D. Michael Coy, MA, LICSW, Chair, Finance Committee
Greetings from ISSTD’s Finance Committee! What a year it’s been thus far—and it’s only August. Thankfully, mid-year is a relatively quiet time of the year for finance in ISSTD, and so maybe the best time to offer an update on goings on.
Looking backward to the start of 2018, there were big changes afoot: long-time Treasurer Christine Forner shifted into the role of President-Elect, leaving an open spot for a new Treasurer. Having already been a Board and Finance Committee member during 2017, I was approached with the prospect of taking on a larger role. I was excited by the chance to both continue Christine’s steady, thoughtful guidance as Treasurer over the past eight years, and to explore what may lay ahead for us.
Since January, we’ve seen notable, overall growth in revenue, exceeding what our budget forecast suggested was possible, based on the past few years’ numbers. This is a good thing, indeed, because it means that we, as an organization, are providing training and related resources of great value both to members and non-member professionals alike.
Over the past number of years, sound fiscal management has been a heightened priority within ISSTD, and the Finance Committee has worked hard to support and encourage both cost containment strategies and prudent, strategic spending.
As such, ISSTD as an organization is contributing a set amount to savings on a monthly basis, in perpetuity. An equal amount is deposited monthly to nurture the Education & Research Fund (formerly the Development Fund).
Of course, as the old adage goes, ‘You have to spend money to make money’. Certainly, we’re a not-for-profit organization. However, continued revenue growth means improved benefits for all of us as members, and the capacity to reach out to more non-members with training and resources hewing to the high standards that ISSTD has become known for in the field of complex trauma and dissociation.
So, here’s a snapshot of the goings-on thus far in 2018:
1. The Finance Committee approved funds to be invested in overhauling ISSTD’s website—a long overdue (and, alas, costly) process. The new website is on its way to going live in early 2019, in time for next year’s annual conference. It’ll be a lot more user-friendly, and my gosh are we excited about this.
2. The committee also approved for the use of funds to adopt a platform called Higher Logic, which more smoothly integrates membership management with the new website. Among other things, this creates more dynamic opportunities for members to connect with one another, as well as for our members to be found by those seeking support in their healing journey via a much-improved and greatly expanded Find A Therapist directory.
Where are the funds for these two initiatives coming from? In part, YOU! Read through to the end of this update to find out more about how to invest in your future as an ISSTD member. For now, though, back to goings-on…
3. Strategic Plan goals relevant to the Finance Committee were given a freshening up—in particular, the committee got quite a bit more to do, in an explicit way. (Really, truly, there was little new under the sun; it was simply put in writing…with deadlines!)
4. Members of the Finance Committee (in collaboration with the Executive Director and the Board) are tightening up the Finance Committee policies and procedures to streamline Committee responsibilities and workflow, as well as clarify how the Committee interacts with the Board and other committees.
5. In addition we are also in the earliest stages of revitalizing the Fundraising Committee, which includes exploring possible volunteers for the positions of chair and committee members; and implementing a small fundraising effort in collaboration with another, yet-to-be-determined committee by the close of 2019.
6. The Finance Committee continues to monitor the progress of the “35 for the 35th” fundraising campaign. This is our primary vehicle for offsetting the costs of overhauling the website and adopting Higher Logic, both of which are–dare I say it?–HUGE value-added improvements for all of us. We still have a way to go to meet our goal of 35,000 USD by the close of 2018, so if you haven’t already contributed as a one-time or monthly donor, please seriously consider doing so. Think of it as an investment in yourself—and, of course, your prospective future clients. (Mind you, I speak of this not as some sort of shameless huckster; I’m a clinical social worker, myself. I figure that, if my access to resources increases/improves, my clients will ultimately benefit, so I’ve chosen to donate on a monthly basis.)
In all, this has been quite a year for finance within ISSTD. The Finance Committee continues to thoughtfully guide the organization, all the while beginning to bring the best of ISSTD’s past into the present, and explore the ‘what ifs’ that the future might hold for us with further growth.
If you’ve found yourself reading this and wanting to take a more active role in being a part of ISSTD’s financial future, then please feel free to contact me either directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or via ISSTD headquarters at email@example.com, and they’ll pass word along to me. I’d be happy to chat with you about the possibilities.
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