* Income figure does not include in-kind support.
In spite of the continuing difficult economic conditions, we were able to raise $34,182 during our annual fundraising appeal last winterundefinedan increase of about 3% over the year before and a new record. A total of 176 households contributed and the average contribution was an impressive $194. In addition, another 20 households contributed nearly $3,000 to PVAS during the same period through the United Way and Combined Federal Campaign appeals.
Our overall cash income was down by about $41,758 this year, mostly due to two large grants wrapping up the previous year: one to construct a handicapped accessible trail at our Yankauer Nature Preserve and another to assist the City of Ranson in developing their new Flowing Springs Park. As a result, programs have resumed their rightful place as our largest source of income. This year grant income accounted for only 19% of total income, down from 33% last year, while program income accounted for 31%, up from 27% last year. Although we will likely never be able to ask schools and individuals to pay fees that are large enough to cover the full costs of our educational programs, we continue to strive to lessen our dependency on external grants and make our programs as self-sustaining as possible.
Donations accounted for a significant 25% of cash income during the fiscal year and special events accounted for an impressive 22%. The remainder of our income was from membership dues (2.5%) and earned interest (.5%).
Our cash expenses also decreased this year by $42,916, again because we completed the grant projects mentioned above. As in the past, the vast majority (75%) of our expenses during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012 were for programs, a category that includes staff salaries. Special events, most of which are mission-related, accounted for 9% of expenses. Administrative costs (which include payroll taxes and worker’s compensation) accounted for 8% of expenses, nature preserve maintenance and improvements accounted for 6%, and fundraising expenses accounted for only 2% of our total cash expenses.
Assets and Reserves
Our overall financial position continues to be strong. We follow very conservative fiscal practices and consistently achieve operating surpluses. Because we manage our financial reserves very conservatively we have not suffered any investment losses. The recently completed 2012 audit reports net assets of $546,077 including real estate. We are free of debt and continue to maintain healthy cash reserves.
The Potomac Valley Audubon Society Fund, an endowment established by the Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation in 2004 in honor of PVAS founder Jean Neely and managed by the Bank of Charles Town, has continued to rebound from the losses it suffered during 2008-2009. In any case, the PVAS Board remains committed to reinvesting any and all proceeds from this fund back into the fund in order to grow it for the future, so we are not dependent on the fund as a source of immediate income.
PVAS continues to manage the Liz Neely Memorial Education Fund, established two years ago by Jean Neely in memory of her stepdaughter Liz. The fund is dedicated to supporting our Audubon Discovery Day Camp by providing a full, $2,000 stipend for one camp instructor per year for as long as its monies last. The fund now totals $13,875.22 after supporting two years of camp interns. Others who would like to donate to the fund to extend its reach are welcome to do so.
Financial Administration & Oversight
Our treasurer, Alexander Miller, is a retired research actuary who is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries. We continue to employ a very capable part-time bookkeeper, Elizabeth Lowe. She works closely with our treasurer on payroll, disbursements, tax reports, and monthly financial statements. On all financial matters, they and our staff and Board follow a Fiscal Operations Policy Manual that we have developed to guide all our financial procedures and recordkeeping. Our accountant is Chad Lawyer, CPA, of the Martinsburg firm of Ours, Lawyer, Lewis & Company. Our most recent professional audit, covering the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2012, found that our books and procedures are in good order.
Form 990 Tax Filings
Audited Financial Reports