Over the past seven weeks, we have made significant progress on our plan to remain a standalone council. Our council’s Executive Board of volunteers has met weekly during this time to develop our plan using feedback received from surveys, emails, phone calls, and meetings including the town hall meeting. The feedback we received was very helpful in determining our course of action and demonstrated to us the passion our Scouters have toward the Scouting program.
On Thursday last week, five of our board members presented to representatives (three volunteer Scouters and one professional Scouter) from Area 7 of the Southern Region, our plan to move forward as a standalone council. The information we presented was open and forthright and was received well by those presented to. The area team agreed to accept our recommendation that Colonial Virginia Council be given the opportunity to remain a standalone council and will present soon to the Southern Region Executive Board for their final decision. The area team was especially happy to hear about the actions already taken to start the process of rebuilding trust and council / district structure for supporting units and chartered organizations. In addition, many have “stepped up” and given additional Friends of Scouting Campaign contributions to help the council in this time of need. These gifts along with an increase in sales in our Scout Shop have helped tremendously.
Here is where we stand at the end of last week:
Each week we exceed revenue projections or are below budget in expense projections, we as a council move closer to achieving the year end goal. Thank you for your help and continued support of our local Scouts.
I have also provided a link below to view our council’s August 2015 month end operating financial statement.
Executive Summary of the 8/31/2015 Statement of Budgeted Operations:
Direct Support (Friends of Scouting and other direct contributions) and Indirect Support (United Way) are under year to date budget. However, Revenue is above year to date budget. Revenue is income other than contributions, primarily:
The Total Support and Revenue Year to Date Actual (at the bottom of page 1) at $1,011,195 is under Year to Date Budget ($1,019,308) and is behind of Year to Date Last Year ($1,203,928).
Total Expenses Year to Date Actual (middle of page 2) at $916,792 is below Year to Date Budget ($927,259) and is also below Year to Date Last Year ($1,064,247).
The Year to Date bottom line is the council budget showing a $94,403 surplus, had budgeted at $92,050 surplus and last year had a $139,682 surplus.
As you look over this statement, it is important to note that there is a difference between the council operating budget and council annual cash flow. The financial year for Boy Scout councils is a calendar year. All non-profit organizations usually strive to have at the end of their financial year a balanced budget that shows revenues and expenses are balanced and surplus/deficit is $0. Sometimes a non-profit may have an objective to show a surplus in their annual budget. This could be done to grow the organizations cash reserves, pay down debt or ease a stressed cash flow environment. Each of these justifications places the organization in a stronger and more stable financial position.
Cash flow is a little different. Most non-profit organizations strive to have some cash left in the bank at the end of their financial year in order to carry them into the first part of the next year so they can meet invoices due at that time. If they ended their financial year with a balanced budget and NO cash in the bank, it could present challenges when making payments on invoices or meet payroll obligations at the very first part of the new financial year until enough money was raised to do so. For example, if XYZ non-profit ended their financial year on December 31 with a balanced operating budget showing no surplus, no deficit and had no cash in the bank, and had an invoice due on January 10th and payroll on the 15th, they might have a difficult time meeting those financial obligations so early in the year unless they had enough cash come in after December 31 to do so.
I would like to thank everyone for their kind words and help offered to the council as we move forward with our plan to remain a standalone council. This past week was again very positive related to revenue. Here is the breakdown:
We have received $163,930 of the budgeted revenue of $322,930
Additionally, we have received an additional $9,161 to cover the $59,351 revenue shortfall
For those, like me, who prefer to see the numbers, I have prepared a couple of graphs to help see the positive progress we are making. Each week we exceed revenue projections or are below budget in expense projections, we as a council move closer to achieving the year end goal. Thank you for your help and continued support of our local Scouts.
I have received a few questions this past week about popcorn sales and specifically the council’s net portion of the sale and how it may be affected. I would like to ensure all units selling popcorn, first and foremost, that the unit commission and Scout prize programs currently offered are in no way in jeopardy no matter what the outcome of the council is this year. Units will still receive the appropriate earned commission and Scouts will receive any prize incentive earned. The council’s portion of the sale will continue as always to support local Scouting. If the council remains Colonial Virginia Council, this will be much needed critical funding to carry us through the end of 2015 and kick off support in 2016. If the council territory is reassigned to nearby council(s), each council has committed to full support of local Scouting programs regardless of near term funding, programming to Scouts will not be negatively affected by this change. I hope this answers some of the uncertainty and wish you the best of luck with your popcorn sale as it provides much needed funding and program support at your unit level.
