ONS Uses More Than Just Dues to Support Wide Array of Member Benefits
June 2, 2014
By Tracy Gosselin, RN, PhD, AOCN®, Treasurer, ONS Board of Directors
The ONS budgeting cycle is not unlike what occurs at the places each of us work. Staff and senior leadership develop a budget each year, which is then reviewed and approved by the Board. The budget is monitored throughout the year, and the year-end results are presented to the Board. The results are also shared with members at the annual business meeting that is held in conjunction with the annual conference. Information can also be found in the Society’s annual report.
In 2013, the ONS Finance Committee met in September to review and discuss the proposed budget. The budget was then presented to the full Board in October; however, because other changes coming out of the October Board meeting would cause the budget to have a negative (or red) bottom line, it was not yet approved. These changes had not been factored in as they were new items and included recruitment and hiring of a new CEO and the impact of transitioning to one national conference in 2014. In November, the ONS chief financial officer and I worked in collaboration to produce a budget that reflected changes in both revenue and expense to the organization to bring things back in line. This budget was then presented to the Board in December and approved.
So you might be asking yourself, “Why is this important?” As a member of ONS, it is important to understand the economic influences that are impacting our Society. One example is meeting attendance, which has decreased over the past several years. The lower attendance has not just reduced the registration revenue ONS receives from conference attendees but also has an associated impact on advertising and exhibit revenue. Dues from ONS members currently represent only 16% of the revenue. When combined with other revenue streams such as conference registration, advertising, and exhibit revenue, the dues we pay allow our Society to run the day-to-day operations but also supports the education, health policy advocacy, practice, quality, and research endeavors that benefit us as members via our participation in them. This summer and fall, the ONS staff and Board will be working to create a process that can be used to determine the “how” and “when” surrounding dues increases and what factors should be taken into consideration.
As treasurer, I will continue to monitor external and internal impacts to ONS’s operations so we can deliver on our commitment to transforming cancer care.