On behalf of the entire MVA Board, I want to say how we excited we are about the 2014 season. In the coming weeks we will be sharing with you details on new clinics, weekly races, GP, Masters Nationals, Husky Challenge and State Championships. LOTS of very fun stuff coming your way.
But first we need to discuss the un-fun topic of money.
At its March meeting, the Board made the difficult decision to raise fees. This decision was not made lightly, but was necessary and the result of months of hard work. Last year we cut into our reserve to the tune of $45,000. This email provides detail on this decision and the reasoning behind it. If, after reading this email thoroughly, you have questions/concerns/comments…please don't hesitate to contact me via email (email@example.com) or phone (206.617.6677).
WHAT WE DECIDED:
The Board voted unanimously that MVA operating expenses (all the costs associated with running weekly races and classes) and MVA operating income (income from membership fees, weekly race fees, beer garden, gate entry, class fees) should be equal. Doing so moves our organization to a more sustainable business model.
In order to accomplish this goal, we are raising annual membership fees to $100 and increasing race night entries by $5 across-the-board. We are also cutting finish-line cameras from weekly Wednesday and Friday night racing.
Detailed fee structure is available here.
WHY THE CHANGE?
The MVA's financial path was untenable. This was caused by three factors:
1. For years the MVA has benefited from Jerry Baker’s gracious, tireless and free service to the community. When he stepped down, we had to fill many of his roles with paid staff. The Board hired Amara Edwards as Program Director on a part-time basis in the off-season and near full-time basis in-season. That was a new expense for 2013 and totaled $31,000. It is money well-spent.
2. Last year we didn't hold an auction (which typically nets $12,000-$17,000). The reason for this is simple: despite multiple calls to the membership, we couldn’t find a volunteer to organize it. This is understandable: there's a high burn-out rate in this role and I'm personally not aware of anyone who's run it more than once. But there is another issue: the bulk of the donations were sourced from 7-10 individuals and the bulk of the funds raised were from those same 7-10 individuals. It doesn't seem equitable to us that race operations are funded on the backs of a small number of generous people.
3. Volunteership within our community is abysmal. We've put out multiple calls for help and the same six people respond. We have had zero success in finding someone to serve as Volunteer Coordinator to rally folks. So if we want services to stay at the same (or higher) level, then we have to pay people to fill needed roles.
The addition of Program Director and the loss of the auction meant spending $45,000 of our $95,000 reserve.
THAT MEMBERSHIP FEE IS A BIG JUMP!
Yes it is. And it's not something we take lightly. If it represents a hardship, then the Board has set aside funds to help. If it represents a real barrier to participating, you can make a request to Finance Committee Member Kristian Miller (firstname.lastname@example.org). Your name will be kept anonymous as the request is reviewed by the Board.
We will still offer one-day memberships but have re-structured them. The goal is to provide a means for out-of-towners, and those new to the track, to race three nights before having to commit to an annual membership.
In 2014, riders may purchase a one-day license ($15) up to three times. Each one-day license will be treated as a credit against an annual license. After three-nights of one-day license racing, riders will be required to pay the remaining $55 of annual dues to continue racing for the year.
We will continue the tradition of not charging one-day memberships for the Grand Prix.
WHAT ABOUT SPONSORSHIP/DONATIONS?
The board continues to cultivate sponsorship of the velodrome. Funds from sponsorship will go to areas that are discretionary (grants, advertising, underwriting of large races) and we will conduct an annual capital campaign for specific needs. In 2014 we've made replacing the aging rental bike fleet the focus of capital fundraising.
IS THERE A RAINY-DAY FUND BUILT INTO THE 2014 BUDGET?
No. Our only reserve is our existing $50,000.
I WANT MORE DETAIL
Absolutely. You can view a snapshot comparison of 2013 and 2014 budgets here. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me.
We have the best access of any track in the country and a program that is the envy of most racers nationally. The Board’s most important job is ensuring the MVA is fiscally stable. This fee structure change enables us to operate responsibly and sustainably.
Thank you for your time!