Introduction. The proposed biennial 2017-2019 budget for the League of Women Voters of California (LWVC) is submitted to delegates for their consideration in accordance the bylaws (Article IX Financial Administration, Section 2 Budget).
Although the delegates only consider and vote on a budget for the LWVC, the Budget Committee is also presenting the budget for the League of Women Voters of California Education Fund (LWVCEF) for informational purposes. We hope this will help delegates understand our overall budgetary priorities and projected sources and uses of funds for all League activities in California. The LWVCEF Board of Directors adopts the LWVCEF budget after Convention.
The Budget Committee. This budget was prepared by a committee, appointed by the LWVC Board of Directors. The members as of print date were:
- Jacquie Canfield, Treasurer (Chair), LWVC
- Helen Hutchison, President, LWVC (ex-officio)
- Melissa Breach, Executive Director, LWVC
- Suzi Bakker, LWV Sacramento County
- Michelle Dennis, LWV Los Angeles
- Katherine Gavzy, LWV Oakland
Comments and Questions. Comments and questions should be addressed to Jacquie Canfield at email@example.com. A webinar on the budget is planned for May 20, 2017 at 11:00AM for interested members. Please see LWVC convention website for more information. Delegates will also have the opportunity to meet with the Budget Committee during the convention. There will be two Budget Q&A meetings during Convention. All are invited.
The Budget Process. The Budget Committee began working on proposed budgets in November 2016, consulting with members of the board, off-board volunteers, contractors, and staff to identify organizational priorities as well as anticipated costs and revenues. This biennial budget was approved by the LWVC Board for recommendation to the delegates on April 13, 2017.
Context. The LWVC Board is committed to presenting a budget which reflects our ongoing commitment to being a flexible, sustainable, and ambitious organization. This budget conveys to our funders, donors, and—most of all—our members, where we are headed over the next two years. We believe the budget as presented is attainable. At the same time, we will continue to closely monitor key indicators and are prepared to adjust the budget as needed.
The following pages outline the proposed major programs and items for the LWVC and LWVCEF. As shown on the next page almost 70% of the funds are planned to be spent on program. Our plan to accomplish this does not include a PMP increase but it does include added efficiencies and corresponding reductions in operating expense at the State office.
Significant Items in the FY 2017/2019 Budget
- No PMP Increase: This budget maintains the PMP (Per Member Payment) of $28.
- Office Space: As an ongoing effort to reduce costs, the State office will be moving to a new location in Sacramento. This will reduce the lease costs from $52K to $34K in 2017/18 and from $54K to $30K in 2018/19. Also, includes one-time moving costs of $10,000.
- Building of Operational Reserves: The LWVC Board and LWVCEF are committed to building an operational reserve of six months over the next three years in each organization. The intent of these funds is to be a source to temporarily offset an unanticipated increase in ongoing expense or unanticipated loss of ongoing funding. These funds are not intended to finance one-time expenses and any funds used are to be replenished within two years.
- Member Services: The LWVC will continue the leadership development workshops for local Leagues, support an in-person convening for MTA’s, support the MTA program, provide expanded Program and Voter Service resources and toolkits for local Leagues, as well as trainings for local Leagues.
- Convention: Every two years the State League works with a local League to host a convention for our members. The budget assumes most direct costs will be supported by registration fees. Administrative expenses of $30,000 will be covered by LWVC unrestricted funds.
- New LEW: The LWVC board and LWVCEF board took action in March 2017 to complete the New LEW tool. We anticipate supporting both historic and new LEW through 2018. The new product will be available to California Leagues as of August 2017. The 2017/18 LWVC/LWVCEF budgets include some one-time expenses to complete this project. In addition, the LWVC budget includes ongoing expenses for increased costs associated with the new platform.
- Advocacy: The Legislative Committee’s work including their meetings time, any resources to assist such as CaptialTrack (bill tracking system), any work advocating for League positions, as well as necessary lobbying forms costs are captured here. This includes advocacy emails and our Action Alert tool which makes it easy for League members and supports to lobby their lawmakers directly. The League takes action on bills on a variety or issue areas from election reform to climate change, to Housing.
- Community Education: These funds will be used for projects like the California Guide to California Government, support and consultation with election officials, and efforts to ensure effective compliance with California’s New Motor Voter Program.
- Voters Engagement & Education: We run many different projects as part of our work to engage and educate voters. They include:
- Voter’s Edge California: Serving over 1.7 million California Voters last election cycle, Voter’s Edge California is the leading online Voter Guide in California providing the complete and unbiased information voters need to act with confidence on election day.
- Easy Voter Guide Project: is a plain language, community reviewed, election resource for new and busy voters. Available in five languages, it provides backbone ballot measure content for Voters Edge California and over 200,000 print copies are distributed across the state.
- Voter’s Choice Act Implementation (SB540 – Vote by mail) The VCA is a new law that could make it easier for Californian’s to vote and drive better turnout. It allows certain California counties to move from offering traditional precinct-site voting to an election system using a combination of vote-by-mail balloting, ballot drop-off locations, and “Vote Centers.” LWVC sits on both the Secretary of State’s Task Force and Future of California Elections Steering Committee to insure effective implementation.
- Voter Service: LWVCEF will continue to develop statewide Pros and Cons (in English and Spanish), Forums, PowerPoint presentations and where video resources.
The following pages provide a summary view of the proposed two-year budget with a comparison to the prior year’s budget. This is followed by the same information showing the expenses by major function.