June 01, 2010


 AVMA board passes balanced 2011 budget

Board moves forward on animal welfare and small business initiatives

Posted May 18, 2010

The AVMA Executive Board has approved a $29.5 million budget for fiscal 2011 with a projected $1.7 million in excess revenue over expenses. The excess is slated to be added to the Association's reserve fund to help restore some of the $7 million spent from the fund during 2008.

The board passed the balanced budget during its April 8-10 meeting at Association headquarters in Schaumburg, Ill., and enacted several measures relating to animal welfare, state and federal legislation, pet identification, and veterinary education. 

(By R. Scott Nolen)

Recommendations approved by the board include a model bill and regulations aimed at ensuring appropriate care for dogs intended for use as pets, an AVMA-led collaborative effort to develop a model curriculum for the study of animal welfare in veterinary education, and plans to press Congress to pass legislation aimed at helping small businesses.

The 2011 budget projects $865,889 more in expenses and $2.6 million more in revenue than the original 2010 budget did—a result of the membership dues increase going into effect next year.

It also includes $417,500 in support from the American Veterinary Medical Foundation for the AVMA Veterinary Leadership Experience, animal welfare programs, disaster relief, the AVMA Congressional Science and Executive Branch Fellowships, the annual convention, and other initiatives.

AVMA Treasurer Bret D. Marsh is pleased with the 2011 budget and confident it provides the appropriate fiscal road map for the AVMA's future.

"AVMA has always maintained a strong financial position, although it was certainly tested over the last year," Dr. Marsh said. "As challenging as 2009 was, AVMA ended the year in the black. This was possible because of the commitment of the Executive Board and staff to be fiscally responsible while maintaining quality services for the membership."

Expenditures on new projects in the April board agenda were limited to $2,800 from the 2010 contingency fund—the annual money budgeted for the board to fund recommendations. Most proposals presented to the board carried limited financial amounts.

Student AVMA President Aaron G. Gibbons joined in on
Executive Board deliberations as a nonvoting participant
this April. The AVMA House of Delegates recently passed
a bylaws amendment providing the SAVMA president a
seat at the board table. The move is expected to enhance
dialogue between veterinary students and AVMA leadership.

To date, $6,925 has been spent from the 2010 contingency fund. The board decided at the April meeting to reduce the fund from $300,000 to $150,000, starting in 2011, as a cost savings measure.

Also of note, the board approved allocating an additional $200,000 from the 2010 budget to fill "mission critical positions," such as the open Governmental Relations Division assistant director and Convention and Meeting Planning Division exhibits specialist and meeting planner spots.

Board members established a $1 million fund to cover the costs of redeveloping the AVMA Web site. Staff has been working on redesigning the site since 2009, and the board thought designating a special fund was necessary so the work can proceed efficiently. 

Coverage of board actions continues here.