October President's Message
Dear Quota Members,
We have just completed our first fiscal year together. This message, which contains my final report for the 2018-2019 fiscal year in all areas except finances (finances are reported as of 11 months into the fiscal year), begins with a thank-you to you, the members of Quota International for your support—financial and otherwise—that enabled our beloved organization to keep its doors open this difficult year. I assure you that the Board of Directors is working hard to find the best way forward for our wonderful family of clubs around the world. Your community needs your special brand of service, and we thank you for the lives you touch and change in Quota’s name. I would like to take a moment to celebrate a few of your accomplishments in service, promotion, and fundraising since October 1, 2018:
· QI of Bismarck-Mandan in North Dakota, USA, placed sound amplification systems in every single Bismarck elementary classroom, grades K-5, exceeding their goal of placing them in grades K-2.
· QI of Caloundra in Queensland, Australia, raised Quota’s profile and visibility in a major way with their five-day Quota 100th Anniversary Celebration which included lighting iconic sites around the city in Quota’s colors.
· QI of Davao City raised P650,000 in cash, medical services, and in-kind donations (transportation, utilities, medicine, and food) for fire victims in multiple nearby barangays helping 2,000 families (approximately 10,000 people).
· QI of Ruston in Louisiana, USA, salvaged their annual fundraiser after a tornado destroyed most of their city, and although different from what the club imagined, the event was great and EXACTLY what the community needed.
· QI of Trinidad & Tobago in the Caribbean hosted 120 deaf and hard-of-hearing children at a Signing Santa event which also attracted the participation of many high-ranking government officials.
These are just a few of the successes clubs around the world reported in 2018-2019 Club President Reports. (Read more here.) Multiply this one Quota year by 100 and applaud the global impact we Quotarians have had since 1919 – all because a woman named Wanda Frey Joiner had a vision called Quota.
Our fiscal year began with a crisis – in our finances, our operations, and our management. Because of our joint efforts and your generous response to our Century donations program, 11 months into our year, we remained under budget in expenses and over budget in income in a significant way. We expect that trend to continue when financial reports for September 2019, the last month of our fiscal year, are completed.
Our office staff team got smaller, but they have been mighty! Our operations are running smoothly, our communications are up, running, and expanded, and we are celebrating the launching of a beautiful new Web site. We also have a new reserve of funds in place (from the sale of our first office unit) that will help supplement dues income in the 2019-2020 fiscal year while we continue our downsizing, complete the selling of our space, and plan a new direction for how Quota will operate going forward after September 30, 2020.
Unfortunately, a new crisis is emerging as our 2018-2019 fiscal year comes to a close—the biggest loss of Quota clubs ever in a one-year period. Going forward, our declining club and member numbers will be the issue that impacts Quota International’s future the most. Here now is a report on what was accomplished this past year and where Quota stands as we move into our 2019-2020 fiscal year, including specifics on Quota’s evolving membership situation.
2018-2019 BOARD LEADERSHIP
Your Board of Directors has made it a goal to be transparent in its knowledge of realities and actions related to the organization’s finances, membership, and operations. We have worked in close partnership with the Executive Director on a weekly and sometimes daily basis, reestablishing the close Board-Staff communication and reporting systems previously in place during the tenure of former Executive Director Kathleen Treiber. In the area of governance, the Board of Directors updated the Rules of Procedure and the Board Policy Manual (which had not been updated or adhered to in recent years). Finally, the Board of Directors has been conducting research related to defining a future structure for the organization. The Board is relying on a combination of member feedback, research, review of membership and club data, and out-of-the box strategic planning for creation of a new direction that will best ensure a future for our clubs. The final structure that the Board recommends will be announced in early January 2020, after the Board’s December 2019 meeting.
2018-2019 EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP
The Board of Directors conducted a formal evaluation of our Executive Director, Nancy Fitzpatrick, upon the completion of her first year back with Quota International, which began on September 7, 2018. Because of the excellence with which she was rated, Nancy and the Board agreed to a one-year contract ending September 30, 2020. Her accomplishments include assessing and stabilizing our international operations, staffing, and finances; reducing costs in multiple areas; expanding and improving our communications including the creation of a new Web site; overseeing the downsizing and selling of our office space; launching the planning of Convention 2020; and partnering with the Board on its fundraising and strategic work. The Board thanks Nancy for her service this past year, and we look forward to our continuing partnership.
2018-2019 SALE OF QUOTA INTERNATIONAL OFFICE SPACE
Quota International sold the first of its four office suites on February 15, 2019, to the tenant who occupied that space for the previous 10 years. Regarding the three remaining units, we dropped the listing price from the appraised amount of US$1,250,000 to US$1,150,000 six months after the property was originally listed. In addition, we also listed our three units individually so that a buyer could purchase one, two, or all three suites. After these changes were made, showings increased. (View our listing.)
