One of the most common questions that new instructors ask is "Why do I have to pay dues?" There are two reasons. First, dues are the means by which we differentiate members from non-members. Otherwise we could claim that all instructors are automatically NIA members. The Board of Trustees and Executive Director Team would likely find this unconvincing. Second, the NIA incurs expenses as we work to fulfill our mission. These expenses fall into four broad categories: instructor services (e.g. nolsinstructorassociation.org), recruitment (e.g. branch meetings, e-mail marketing, etc.), visibility projects (e.g. stickers, tee shirts, etc.), and professional leadership (stipends for selected board members).
The NIA is a democratic organization. We believe in transparency and accountability. If you have feedback about how your dues are being spent, we encourage you to email the Treasurer.
You can find an archive of Treasurer's Reports here.
The NIA’s resources available for the 2019 Budget came from three sources
2018 dues - $7,060 divided as follows
40% to Operating Expenses
30% to Annual Stipends
20% to build Savings
10% to build Flamingo Fund
2018 budget surplus - $940
Board approved transfer from Savings for Operating Expenses - $1,429
This was used to pay for two years of website fees
A Flamingo Fund transfer to support this years projects
$5,193 spent on Operating Expenses
2.48% less than the original budgeted amount of $5,325.
This $132 surplus will remain in Savings for future use.
Website Fees - 71.9%
Paid for two years of website fees in order to take advantage of savings.
The website allows us to collect dues, track membership, represent our platform to all NOLS employees, and share the Flamingo Newsletter every few months.
Membership Incentives - 17.6%
Examples include hats and belt buckles.
A 2-year supply of beanies was purchased this year.
We want to thank our members for their support and help encourage new members by having our name visible within the many NOLS communities.
Meetings - 7.2%
Annual Meeting (5.0%) plus Campus Meetings (2.2%)
Our Annual General Meeting that coincides with the Faculty Summit and occasional meetings at various NOLS locations allow the NIA to connect face to face with the NOLS community.
NOLS Donation - 2.9%
At the beginning of 2019 stipends were distributed for any board member who chose to report hours from 2018. Thirty percent of the past years income is evenly divided based on hours reported for these board members.
At the start of 2019 a transfer of $705.99, 10% of the 2018 income, was distributed to the Flamingo Fund. A starting balance of $1,593.82 was available for 2019 projects. Three Flamingo Fund projects (listed below) were completed in 2019 for a total of $738.39. The year end balance of the Flamingo Fund is $855.43. This money will stay in the Fund for future projects.
Patagonia: Funds toward a sauna for staff and instructor use.
New Zealand: A Soda Stream and Settlers of Catan board game were purchased.
A transfer of $1,411.97 (20% of the 2017 income) was made to the NIA savings account. During the year $750 was transferred out to cover Operating Expenses. An additional sum of $679.12 will be transferred to balance the budget. After that transfer the balance to start 2020 will be $2,147.00.
This buffer allows the NIA to make financial decisions that require more upfront capital, but will save the NIA money in the long run. An example of this is paying our website fees in advance for two years for a discounted rate.