After the interesting happenings of 2020, our national ARPAS organization finished the year better than planned! Our membership remained quite strong, and we saw nice growth in our Applied Animal Science journal. Thanks to Kertz and our ARPAS associates, we were able to regain support from many corporate sponsors. The pandemic had hidden benefits with reduced travel expenses and meeting fees but hindered our ability to grow and maintain membership. Overall, we budgeted for a shortfall of just over $61,000, only to end with a deficit of $29,500.
Unfortunately, as I’ve reported during my tenure as treasurer, we continue to gradually erode our strong financial foundation. To help address this situation, we increased membership dues this past fall and worked especially hard to recover corporate sponsors. We realize it is very difficult to get companies to participate in sponsorships and greatly appreciate when members gain the support of their associated companies. Please contact Cummings, Morstatter, or one of the Executive Committee members if we can help you convince those in leadership of your organization of the value of ARPAS.
Looking at year-over-year trends, we continue to see a gradual decline in regular ARPAS memberships. Fortunately, in 2020, our membership services costs were well below budget at only 39% of predicted. Similarly, member support and annual meeting fees were lower, while administration and governance as well as ARPAS journal charges were right on budget. So, while membership revenue has slipped, it was partially offset by lower expenses.
The 2021 budget has been prepared with the support of our executive team. Costs have been projected from prior year trends and include specific inputs from Jeremy Holzner, the FASS executive director. Nearly all expenses are being held constant or projected slightly higher than our 2020 budget. We are sensitive to the impact of further pandemic influences and have tried to account for those in the budget. Unfortunately, given our projected income and expenses, the budget is projected to have a shortfall of $46,040.
Our Governing Council is challenged with the goal of finding ways to bring greater value to our members, grow our membership, increase corporate sponsorships and page revenues by the journal, and possibly reduce ARPAS expenses. We continue to be pleased with the strength and resilience of our ARPAS members and the industries they influence and support.