LNC: Upcoming budget increase requests


From Wes Benedict on the Libertarian National Committee email list, September 1st, 2016 (includes August LP membership numbers):

Dear LNC:

I’d like to start a discussion about several budget increase requests before a formal motion is considered. I mentioned to the chair that I thought it would be good for me to put this before the LNC soon, and he agreed it was okay for me to get this discussion started on this list.

To me, all of these budget increase requests are the result of good news — our revenue, membership, and interest is very high, far higher than budgeted, and as a result, many of our expenses are higher as well.

More revenue and members means more membership cards and LP News to mail out, and bigger lists to send fundraising letter to.

The original 2016 Budget adopted for the entire year of 2016  was $1,474,561. My preliminary estimate for August 31, 2016 YTD revenue is $1,679,938 (July 2016 YTD) plus $412,425 (August 2016) = $2,092,363. It’s possible we could double the original revenue budgeted for the entire year (although I’m not ready to predict that).

Dues-paying membership has increased from 11,693 at the start of January to approximately 19,300 at the end of August.

The original budget for branding revenue was $35,000. We’ve already brought in $205,862 in branding revenue (that’s mostly the stuff we sell at LPStore.org).

Again, all of these increases in donations, memberships, and store orders, means higher postage, credit card processing fees, purchases of items offered at LPStore.org, office supplies, and some labor to help process all that stuff.

Robert Kraus and I have looked over the results of this year to date, considered what things could look like going forward, and are recommending that the LNC proposed and passes the following budget increases.

26-Brand Political Materials Revenue increase by $150,000 to $400,000
32-Fundraising Costs increase by $60,000 to $201,364
33-Membership Fundraising Costs increase by $35,000 to $127,200
40-Adminstrative Costs increase by $50,000 to $310,050
45-Compensation increase by $60,000 to $448,800
55-Brand Political Materials Expense increase by $150,000 to $400,000
85-Member Communication increase by $17,500 to $62,500

We have the revenue to pay for all of these budget increases. I’m pretty certain we have more money in the bank for the September of a Presidential election year than ever before in the history of the Libertarian Party, and that’s in spite of paying what it has taken to achieve 50 state ballot access for the first time since 2000.

While we are not technically over budget in most areas, we are trending in that direction and certainly will go way over budget by the end of the year unless I proactively cut back on fundraising letters, LP News, shipping LPStore.org materials, staff levels, and other areas. That could be done, but I don’t think it’s the right thing to do. For example, instead of focusing my time on trying to continue the growth of membership and fundraising by hiring another intern to fill boxes with campaign materials, I could spend my own time stuffing envelopes and filling boxes with yard signs–something I do actually enjoy and find to be therapeutic.

I’d be happy to try to respond to any questions you have on these items.

Thanks for your consideration. I’m hoping we have a productive discussion on this, and then the chair or treasurer can propose a motion that fits a consensus for you to consider of the Labor Day Weekend.

Wes Benedict, Executive Director
Libertarian National Committee, Inc.
1444 Duke St., Alexandria, VA 22314

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