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The 990's

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Before we finish up, one final detail about Expenses. Many people compare charitable organizations based on the amount of money that actually gets to the charitable purpose of the organization vs. the administrative expenses used to get the money there. The 990's provide a look at this comparison by requiring expenses to be categorized into two categories, Program Service Expenses and Management and General Expenses.

For 2011, Total expenses were $9,429,827. Of that amount, $6,555,032 (69.5%) went to Program Service Expenses and $2,874,795 (30.5%) went to Management and General Expenses.

In 2010, Total Expenses were $8,875,705. Of that, $5,768,844 (65%) was Program Service and $3,106,861 (35%) was Management and General.

In 2009, Total Expenses were $8,542,134. $5,373,139 (62.4%) were Program Service and $3,168,985 (37.6%) were M&G.

(Sorry, just realized the order by year is reversed from prior posts.)

If this is a representation of efficiency, these numbers look pretty good. Seven percent more of DCI's Revenue was spent on Program Service in 2011 than in 2009, and Management and General expenses consumed less of the Revenue over these three years.

This would be a good thing depending on where you stand and what's behind the numbers. More money going into Program (show) expenses could mean more money is being paid out to corps, or it could mean more money went into show production (like venue costs, etc).

Anecdotally, I have noticed a decline in the number of attendants guarding the entrys to prevent fans from entering or leaving during a show. Those savings in venue costs (if my observation is a true representation) may mean the corps make more but the fans suffer more disruptions, for example.

Without an explanation of Program Expenses there's no way to tell who got the benefit of DCI's greater management "efficiency".

EDIT: If it's reasonable to presume that the corps benefited most from this increase in effeciency, I have to ask: What the heck are they complaining about? With all that DCI does to produce a tour (venue, rights, travel, etc) is it reasonable to think that a "Music in Motion" tour could be produced more efficiently?

Jersey Surf

Program Service "efficiency" (as defined above)

Again, because Surf reported on the 990 "EZ" version, expenses were not distinctly categoried into PSE, MGE, or FRE. In 2011, all of Surf's expenses were listed as PSE. However, because Surf does not run outside funding activities such as bingo, it's reasonable that their '09 and '10 expenses would also be classified as PSE.

2009: Of $369,116 in Total Expenses, 100% was PSE (presumed)

2010: Of $413,936 in Total Expenses, 100% was PSE (presumed)

2011: Of $407,882 in Total Expenses, 100% was PSE (reported)

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Jersey Surf

Balance Sheet

(Note: 2009's balance sheet is not itemized)



2009: Not reported

2010: $37,652

2011: $13,940

Accounts Receivable

2009: $3,218

2010: $7,911

2011: $41,409

Inventories for sale or use

2009: $16,025

2010: $11,759

2011: $10,379

Land, Buildings, equipment (at cost less accumulated depreciation)

2009: Not reported

2010: $110,242

2011: $83,665

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That ends our rather abbreviated look at Jersey Surf.

My personal observations are that, first, Surf is a corps that spends all (or slightly more than) their income on their show production, but that, as a result, they have little or no reserve to fall back on, making their ability to consistently raise funds all that more acute. This is not limited to the smaller corps, as some of the top corps illustrate.

I think many would claim that Surf put on a he11 of an entertaining show last year for the size of their budget.

If there were a metric that measures entertainment value vs. dollars spent on their program I'd bet Surf would end up high on that list, as I think several of the smaller corps would.

I'm, personally, concerned about any corps that has no liquid asset cushion, and I give points to corps that do. But I'll only hold my breath that these smaller corps don't experience a "100-year flood" event that might cause their balance sheets to implode and threaten to shut them down.

Note: I was going to apologize for the coincidental reference to the "100-year flood" event, but I think it's appropriate to point out the admirable work that Surf did (loaning kitchen facilities, volunteering camp attendees, etc) during the Hurricane Sandy disaster. Instead of apologizing, I think their efforts deserve applause. :thumbup:/>

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So, after more than two months and nearly a thousand posts and 75,000 views, we come to the end of our little venture.

We've reviewed 21 corps plus DCI and I've very much enjoyed getting to know the financials of each corps a little better.

(This is where each of you give me a green plus because, either, you're glad I'm finally done and/or you appreciate the effort. /shameless plug.)

There have been quite a few surprises that changed the assumptions I had going in, not the least of all is the recent success that DCI has had.

While I'm not surprised at the lack of comments (expecially considering the views) I'm happy and thankful that the thread stayed on course and that everyone avoided the urge to derail it. Nothing ever dies on DCP so this consolidated record will be available to reference for as long as John D allows it ("Hail to the king. Long live the king!").

I have several things to do yet. First will be to update the spreadsheet and post it in the next couple of days. That'll be the raw data. Then I think I'll start a thread where comments about the data will flow a little easier and where we can discuss some of the conclusions that come out of this exercise.

I'm thinking about a poll, too. And I've been asked to write an article summarizing the findings of the 990s.

The likely most significant annual meeting in DCI's history is coming up in two weeks. Perhaps this data would be useful to some attending that meeting.

Perhaps the commentary from DCP will be illustrative, too. So pipe in on the upcoming 990's discussion thread.

Thanks for playing.


GREAT job with all this!!!! :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

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First, let me once again thank you for the enormous contribution you've made to the information base here at DCP. Thanks also to the people directly associated with some of these corps, who have helped explain the details behind the numbers. I think we all have a better understanding of the many people and many efforts that support this activity, thanks to this thread.

Since this is such a valuable look "under the hood", I hope you have the opportunity to include Pioneer along with the other world-class corps (edit: I see you read my mind!).

I would also suggest that a look at the open-class units would be most informative. I understand, though, that there is insufficient time to do so prior to the Janual, and thus, no need to prioritize such an effort. However, if world-class still hasn't disassembled itself by February, it would be worth having some factual reference upon which to evaluate the relative viability of the open-class model, both for those corps who tour to Indy and for those who stay in their home region.

Again, thanks! :babies:/>

Edited by audiodb
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