Board funds proposals while mindful of ledger

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Executive Board Chair Bonnie V. Beaver   Executive Board Chair Bonnie V. Beaver

In April, the AVMA Executive Board approved a 2003 budget of $21,640,150 in income and $21,301,500 in expenses, resulting in $338,650 income over expenses. The AVMA continues to be fiscally strong by maintaining the same level of financial cushion in the reserves, or fund balance. The board will have an opportunity to adjust these figures at its late May/early June meeting.

The economy has, however, had an effect on AVMA investment earnings and sponsorship income, AVMA Treasurer James F. Peddie reported. AVMA leaders and staff are committed to seeking new sources of nondues revenue. One of the bright spots is the AVMA's "aggressive new ad firm," the treasurer said. Staff are working with the firm to develop value-added bundling programs for potential convention sponsors and advertisers.

As part of this new bundled approach to expanding its sponsorship and advertising relationships, the board approved a recommendation to allow the Association to explore options for accepting online advertising as a potential nondues revenue source. The advertising plan of the editorial policies and guidelines will be revised to reflect this. Adding online advertising may make the value-added bundle especially attractive, as the AVMA has received a number of requests to accept online advertising.

Besides seeking new revenue paths, the board took other measures to curb spending. Board members voted, for example, to revert to $200,000 for the 2002 contingency fund—monies budgeted for the board to finance new initiatives. That reversed last fall's action doubling the 2002 contingency to $400,000.

Initially, the board voted down a recommendation from its Budget and Financial Review Committee to publish the 2003 AVMA Directory and Resource Manual only in a CD-ROM version for all members. The intent of the proposal was to save $164,000 over production of the print version of the directory. The following day, the board revisited the issue and resumed debate, rejecting a motion to not print the directory in 2003 and looking at four other options. Realizing the value of this resource to AVMA members, the board adopted a compromise measure. The Association will print the AVMA Membership Directory for the year 2003 without the resource manual section, along with 2,000 copies on CD-ROM for members who prefer them. The directory will include the member listings, AVMA governing documents, and contact information for the organizations represented in the House of Delegates. That alternative will save $131,500.

Given the sense of fiscal priorities, staff withdrew a proposal to produce an annual report for distribution to AVMA members and constituencies, at a cost of $93,000.

The board chose the less-costly alternative when asked to form a task force or add a day to an existing council's meeting to develop veterinary-specific guidelines and resources on ergonomics and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Three members of the Council on Veterinary Service will stay an extra day this fall to meet with consultants and develop the materials. The Department of Labor intends to announce its plans regarding new ergonomics regulations soon, and the AVMA is determined to develop guidelines for the profession before they are drafted without veterinary input.

Partly for reasons of economics, the board disapproved a recommendation to allocate $15,000 for spokesperson training for up to 18 representatives from state veterinary associations and other veterinary organizations.

Their fiscal sensitivity did not keep the board from approving worthy initiatives. At the April 5-6 meeting, the board funded proposals totaling $60,350 from the contingency fund and $63,400 to be added to the 2003 budget. There was no cost associated with many other proposals. Key actions are reported on the following pages.