activity has changed. This should have been changed long ago. Glen does not spend more than 5 to 10% or his time on fund raising, probably at the lower end, which means that in the course of the year that value should be closer to $5000 to $10000. Some of that time is associated with the Annual Fund so it is therefore associated with contributions. Glen keeps track of what he is working on and there is a category of fundraising and development. Development includes working with new clubs and developing the sport at meetings with various groups. Development has taken at least half of the time in this category and the category takes less than 20% of his logged time. Probably no one will believe what I am writing but the percent of the ED salary that is allotted to fundraising is an artifact that should be changed. A realistic value would be less than 10% of his time which means that the true cost of fund raising is $10.000 - $13000. However, some of this time is related to the Annual Fund which relates to contributions. These numbers should be reviewed and updated which can be done by the new board. I would encourage it.
Aug 21, 2016 7:37 PM # 
Thanks for the clarification, Peter; I certainly understand that formal accounting practices can present an inaccurate picture of allocations. I think that satisfies my question about why fundraising appears to cost so much.

A question I still don't have a satisfactory answer to is what we as a federation are getting in return for the expense of the Executive Director. I know Glen, I like him, I appreciate all his work, but from what I know, the value is not worth the 40-50% of our discretionary budget we are currently spending. It was my understanding originally that the focus of the ED would be to find external sources of funds like grants and sponsorships, to promote orienteering with publicity, and to grow the sport. As I've stated in the past, I think the role is poorly defined.

My impression from the board minutes and various AGMs is that the ED role has become a gopher who takes on a wide range of random tasks for OUSA. What publicity and marketing is actually happening? Income from grants and fundraising fall well below the cost of the ED. Finally, over the past seven years, all these metrics are basically flat. There is no reason to think the future will be materially different from the present.
Aug 21, 2016 7:38 PM # 
I do think that the accounting should be corrected to reflect reality. If Glen's time on fundraising amounts to $5-$10k, the numbers should show that. Our budget must be transparent.
Aug 22, 2016 12:57 AM # 
I agree that the accounting should be more transparent. Basically, it is clear to the accountants but not to others. The auditors may have too large a say in how things work. With regard to the ED position, I think that there will be a discussion at the board meeting in September.
Aug 22, 2016 1:17 AM # 
I hope to be part of that discussion. Thanks for your input; it is very much appreciated. Advancing orienteering in the US is a really hard problem.

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