It’s the most wonderful time of the year. As any of you readers in who work in budget offices know, May and June is peak budget time. I’m actually writing this from the City of Durham’s first of two full day work sessions on the proposed FY 2018-19 budget. I’m humming the classic Christmas carol under my breath as each of our departments share what they have planned for FY 2018-19.
ELGL, just like Durham and all you other organizations on a July-June fiscal year, is also in budget season. Earlier this month as the preparations for #ELGL18 were being finalized our Board of Directors met to do a little strategic planning and adopt a budget for the next fiscal year. I want to take this chance to share what we adopted and share the awesome budget related memes that Carly Lorentz and Matt Yager have been posting.
Before I give you the complete budget as only ELGL would, in an embedded Google docs spreadsheet that we actually used and edited during our budget discussions, I want to highlight a couple of our accomplishments from this past year and what we have planned for next year. Because since it is the most wonderful time of the year, it’s a great chance to take a look back and take a look forward.
FY 2017-18 Budget Accomplishments
I’ll start with my favorite thing about ELGL, events. We hosted a ton of events in the last year, including a couple of new event types, and the Board of Directors continues to believe that our events are one of the best ways that ELGL engages the brightest minds in local government.
- Pop-Ups – We hosted four Pop Ups across the county in the fall of 2017 (shout out to the Charlotte crew for hosting the best Pop-Up).
- #ELGLInspire – For the first time we had two events to engage undergraduate students in the work of local government, at Willamette University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
- Supper Clubs – I’m sure I missed some but we hosted at least 12 Supper Club events from California to Colorado and Florida.
- ELGL Road Show – Another new event, we partnered with the City of La Quinta, CA to host a one day pop up training with their staff and area members.
- #ELGL18 – Obviously we also hosted our annual conference in Golden, CO earlier this month.
Possibly our biggest initiative this year is the Diversity Dashboard, we had a Kickstarter to fund the research and collection of data on the gender, race, age, veteran status, and residency of all local government Chief Administrative Officers (CAOs) and Assistant Chief Administrative Officers (ACAOs) in the nation. Keep an eye out for results coming from that work.
So much content. Besides the amazing, award-winning website ELGL.org we also have webinars and the GovLove Podcast. Since I produce GovLove I’ll highlight a few episodes from the last year that you most definitely need to listen to:
- Malcolm Gladwell – Yes, seriously. He joined the pod to talk about Revisionist History.
- Mayor Levar Stoney of Richmond, VA
- Richard Florida, author of the New Urban Crisis
- Cindy Ogle, City Manager of Gatlinburg, TN
- Aaron Foley, Chief Storyteller, Detroit, MI
FY 2018-19 Budget Highlights
Drum roll please for what I assume you clicked on this post for, the FY 2018-19 budget. First up, revenues:
- Membership Growth: We estimate that our membership will grow about 20% from what we budgeted at the beginning of this fiscal year, so the FY 2018-19 budget reflects a 15% growth from that year end estimate. Help us blow past that goal by spreading the word about ELGL membership.
- Events: In the current fiscal year we did not meet our goals for revenue associated with the ELGL Pop-Ups but we exceeded what we had planned for our Annual Conference. We will continue to build on this success and the Board of Directors already has plans to package sponsorship opportunities to better meet those goals.
- Programs: The revenue numbers show we’re planning to expand and build on our ELGL Inspire events and that we want to start selling ads for GovLove, recognizing that is a great way for companies and organizations to get in front of the brightest minds in local government.
As for expenses we’ve got a couple of highlights below for the coming year:
- Personnel: Have we mentioned we’re hiring? A part time membership coordinator will be added to the team soon to help us better serve ELGL members and help us accomplish our goals. We also included a boost in pay for ELGL’s executive director to reflect that she didn’t receive any compensation last year for benefits. Part of being a sustainable organization will be making sure we can support full time staff and recruit the best people to run ELGL.
- Events and Programs: The budget reflects that we’re planning to continue providing excellent content and great events for our members. Like I mentioned before we’ll be expanding the ELGL Inspire events, and hosting four ELGL Pop Ups later this year. New in our budget is an “Innovation Fund” that we want to use to fund your great ideas, yes you! Later this year we’ll be asking for your ideas and we wanted some money to fund those. We’re also setting aside some money to help our members host Supper Clubs, we think those are great ways to connect and we want to support them.
- Diversity Dashboard: Last but certainly not least is the money we have set aside for the Diversity Dashboard. The research phase is almost complete and going forward we want to share those results, follow up on the successes we find and keep compiling the best practices for recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce in local government.
Check out the full budget here:
Have any questions? Contact me, Ben Kittelson, via email or on Twitter.
Sr. Budget & Management Analyst at the City of Durham, North Carolina. ELGL Board of Directors. Producer & Co-Host of the GovLove Podcast. Would rather be walking his dog Franklin.