NABJ Is Thriving
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Posted by: Aprill Turner
These are exciting times for NABJ. Over the past 40 years, founders and members have recalled how some have predicted the demise and questioned the relevance of our great organization. Most of the time, it was ignorance regarding how things work in the area of programming, finances, advocacy and business. Anyone who suggests that NABJ is close to shutdown mode obviously does not know our organization. We are poised for another 40 years and beyond!
In 2010, like many organizations and businesses, NABJ was faced with a staggering deficit brought on in part by a terrible economy. NABJ turned a $600,000 deficit into a $400,000 surplus in nine months. It was a one-million dollar turnaround. Some members of the team that garnered those results have been reassembled under my leadership. Along with a brand new and talented board, the sound business practices that led to success then is already being repeated now. In the last 30 days, we have made adjustments on the expense side like most media companies continue to do when faced with fiscal challenges. We also have generated revenue in excess of $100,000 in that short period of time. Our savings and investments remain strong even after we have, like many households, temporarily dipped in to shore up cash shortfalls. Keep in mind that cash flow and budgets are two different animals. NABJ does not have current debt. However, we are trending to end 2015 with a deficit. I shared the updated projections at our board meeting and on our website in October.
As our members already know from our board meetings and website posts, NABJ did not reach its convention goals but certainly has a plan to stabilize our finances. That plan is already in motion and being executed by an energized board and staff.
Our partners continue to show their support for the organization. Media companies and foundations are already signing up for next year’s convention and other programming -- putting serious resources toward those initiatives. Foundations are providing restricted funds for things like strategic planning while others are providing general support assistance. We will continue to utilize those funds for the purposes intended. We have built strong relationships over the years. Even as I type, partners are reaching out to reaffirm support and are eager to work with us in a number of ways.
Our new dynamic board is dedicated to transparency even if it means sometimes people don’t correctly interpret information provided. Our new board is almost fully up to speed on the myriad of operating procedures and understands the do’s and don'ts associated with NABJ finances and programming. The board is taking our commitments seriously and will continue to be transparent with our operations.
I met with staff this past weekend at the NABJ headquarters to top off planning for our Founders Day reception on Dec. 12 in Washington, D.C. I hope you will join us then as we honor the 44 men and women who founded our esteemed association. We are comfortable in our headquarters and have no plan to move. Like any nimble organization heading into a strategic planning process, we must be open to all suggestions on the table and be mature enough to take those suggestions into consideration for the best interests of the association. We are working to transform NABJ for the better during the strategic planning process.
Although the new board was passed a challenging financial situation by the outgoing board, the Glover administration is up to the challenge. Rest assured we are just getting started and are looking forward to an incredibly exciting convention in August 2016 and another 40 years of serving our members, the journalism industry and society at large.
Yours In Service,