As you know, ICES Membership Dues will be raised effective July 1, 2019. This was necessary to help counter the shortfall created by decreased membership rates. Your Membership Dues support the organization. They are used for our bookkeeper, lawyer, membership coordinator, web host, web designer, newsletter program, scholarships, convention stipends, insurance, lawyer fees, printing, mailing, convention, etc. Our Conventions used to be our main income source. With the loss of Convention income, our Membership Dues are now our major and just about only source of income for ICES. While programs are required to be self-sufficient, they are just breaking even at this point. Our Memorial Scholarships are funded by generous donations, but the General Scholarship Fund only now will have designated income restricted to fund it for the future.
When our 2018-19 Budget was Approved last July (and printed in the October 2018 Newsletter), ICES membership was at 1664. So simply put, the $163,320 budget divided by a membership of 1664 means that each membership costs ICES $98.15 per member to run the organization and provide programs and services. Yes, we stopped the printed newsletter saving ICES about 12% of the total budget, but at the same time we reduced our membership income by 25% on US Members and by 40% for International Members. While we are no longer printing the newsletter, we still have the cost of creation, publication, app and internet costs, and distribution costs.
With Membership being our main source of income, it must also be noted that not all of our ICES members pay the maximum rate of $45. There are Associates ($24), Students ($25), Charter ($20), Lifetime ($0) and Free Memberships awarded for various reasons. ICES is unique in that in any given fiscal year historically only about ½ of our membership renews due to prepaid and free memberships. This continues to put ICES in a financial bind.
It is not doom and gloom. ICES is in a much better financial position that it was when I took office in 2017. Your board has worked hard, renegotiating and cutting contracts, making tough choices and brainstorming creative alternatives for our future. Your board has worked with the Little Rock Show Directors to reimagine our convention. The Little Rock Convention is pivotal. We still have Attrition from the cancelled overflow hotel, and we need as many people as possible in attendance to avoid any further attrition or losses. It is going to be a great show. If you haven’t already registered, I hope you will do so shortly. A strong convention will guarantee a strong future. ICES needs you.
As always, I am here to listen. Email me anytime at President@ICES.org. I am looking forward to seeing many of you in Little Rock!