ILNH and Money

Contributed by Elycia Lerman.

It’s hard to believe that ILNH is ending our fourth year as an organization – time flies when you’re trying to save democracy!  It seems like a good time to provide some insight into our financials.  Admittedly, it’s a bit of a boring topic, and even with my very witty personality it may not be an exciting read. However, for all those who help us keep the (virtual) lights on through donations and fundraising activities, we owe you our gratitude and an accounting.  

Each year we forecast a budget based on what our goals are for the year. What types of programming we will support and provide and what kind of fundraisers we think we can execute. These discussions happen in the individual groups like Civil Rights, Environment, GOTV, etc and within the Leadership Team and the Board. There are overhead costs for our liability, our Board & Officers’ insurance and our technology infrastructure (Quickbooks, Zoom, Wix, etc).  We also budget for legal & accounting professional support, we had large payments here when we filed for our 501c4 status and when we transitioned from Excel to Quickbooks for our accounting. In addition to programming, other expenses include equipment (we own an overhead projector and portable sound system), facility rentals, and supplies. 

Our revenue is split between donations and merchandise sales. You can see the split in the table below, and note that donations are the larger portion. Our 2019 Holiday Jam was not the merchandise sales event that we had hoped, and we still have a bunch of inventory that we would like to sell at a discount – stay tuned. In 2018 we partnered with two other groups, Rise Up Doylestown to do a musical holiday fundraiser and in 2019 we partnered with the ACME for the Raise Hell fundraiser, both were a big success.  

In our first year of operation, we were able to create a cushion of finances that enabled us to survive 2020.  Sometimes luck plays to your advantage.  In 2018 and 2019 we pretty much broke even on our revenue and expenses. In 2020 however, our expenses are running about  $2,000 more than income.  We are still in an ‘okay’ position for 2021 with respect to our fixed costs for insurance and technology infrastructure, but we will have to think about different ways to raise funds.  

Recently there was a survey to all ILNH Indivizzies to get input on what they see for the future of our organization. We will take this input into our budgeting conversations in the next month as we prepare for our 2021 budget. If anyone has questions on the financials or would like to work with the finance team,  please reach out to me,

Figure 1

2017 2018 2019  2020* 2021
Budgeted Total Revenue $17,000 $14,200 $17,000 $14,500 ??
Expense $15,000 $19,700 $19,800 $16,600 ??
Actual Total Revenue $16,049 $16,332 $11,454 $4,324
Merch Sales $3,357 $6,971 $2,131 $1,430
Expense $10,631 $16,895 $11,232 $6,238
YTD Oct 2020

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