JCUMSA Financial Report - April 2021
By Eric Smith
Hey everyone, welcome to the fourth installment of the JCUMSA Financial Report. The past month has been rather quiet on my end, but here is a brief overview of what I’ve been up to. If you would like to read the previous reports, click here;
With the unfortunate outcome of Med Camp 2021 being cancelled, I was able to test automated refunding which has worked quite successfully. A new section has been added to the JCUMSA Website ‘Refund Form’ which now allows for the option to select either “automated refund” or “manual bank transfer”, with the former being a much quicker process.
Halfway Ball Booked
After getting approval at the most recent Exec meeting, I have paid the first deposit for booking The Ville as the location of the Class of 2024 Halfway ball. While the cost this year has been a little higher than previous years, to be financially sensible we are supporting Kevin Sebastian in his work at organising a preclinical mixer event with the profits from this event going towards subsiding the cost outside of the support JCUMSA has historically provided.
Townsville CCP Booked
The TSV CCP deposit has also been paid thanks to some great work by Catherine Nortje at securing a great venue at a reasonable cost.
Reviewing the Cost of JCUMSA GOLD Memberships
Over the past month I’ve spent some time to look at our revenue streams and assess our financial security. One of the main sources of revenue JCUMSA has is our JCUMSA Gold Memberships which subsequently goes into subsidising our events. But at $10/year, JCUMSA spending towards events far exceeds the income we get from it. Even if one student went to 1 event a year, they would earn their GOLD membership fee back (assuming a typical event GOLD discount of $10 from the non-member prices). Considering the average student would typically attend 3 or 4 JCUMSA events a year (conservatively), this means most students are getting a lot more of out of their GOLD membership than JCUMSA. This is excluding the additional benefits that comes from our sponsors (food/drink discounts at various venues).
As a result, at an executive level we have been looking at increasing the JCUMSA GOLD membership cost to $15/yr (from $10/yr), which will give JCUMSA a much better financial footing for future years, and allow us to invest into providing better subsidies for all our members, especially in years (such as last year) where we could not rely on our sponsors to the same degree as we have historically for our main source of revenue. Please note we have not made any final decisions and should we find the majority of our members strongly oppose the change, we will not go ahead with it, but I think it’s important to hear what you guys all think!
What are your thoughts on this proposal (vote below)? Please keep in mind this would not affect existing GOLD members and should it be implemented, it would only apply starting from next year (2022) at the earliest. We understand increasing membership fees is always a difficult thing, but remember JCUMSA operates as a non-profit which means all funds we raise go directly back into providing better events for you guys! Of course, if you have any particular feedback as to why you voted a certain way, please get into contact with me.
Change to Quarterly Financial Reports
What I’ve noticed over the past few months is that in some months not a lot happens by itself and that it would make more sense to publish a quarterly update comprising the financial news over the past 3 months rather than monthly. So my next formal update will be at the start of July with the Second Quarterly Financial Report (comprising the months of April, May and June). The Third Quarterly Financial Report (comprising the months of July, August and September) will thus be in early October with the Fourth Quarterly Financial Report in late December (comprising the months of October, November and December) right before handover to the next Treasurer. As a result of this change, there will be no First Quarterly Financial Report (instead the monthly reports from January-April will remain). I hope this carries through with future Treasurers as it’s good to provide transparency with Treasury-related decisions. I think a Quarterly reporting system prevents post fatigue and ensures each update has enough content to produce a sufficient ‘report’ rather than a small ‘status update’.
That’s it for now – as usual, if you have any feedback for me at all, or you just want to have a chat – you can contact me via email here. See you in a few months!