I am pleased to report that Quota has just signed a contract for the purchase of one of our three remaining suites, Unit 5 – our largest suite at 1123 square feet which contains the Executive Director’s office, three additional workspaces (one private), and the Quota library and files. I will report more details next month after contingencies on the contract are removed and we know the sale will take place. We have interest in our two remaining suites, but no sales are currently pending. Suite 6 contains our tenants plus the Quota kitchen and storage room (801 square feet) and Suite 7 contains the Quota workroom and one workspace (507 square feet).
· Clubs - I am sorry to report to you that Quota International took a serious hit this past fiscal year in the area of club dissolutions. As of September 30, 2019, the end of the fiscal year, 24 clubs had dissolved (a record number—view list) and we expect more to be reported to us as dues for the 2019-2020 fiscal year are paid in the coming weeks. Thirteen of the clubs did not pay 2018-2019 dues and therefore were dissolved and not included in the final October 1, 2018 club count of 220 clubs. The other 11 clubs dissolved after the start of the 2018-2019 Quota year therefore reducing our club number to 209 on September 30. Several of the 24 clubs we lost were active, vital clubs with large memberships; they chose to leave Quota International and continue operating independently, resulting in a membership loss of almost 100 members combined. We expect the number of clubs to drop below 209 clubs after all dues statements are processed.
· Membership – The loss of so many clubs this past fiscal year resulted in wiping out any significant gain in our membership between October 1, 2018, and September 30, 2019. We started the fiscal year with 4,054 members and we ended with 4,061 members – a net gain of only 5 members. Traditionally, our net membership numbers go up by 200 to 300 members between the first and last day of a dues-paying year because a large percentage of our clubs only report new members and not resigned members during the course of a year. Resigned members are subsequently reported on dues statements for the new fiscal year. Therefore, the net number of new members gained in a prior fiscal year typically helps to offset the losses that are reported on the next fiscal year’s dues statements. Unfortunately, we will not have that membership buffer as 2019-2020 dues are processed.
FINANCES – OCTOBER 1, 2018 – AUGUST 31, 2019 (11 Months into Fiscal Year)
Eleven months into our fiscal year, as of August 31, 2019, thanks to your generosity, a reduction in projected costs, and careful management of our finances, we were successful in keeping Quota’s doors open this fiscal year.
· Our backlog of unpaid bills that were found in September 2018 during the staff management transition, including a US$227,000 Convention 2018 Hotel bill (which we were able to get reduced to US$203,000), were paid in full.
· Our subsequent bills received throughout the year were paid on time and in full.
· While all remaining Quota International and We Share Foundation reserves in place as of September 2018 had to be used to cover unpaid, overdue bills, the sale of our first office suite enabled us to create a new reserve account in the amount of US$246,202.74 that we will use to supplement 2019-2020 dues and donations in this new fiscal year. (Dues alone will not be sufficient to fund Quota International’s operation in the 2019-2020 while the transition to a new structure is planned.) The good news is that we did not need to use any of these monies, as was originally planned, to make it through the 2018-2019 fiscal year.
· Audits from previous fiscal years were completed and published on Quota’s Web site and new financial procedures and reporting systems were put into place – procedures that are formalized in the new Board Policy Manual that the Board revised and approved earlier this year.
· All individual financial questions submitted by members from around the world were individually and thoroughly answered.
· To ensure the Board of Director’s close monitoring of the organization’s finances and operations, the Executive Director provided weekly cash reports to the President and President-elect/Treasurer, monthly financial reports to the whole Board, and weekly update memos containing reports on Quota issues, problems, accomplishments, and staff activities.
· As your President, I have been providing periodic status reports on Quota’s finances, membership, and programs via my Web messages to keep you apprised of our progress.
Our staff is preparing our financial records for the end-of-year audit which we will publish upon its completion, planned for later in November. Until then, I cannot report to you final financial information for FY 2018-2019, but I can give you a general sense of our income and expenses this year by using our financial figures as of August 31, 11 months into our 2018-2019 fiscal year. Overall, as previously stated, we expect our final financial reports to show that we ended the year over budget in income and under budget in expenses. (View the approved 2018-2019 fiscal year budget.)
