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JACL National Board Urges Cutting Program Costs to Balance the Proposed 2015-2016 Budget

By October 20, 2014No Comments

The JACL Budget Committee plans to meet March 22 to discuss program cuts needed to balance the biennial budget.

By Nalea J. Ko, Reporter   

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. –– In an effort to balance its proposed biennial budget, the JACL National Board at its recent meeting emphasized the importance of implementing program cost-cutting measures.

The JACL National Board members at their March 1 meeting urged program managers to make budget cuts in preparation for the JACL Budget Committee meeting on March 22. Budget Committee members, once they receive all program budgets, will attempt to balance the proposed 2015-16 national budget.

“I think the budget committee will have some work to do to balance this budget,” said Matthew Farrells, JACL national secretary/treasurer about the proposed 2015-16 budget projections. “As you can see, program costs currently exceed the revenues by about $400,000, which is typical at this point in the budget process.”

The 21 JACL programs include the Pacific Citizen, social justice and advocacy, legislation action, National Youth Student Council, fund development, education, interns and fellowships, Legacy Grants, D.C. Leadership Conference, defamation and hate crimes, National Convention, and marketing and communication, among others.

Farrells presented the board with the unaudited financials as of Dec. 31, showing total revenues at $2,435,996 and total program expenditures coming to $2,373,506. Membership revenue was under budget by $42,157, grants by $74,902 and fundraising by $66,955. The Pacific Citizen revenues were also under budget by 24.6 percent or $67,826.

“When the budget committee meets in three weeks, one of the things I would do, that I’m going to ask Clyde [Izumi] and Matthew to do is show side-by-side what we spent in 2012 and 2013,” said JACL National President David Lin. “I think one way or the other all the programs are going to get cut. Let’s just be honest because we don’t have the revenue. So, we are not going to go into the reserve. We’ve been to that place before and it was not pretty.”

JACL programs must adhere to the 2012-2014 Program for Action mission of helping to “promote cultural, education and social values and preserve the heritage of the Japanese American community.” The Program For Action, also called the National Strategic Plan, was approved at the National Convention on July 7, 2012.

“One thing to remember is that this is not a budget-driven program, it’s a program-driven budget,” said Clyde Izumi, the JACL national business manager, speaking to program managers. “But it’s not the budget that controls what you’re going to do, it’s what you’re going to do that’s going to control the program.”

“And part of your program plan should include if in fact the budget committee needs to consider cuts to your program, where would you prioritize the cuts?”

Program managers were given until March 12 to submit their program budgets to the JACL Budget Committee.

“The bottom line is these numbers, revenues and expenses will change once all the program plans come in,” Northern California/Western Nevada Pacific Regional Director Patty Wada said.

Originally published on March 7, 2014