SIGMOD Record 29(3): Treasurer's Message
SIGMOD's financial situation continues to be very healthy despite the heavy investments in our special member projects. Under the current fiscal year FY 2000 budget we have funded activities in excess of $58,000 aimed at improving the value of the SIGMOD membership. For example, we funded the SIGMOD Anthology (total cost: $40,000), DiSC (total cost: $13,000), and gave out special awards and scholarship grants totaling $5,000. We also froze membership dues and, for the second year in a row, the SIGMOD conference chair reduced registration fees for our conference.
Since our annual operating expenses ($81,000) and revenues ($80,000) are roughly balance, the above mentioned investments and services continue to have a direct impact on our fund balance. Our expected fund balance at the end of FY 2000 will be about $275,330, which is down from $336,433 in FY 1999, but still roughly $63,000 above the required minimum fund balance mandated by ACM. However, given the fact that we are the only SIG with an increase in membership, this $58,000 investment is money well spent.
In February, the executive committee passed the budget for FY 2001 which will go into effect in July 2000. As in previous years, we made every effort to reduce annual operating costs while continuing to invest portions of our funds to improve the value of the SIGMOD membership. Given the recent increase in members, we are also making a special effort to improve our retention rate. In all, we have allocated $86,000 to fund special projects and expenses which include, for example, a membership drive (projected cost: $10,000), non-US SIGMOD development in Asia, India, and South Africa (projected cost: $8,000), continuation of anthology and DiSC (projected cost: $54,000), awards and grants (projected cost: $5,000), and undergraduate scholarships (projected cost: $2,000).
Although our expected annual revenue in FY 2001 will be higher due to increased memberships ($100,891) while annual operating expenses remain roughly the same ($85,555), the additional income does not completely offset the cost of the special projects. Therefore, the expected fund balance at the end of FY 2001 will be around $200,000. This is still about $60,000 above the required minimum from ACM (recalculated annually) and considered a healthy fund balance for a SIG of our size. Given all the exciting and worthwhile projects we are undertaking, we are confident that we are investing our members' money in the best possible way. One of the challenges we must face when making the next budget is to continue providing our members with the highest possible membership value while at the same time preserving the fund balance.