A. INCOME – October 1, 2018 – August 31, 2019
· Donation Income – as of August 31, 11 months into our 2018-2019 fiscal year, we had received donations to Quota International and its Wanda Frey Joiner Fund in the amount of US$134,016.10 (which included a US$27,422.73 bequest). In addition, our We Share Foundation Benefactors program received US$11,454.64 plus an additional general US$21,037.60 donation from a club that closed. Our projected total donation budget for the year for QI and the We Share Foundation combined was US$38,600 because that was the actual amount of total donations received during the 2017-2018 fiscal year. After meeting that projected budget amount, the additional +US$127,908.34 over budget in donations helped to offset our projected shortfall of -US$151,345. (Reduction in expenses, explained below, allowed us to address the rest of the shortfall not covered by donations.) The donation amount credited to the 2018-2019 fiscal year may rise when the final September financial figures are completed, due to new donations coming in with dues payments for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. (Dues which are paid in September are deferred to the 2019-2020 year; donations are not.)
We are grateful to you, our members for your incredible generosity this past year. Your donations enabled Quota International to keep its doors open during those difficult first months before our first office unit sold. Please accept the thanks of the entire Board of Directors for coming to the aid of our beloved organization. Our primary donation appeal this year was our Century program, which was generously supported by members. We also relaunched our Stepping Stone program and our Friends of Quota program, both of which were popular at 2019 Regional Meetings.
· Membership Dues Income – as of August 31, we were over budget in 2018-2019 membership dues by +US$14,680.66. (Our projected membership dues income for new and returning members was US$308,000.) We projected initiation fees at US$3,200.00 this year and as of August 31, they reached US$3,026.54.
· Rental Income – We projected US$31,462.00 for rental income during the fiscal year. As of August 31, we were -US$7,000.37 under budget. The reason is due to the loss of rental income when we sold our first office unit on February 15, 2019 (one of Quota’s two rental units). We gained the proceeds from the sale but lost the income from the rent. This was a good problem to have. Our second unit continues to be occupied by tenants, although they are looking for other space because of the listing of Quota’s office units for sale.
· Club Insurance Income - Club insurance income, the money that US and Australian clubs pay to Quota International for liability coverage is under budget because the collection of these monies in the US will not be completed in the 2018-2019 fiscal year. We projected US$46,000 in income (based on actual income in the 2017-2018 fiscal year). The original projection should have been reduced because previously all insurance monies were collected within the boundaries of the fiscal year; that changed when Quota’s fiscal year officially changed on October 1, 2018. We expect that approximately US$10,000 more will be collected in October and November 2019, therefore meeting or exceeding the original budget. This income offsets the cost of Quota International purchasing insurance policies for clubs in Australia and the United States.
· Club Supplies – We have almost doubled the amount of income we expected to receive in club supply sales this past fiscal year. This is due to very successful sales at 2019 Regional Meetings plus increased online sales since Quota’s new Web site was launched. Our new online Quota Store is a hit! The original projected club supplies income budget was US$6,000 and as of August 31 we were at US$11,771.62.
B. EXPENSES – October 1, 2018 – August 31, 2019
As of August 31, 11 months into the fiscal year, we were under budget in all areas of Quota’s projected direct expenses except for General Administration (we were over the year’s projected budget of US$21,840 by only +US$154.29) and insurance (we were over the year’s projected budget of US$48,575 by only +US$493.67).
We are expecting to end the year well under budget overall in our direct expenses. Reasons for this include:
· Salary and Wages - We expect to be slightly under budget in the Salary & Wages budget of US$183,390. As of August 31, we were under budget by -US$5,893.19.
· Database/Web Site (Under Professional Services) - Costs related to creating a new database and Web site were significantly under budget (-US$6,639.83) because we were successful in creating these items in-house without the level of outside assistance that was originally expected. Both of these items had to be replaced this year because of the high annual cost of contracting with IMIS for database software rental services and the housing of Quota’s Web site. (Previous management approved this contract.) The cost of replacing both items was less than a year’s contract with IMIS and going forward we own our new database (therefore, no annual contract fees) and our beautiful new Web site’s annual costs are minimal (US$260 a year).
· Other Professional Services – Other professional services were significantly under budget for four reasons: (1) we reduced our accounting costs by US$1,100 a month due to being able to reduce bookkeeping services after the first few critical months; (2) legal services were not utilized as frequently as expected (because not all office spaces sold and because potential issues related to a possible sudden closing of Quota’s doors earlier in the fiscal year did not come to pass); (3) the costs for our three part-time contractors were less due to fewer hours being worked than projected; and (4) because the remaining three office suites have not yet been sold, projected costs related to completing our downsizing and moving our office to new space were not yet needed.
· Occupancy - Occupancy costs were reduced primarily due to the sale of one Quota office suite - property taxes, utilities, and condo fees. In addition, a projected special condo assessment that was budgeted for was not needed.
· Convention/Leadership Travel - We expect to be at or slightly under budget in the Convention/Leadership Travel budget of US$12,000. As of August 31, we were under budget by -US$1978.61.
