IAC ponders raising dues

The Industry Advisory Council Executive Committee met Nov. 2 to assess the budget process for 2007 and to review member comments on a proposal to raise IAC dues to offset a projected budget shortfall starting next year.

The proposed budget and the committee’s recommendation will be discussed with the board of directors of IAC’s founding organization, the American Council for Technology, in the next couple of weeks, said Paul Cohen, IAC vice president for finance and administration.

IAC is examining new ways to fund its programs and services and cover the fiscal deficits that are projected to reach nearly $350,000 by 2011 if nothing is done to bring in more money.

ACT/IAC has grown significantly in the past several years and offers a wider variety of valuable programs than ever, Cohen said. “To ensure that we have the resources needed to support the growing demand for new programs, we undertook a strategic review of our business model by putting together a working group of IAC members representing every size company,” he said.

The group, the Business Model and Membership Committee, reported Sept. 28 to ACT that the organization needs a sustainable business model that will raise about $200,000 a year beginning in 2007.

According to the committee’s findings, a budget surplus of about $40,000 in 2006 will turn into a shortfall of about $75,000 in 2007, with deficits increasing annually to reach $350,000 in 2011. The committee noted that opportunities for new revenue sources were limited.

The committee said its conclusion that a deficit is inevitable was based on several assumptions: that no new programs or new staff members would be added; that employee salaries and benefits would increase at 5 percent annually; that inflation would be 0 percent; and that the organization would not raise dues and registration fees.

The committee said increasing financial contributions from IAC programs, creating a fee-based job bank on the ACT/IAC Web site and raising membership dues could address the deficit.

Cohen said the committee unanimously recommended that IAC consider raising its dues to provide the necessary resources over the coming years. “These recommendations were put out to the membership for comment,” he said. “The comments we received have all been supportive” of an increase.

“In accordance with the bylaws, any proposal to change the dues must be presented to the IAC membership for approval,” Cohen explained.

“Our fiscal year begins on Jan. 1, and many members have already completed their budget planning,” he added. “Therefore, we anticipate that any changes in dues for current members would not be effective until 2008.”

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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