2018 Treasurer’s Report Summary

January 21, 2019
Full Report Available on Request

Last year was a great success for our organization in every way but one – that exception being our financial situation. We ended with a $20,769 operating loss after grappling with cash flow challenges all year. Primarily this was because of a conscious decision to invest in program development (particularly in vital areas of fire and forestry programs) as catastrophic wildfires decimated our area. Also, we experienced significant shortfalls in grants and special events revenue.

To be realistic, we must take a “glass half-full/half-empty” perspective. We had a very successful Giving Tuesday, and created a new Patreon campaign and Japan trip which we are just starting to monetize. Business sponsorships remain mostly unchanged, with more that can be done while maintaining our independence.

We managed expenses down as a result of decreased income. Only travel and conferences (due to Bioneers attendance) and other expense (primarily advertising) increased. In retrospect, we could have managed more aggressively as anticipated revenue failed to materialize. Special events generated losses; it was an unfortunate but prudent move to cancel the Harvest Dinner.

All of this will inform the work on the new strategic plan. There are several ways we will need to pivot our efforts in 2019 – from a financial standpoint we absolutely need to eliminate the worrisome operating deficit and establish a prudent cash reserve.

Still, from a programmatic standpoint – we should celebrate our successes! 2018 was about laying groundwork, and 2019 will be about achievement, which we are confident will happen. We have increased our value and effectiveness, strengthened our relationships and enhanced our standing in the community and even nationally with our innovative efforts as we preserve and protect our mountain environment. And that is why we do what we do.


Total income for 2018 decreased to $89,319 compared with $131,099 (-32%) the previous year.

2018 2017 $ Change % Change
Contributions/Members 30,340 22,898 7,442 32.50%
Contracts & Grants 40,907 81,164 -40,257 -49.60%
Fiscal Sponsorships 10,370 10,423 -53 -0.51%
Special Events/Misc. 7,702 16,615 -8,912 -53.64%
TOTAL 89,319 131,099 -41,781 -31.87%

Contributions from November’s Giving Tuesday fundraising increased to $11,737 in 2018 (compared with $9,174 in 2017) – a significant accomplishment as overall donations declined in our area. Business sponsorship revenue was largely unchanged.

At year-end we launched a new “Become A Mountain Patron” Patreon campaign and have already covered most of the development cost, which included producing a very well-done new video. Patreon will be a keystone for unrestricted fundraising efforts going forward, particularly targeted to visitors and others online. Our local house party was quite a success; we need to plan more such gatherings, particularly in Ashland, Redding and the Bay Area.

In 2017 we had a one-time contract totaling over $50,000, with the City of Mt. Shasta for tasks related to the Upper Sacramento River (USR) Regional Water Action Group. This contract completed and we received final payment in early 2018. That accounts for most of the decrease in this category; however, other grant revenue was also much lower than historical levels. We unfortunately were not awarded several significant grants for which we applied.


Total expense for 2018 decreased to $110,088 compared with $136,834 (-20%) the previous year.

  2018 2017 $ Change % Change
Grants to Other Orgs 0 4,848 -4,848 -100.00%
Salaries 50,381 55,712 -5,331 -9.57%
Contract Services 29,884 43,268 -13,385 -30.93%
Non-Personnel 2,520 3,632 -1,112 -30.61%
Facility & Equipment 9,408 12,313 -2,904 -23.59%
Travel & Meetings 4,992 1,668 3,324 199.27%
Special Events 8,004 11,645 -3,641 -31.26%
Other/Taxes 4,898 3,747 1,151 30.73%
TOTAL 110,088 136,834 -26,746 -19.55%

Grants to other organizations in 2017 represents funds paid from net proceeds of the Nahko concert.

Somewhat surprisingly, salary expense declined slightly, primarily due to fewer hours charged than budgeted, and changes in staffing. It’s clear our staff were conservative and mindful of our financial position in charging their hours. Contract services expense declined, as in 2017 we had higher charges for USR task subcontracts and expense. Other contractor expenses, primarily for Medicine Lake, remained relatively unchanged.

Non-personnel, facility and equipment costs declined year to year – this had included video equipment purchases in 2017. Travel & meeting costs increased, as we encouraged greater participation in networking events (particularly for fire programs), and sent three people to the Bioneers Conference.

Other expenses (besides special events) remained relatively steady, with some increase in advertising costs.

Net Income

The news was not good for this year, which ended with a significant ($20,769) loss.

Fund Balances

At year end, cash on hand (combined balances of PayPal and the Mechanic’s Bank checking account) decreased to $3,889 from $24,733 the previous year.