· Emergency Fund – We did not need to tap into the budgeted US$10,000 emergency fund.
· Credit Line – Because of the sale of our first office unit, we did not need to move ahead with the US$200,000 credit line that Quota had been approved to receive. That reduced having to pay the significant costs related to the line of credit, namely US$5,000 to obtain it and US$4,000 in expected interest during this fiscal year.
· Credit Card Fees - US$2,000 was budgeted for credit card fees in case this form of credit might be needed this year during the fiscal crisis, but zero fees were incurred.
The final audit for the 2018-2019 fiscal year will contain complete financial income and expense information and you will be notified as soon as it is available for review online. At that time we will file Quota’s 2018-2019 990 tax reports (for Quota International and for the We Share Foundation) which the US Internal Revenue Service files online at guidestar.com.
Quota International does have debts incurred in prior fiscal years, and these debts will be paid off as remaining office space is sold: US$81,469.32 to Hand-in-Hand projects collected but not paid; US$10,000 to reimburse a foundation grant for a project never completed; and, US$55,000 to reimburse a donor for a restricted gift never used.
A new budget will be created for FY2019-2020 after September 2019 financial reports are completed and final.
2018-2019 INTERNATIONAL SERVICE
This past fiscal year, from October 1, 2018, to September 30, 2019, we put service back into Quota’s spotlight with the launching of a new initiative created by a committee of volunteers from around the world, United in Service. The Board of Directors is asking every Quota club to adopt one or both of the new United in Service projects this year – one reflecting Quota’s disadvantaged women and children mission and one reflecting our mission to assist the deaf and hard-of-hearing and those with speech difficulties. We are hoping for 100% club participation. In addition, we improved the operation of the Hand-in-Hand Program and approved new projects that can receive your donations this new fiscal year. Your donations are deeply appreciated and they do change lives.
2018-2019 STAFFING We have two full time staff members, Nancy Fitzpatrick, Executive Director, and Grace Caldwell, Community and Programs Manager. In addition, we utilize the services of three part-time staff contractors: Beris Pritchard, South Pacific Area Liaison; Yamilee Theophilie, former staff member and now part-time contractor assisting with the downsizing of the offices and the move to new space; and Lisa Schlosser, another former staff member who is now working part-time remotely in North Carolina on membership database and Quota IT/database tasks. Lisa is the creator of our new database and Web site and she is also a skilled editor and assists with copy editing. In September 2019, a 10-hour a week intern was hired, Jenna Campolieto, to assist with administrative and database tasks. Jenna is a senior at George Washington University in Washington, DC. With the addition of Jenna, we are now operating with an equivalent of 3.75 staff members.
The highlight of the past fiscal year was the launching of a beautiful new Web site created in-house, which is the start of our process to rebrand Quota International so it appeals to new and future generations of members. The new site is much easier to navigate and it contains new features. In addition, Executive Director Nancy Fitzpatrick launched two monthly e-newsletters – the Quota Quick Update and the Leadership e-Alert. And, our new Web site consolidates links to all current and new communications under Quota Express News. We are actively using our social media sites as well as researching and sharing press that clubs around the world receive through the Quota in the News publication on our new site.
2018-2019 LEADERSHIP SUPPORT
Leadership calls with Club Presidents and Regional Directors were re-launched in February 2019 – a great way for leaders to share ideas and problem solve. In addition, special areas were created on Quota’s new Web site as resource centers for club presidents and regional directors. The Leadership e-Alert, mentioned under communications, provides monthly leadership support, information, and ideas. Additionally, an all-leader meeting is scheduled to be held at Convention 2020.
2018-2019 CONVENTION PLANNING
We have begun the planning of Convention 2020, to be held July 9-11, 2020, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA. Our hotel is the beautiful and historic Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. Visit our expanded Convention 2020 Web page to book your hotel reservations (great price - US$139 a night plus tax for a single, double, triple, or quad), plan your pre-convention tours, plan your post-convention tour, check out Grand Rapids restaurant recommendations, and view the latest convention program schedule – all online now! Convention 2020 registration will open in January 2020 and registration rates will be announced later this year. We will do all that we can to keep registration costs as low as possible while providing an enjoyable and meaningful experience.
In closing, I am proud of our joint efforts—members, leaders, and staff—in getting Quota International’s finances back on track this fiscal year. Having had the benefit of this full Quota year, and not having to close our doors early in 2019 (as we were concerned we might have to do), has resulted in more time to plan for a new direction that will better serve our clubs worldwide in a more cost-effective way.
Thank you for all that you do for Quota in your communities and around the world. It is an honor to be serving you in this, Quota’s 100th year.