I do plan to give more updates on other council topics instead of just finances as I get information to share. I do want to be sure that our leaders are more aware of the council’s financial position. A sneak peek for this week: overall revenue is looking great this week and budgeted expenses are already down. Thank you for those that are coming in the scout shop and making purchases and for those that have been able to complete Friends of Scouting pledge payments; this is helping tremendously. Unit leadership Troop 84 in Hampton decided to do a second Family Friends of Scouting presentation and raised over $700 for local Scouting! These acts make such a difference and personally for me, are an indication that this council is worth the effort, work and fight to remain Colonial Virginia Council.
How can your unit help? Let’s make this popcorn sale the best ever; for the past few years the gross sale council wide has remained steady at about $500,000. Let’s make this the year that we grow the sale and provide more financial support to local Scouting. Thank you to all the units already selling, chocolate product orders are due by midnight this Friday, September 25. If your unit has not decided yet to sell popcorn this year, we need your help, and it’s not too late to jump on the train and sell, just call your District Executive and we’ll get your started. Second, Family Friends of Scouting is a great way to support local Scouting and I ask that consideration be given to conducting a presentation in your unit for this year. Again, please contact me directly or your District Executive to schedule a presentation.
Just a quick finance update for the week of September 7 – 13. We exceeded our budgeted revenue for the week by just a little over $1,000. Thank you to those that supported the council financially in any way last week, you made a difference.
The result of this is this: we have $10,011 of the total $382,281 needed in revenue between September 7 and December 6, and the deficit on top of the budgeted income is down to $58,340.
I would especially like to thank Dave Singletary for coming in the office with a check for $1,000 that is above and beyond his regular Friends of Scouting contribution. Dave’s check was not in last week’s deposits, so it counts towards this week’s revenue. Thanks again Dave for stepping up and helping out. Together We Can Rebuild Scouting. Your financial and other contributions to Scouting will ensure that our youth benefit from the character development program Scouting offers.
Thank you to those that attended the Council Town Hall Meeting on September 9th. I appreciate the feedback and thoughts shared with us and we will use this information to guide us through this time in our council. A suggestion was made during the meeting that the council post for viewing the annual council operating budget and monthly finance statements. Below you will find the July 31, 2015 Council Operating Statement.
As you look over this statement, it is important to note that there is a difference between the council operating budget and council annual cash flow. The financial year for Boy Scout councils is a calendar year. All non-profit organizations strive to have at the end of their financial year a balance budget that shows revenues and expenses are balanced and surplus/deficit is $0. Cash flow is a little different. Most non-profit organizations strive to have some cash left in the bank at the end of their financial year in order to carry them into the first part of the next year so they can meet invoices due at that time. If they ended their financial year with a balanced budget and NO cash in the bank, it might be difficult to make payments on invoices or meet payroll obligations until enough money was raised to do so. For example, if XYZ non-profit ended their financial year on December 31 with a balanced operating budget showing no surplus, no deficit and had no cash in the bank, and had an invoice due on January 10th and payroll on the 15th, they might have a difficult time meeting those financial obligations so early in the year unless they had enough cash come in after December 31 to do so.
Executive Summary of the 7/31/2015 Statement of Budgeted Operations:
All Support and Revenue items (Direct Support, Indirect Support & Total Revenue) are under budget. The Total Support and Revenue Year to Date Actual (at the bottom of page 1) at $442,016 is under Year to Date Budget ($525,083), but is ahead of Year to Date Last Year ($423,252).
Total Expenses Year to Date Actual (middle of page 2) $570,896 is also below Year to Date Budget ($803,398) and is below Year to Date Last Year ($690,493).
The Year to Date bottom line is the council budget is showing a $128,879 deficit, had budgeted at $278,315 deficit and last year had a $267,240 deficit. The council has a deficit but it is better than budgeted and last year.
While the council has a deficit, it still has cash in the bank. Once again demonstrating that operating budget and cash flow are different. If they were the same, a deficit budget might relate to an overdrawn bank account.
Another item asked for at the Town Hall Meeting was the amount needed in revenue for the remainder of 2015.
September 7 - December 6 Budgeted Expenses: $382,281
September 7 - December 6 Projected Revenue: $322,930
Projected Deficit to be Raised on top of Projected Revenue: $ 59,351
So, $59,351 is the amount needed in addition to the already projected $322,930 so the council can meet financial obligations between now and December 6th. After that, popcorn money is due December 2nd and those funds will be used to pay obligations through the end of 2015 including popcorn product invoices.
I hope this information is useful and informative. We will have updates and more information available weekly in the council newsletter, website/blog, facebook page etc. Please visit these sites regularly to stay informed.
Above all, thank you for all you do to deliver the Scouting program to the Scouts in your Scout unit. You make a difference every week in the lives of the young people you meet with and for them I say Thank You.