Our budgets tend to be fairly conservative and we try to budget at break-even or a small profit. After accounting for additional costs we’re roughly estimating a 10% profit for fiscal year 2012. Over the last two weeks the Board approved a number of motions that used some of this windfall to increase our budgets in key areas.
First, anything that we don’t spend will eventually end up in our reserves. Our goal is to spend less than $200,000 of our profit and allow the remaining $300,000+ to flow into reserves. The downside of allocating that money to reserves is that we’ll be taxed on any profit for FY2012. PASS is a not-for-profit but isn’t tax exempt.
In the PASS budget, the vast majority of our revenue comes from the Summit and that’s where we spend most of our money (Our revenue was higher than projected for Summit 2011 hence the profit we’re seeing for fiscal year 2012). It’s always a challenge to carve out meaningful contributions for our community programs. When we do have additional money available one of the first places we look is to our community. We allocated over $100,000 to support chapters, SQL Saturdays, international events and the 24 Hours of PASS.
This breaks down as follows:
- We increased our Chapter portfolio budget by $40,000. I’m expecting Allen to blog in more detail about where he expects that money to go.
- We added $30,000 to support SQL Saturdays. Much of this will go to sponsoring additional SQL Saturday events. This program also has a long shopping list including laptop stickers, DVD giveaways, and table skirts that they’ve been talking about for a long time. We’re hoping they can get to a few of these. I don’t know exactly how Kendal will prioritize this but you should keep an eye on his blog for more details.
- PASS regularly sponsors non-PASS events – especially internationally. The huge growth in international events has depleted our funds in this area. We approved an additional $30,000 to support these events.
- The Board approved $7,200 to support closed captioning to 15 languages for the upcoming 24 Hours of PASS. We have high expectations for this and I’m anxious to see it in action.
We also allocated money to areas that aren’t as publicly visible.
- We try to have three in-person meetings each year in addition to a brief meeting at the Summit. In the final approved budget we removed the third in-person meeting to balance the budget. We added back the $30,000 to support the third meeting.
- We allocated another $20,000 for Board travel. This is an area I felt needed additional funding. I want the Board members to get out to SQL Saturdays, chapter meetings and maybe an international event. I want them to talk to people they don’t know and see what’s going on in places they wouldn’t otherwise get to. I’m planning to pick a SQL Saturday where I don’t know anyone and attend. I think that’s one of the best ways to find out what’s important to our members.
- PASS continues to look at ways to change our governance structure to better support the international organization we are becoming. Our global governance team is meeting in late March at SQLBits to continue discussions about what these changes might be.
- We looked at a variety of locations for this meeting and found that most of the people we wanted would already be there. We allocated an additional $10,000 for travel expenses to support this.
- We approved $10,000 for marketing for video production. At the Summit we show videos right before the keynotes. These are produced on site and we try to cram as many faces into them as we can while highlighting all the great events from the previous day. They’re great for seeing your friends but not always a great tool to convince someone to attend the Summit. You can see these and a hundred more PASS videos on the SQLPASS channel on YouTube. We plan to use this video as marketing for the Summit. We hope to use it as pre-roll for existing videos, chapters, SQL Saturdays and any other events where it may be appropriate to show it.
If you add all these up you get to $177,200. We think there may be additional spending around governance changes related to becoming a more international organization and we wanted to leave room for that. And of course, if we don’t spend it then it goes to reserves.