24:2 (2009:05) Profile: FDC

June 1, 2009 at 12:27 pm | Posted in Financial Development, Profiles | Leave a comment

Susan Davis, Profiles Editor

For those of you who devour the NASIG treasurer reports in each issue of the Newsletter and at conference, you realize that NASIG has been very fortunate to build up a financial reserve over the past 23 years.  The organization has managed to weather dues increases, change of conference venue from college campus to hotel, moving online hosting facilities from non-profit to fee-based services, expanding from NASIGNET (email and early Web presence) to NASIGWeb with an integrated content management system, all without a major sacrifice in programs or activities.  However, events like SARS, domestic terrorism, and a deep recession have raised awareness that past revenue models cannot be depended on in perpetuity.

In 2005, the board adopted a financial plan (http://www.nasig.org/about_strategic_planning_financialplan.cfm) with the intent of preparing the organization for a possible financial crisis by establishing two emergency reserve budgets.  The board also planned to create a Financial Development Committee to work on a fundraising program.  The FDC is in the beginning stages of its work, and I hope that exposure in the Profiles column will generate some thoughtful dialogue and constructive ideas to assist the committee in meeting its charge.  Thanks to Zac Rolnik, the newly appointed committee chair, and the entire FDC for giving the membership a better idea of what they are about:

The Financial Development Committee is charged with “creating and implementing a multi-faceted fundraising program designed to support NASIG programs and activities as designated by the Executive Board.”

As NASIG has matured as an organization and its annual meeting has grown, there is a feeling that we may be able to benefit from the sponsorship and support of third parties including libraries, publishers, subscription agents, and other vendors in the library market.  Alongside NASIG’s financial plan prepared in 2005, the FDC will prepare a development plan outlining how NASIG could identify and realize a sponsorship program that brings new sources of revenue into NASIG without “commercializing” the organization.   Such sponsorship could support grants and scholarships, defer some costs and/or offer sponsored events at the annual meetings, and help build a rainy-day reserve.

The FDC includes the NASIG treasurer Peter Whiting who is an integral part of the committee, Peter McCracken of Serials Solutions, Rachel Frick at IMLS, and our newest member David Bynog at Rice University.  We have only recently started, but there has been action on the sponsorship front for the 2009 meeting thanks to the activities of Char Simser and Dan Tonkery.  In addition, we plan to offer a conference exhibit at the annual meeting starting in 2010 to allow publishers, agents, vendors to present their goods and services while NASIG members can find out about the newest developments in the marketplace.    Further development actions could include advertising in both our newsletter and website.

But much of this depends on NASIG’s appetite for sponsorship.  There is some real money to be gained for NASIG to do good things, but NASIG has to be welcoming of this activity.   If sponsors don’t feel welcome, they won’t come.  And sponsorship could also generate more interest and membership in NASIG from that side of the industry.  It all depends on what NASIG and its members want.

Zac Rolnik, chair
NASIG Financial Development Committee


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