The Chippewa Watershed Conservancy (CSCW) is a small (1 staff person) land trust operating in the Mat. Pleasant, Michigan area. Founded in 1 985, the CSCW has protected 4,233 acres in the Central Michigan area with 49 land protection projects and ranks in the top 10 out of more than 40 conservancies in Michigan in acreage protected.
They can be found at www. chippewawatershedconservancy. Org. Brief History The CSCW operated on a volunteer basis from 1 985 until 2004. During that time period volunteers performed all management functions and succeeded in protecting more than four square miles of wildlife habitat in five counties. However, it became apparent that due to the increasing number of protected parcels and the evolution of legal requirements and management standards that the CSCW needed professional leadership. In 2004 a part-time employee was hired.
That position evolved over the next several years to a full-time Executive Director status. Over that time period management responsibilities were transferred from volunteers to the Executive Director. Members of the Board of Directors (BODY) continue to serve in a volunteer capacity; however, most of the management of the organization is now performed by the Executive Director. Some technical functions, such as legal review of conservation easements, annual audit, and some routine accounting are contracted out.
Members of the BODY, and other volunteers, continue to help with membership, fundraising, stewardship, and new project evaluation. The BODY is extremely concerned that the CSCW be managed so that it is sustainable. The commitments of land trusts are, by their very nature, long- term (actually perpetual). Therefore, the CSCW must ensure that their business plan and budget will ensure their long-term survival. The Current Situation The Executive Director is formulating an Operating Budget recommendation for the next year.
He has made a series of assumptions based on previous year performance and expectations about the coming year. He is particularly concerned about increased energy costs and a likely recession that may hold down contributions and foundation support. The CSCW wants to budget for a % (of total expense) surplus to provide protection against unforeseen events. Your role is to prepare the budget for the following (next) year based on the assumptions adopted by the Executive Director and the budget for the current year. You will also be asked to analyze the results of those budget assumptions.
Assumptions for NEXT budget year: Revenue: Special events will increase by 20% due to a new event. Contributions will increase by 10% due to new membership drives. Grants will fall by 20% due to the end of a current grant. Interest income will be unchanged from the current year, but endowment income will be up 20% due o large endowment contributions in the current and previous years. Expenses: Special events will increase by 20% due to an additional event and there will be a increase in fundraising, newsletter, and postage expenses.