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Balancing Act

In two previous blog posts I talked about our fund raising efforts as we closed out our fiscal year (September 30).  I can now report that we have had a successful financial year and have finished “in the black” for the second year in succession.  In these troubled economic times, we consider this quite a feat! 


As for our End of Year Campaign, we raised approximately $75,000, falling short of our $85,000 goal.   Despite this shortfall, we were very pleased to raise $75,000, and relieved that we were able to raise this amount of money during a month where the stock market was in free fall.   To all of our donors who braved a very turbulent month and still donated $75,000 to our campaign, we are eternally grateful!


So, how did we fall short of our campaign goal and still finish the year in positive territory?  We pulled this off by holding the line on expenses, and by doing better than expected in some of our other income areas.  Like many non-profits, we get our income from a variety of sources.  The City of Dallas appropriation (about 13% of our total budget), our Gone To Texas gala, facilities rentals, admissions income, school tour income, memberships, and outright donations comprise most of our $950,000 annual budget.


 Having multiple sources of income is a mixed blessing.  It is a strength in that a bad year in one area does not cripple our operations.   On the other hand, with so many sources of income, some areas inevitably come in below expected levels.  So, in any given year some income areas do better than expected, some worse.   In a good year, everything balances.


Above all else, we know that it is important for us to manage our expenses and, as we sometimes say, if “we don’t have it, we don’t spend it.” While many factors in a budget year are beyond what can be controlled, expenses are one area that can be controlled.   We like to believe that our very generous supporters know that we are good “balancing” stewards of the money that they entrust us with.

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