The existence of NASAR is important for many reasons. For some teams, we are the only reason they can conduct training. There are very few teams out there that can produce textbooks or other products that meet the ASTM standards all on their own (and do it within their current financial position). We are one of very few SAR education/certification providers, the only one that uses ASTM, and the only one that is international.
Drive New Products And Services Into The Pipeline
The only way that NASAR can increase your capabilities is to increase its products and courses and certifications. By increasing all these offerings, we also increase our financial position by being able to increase the number of courses and certifications hosted annually. Recently we added the Mounted SARTECH III course (our first equestrian certification), as well as the RESCUETECH II and Crewleader II certifications.
We are continuing to look for new courses and certifications. Let us know what you need and we will see if we can develop it for you.
More Active Product / Textbook Update Process
We have been inconsistent with our update process for our products and textbooks. We are now adopting a 3 year cycle where every 3 years each product will be reviewed and updated as appropriate. SAR technology, research operational theory and development is occurring faster and faster, and we must keep up with it to support you professionally.
Increase Reliable Fundraising Sources
NASAR has turned the corner from spending more each month that it raised. Now we need to focus on what income streams we have, and how to expand them (I mentioned new products earlier). One of the income areas we have not exploited well is fundraising. We have been unable to chase grants because our finances looked so poor. Well, now they are looking better and we have a vision and projects that a donor or philanthropist can support. So fundraising is going to be a bigger priority. We will be looking for someone with experience in fundraising to give us a hand here. If you know someone who is good at this and has time to help us, please let us know.
Develop A More Predictable / Accurate 3 Year Rolling Budget Model
One of the first things I noticed when I became the Executive Director is that all budgeting was only done 12 months ahead. This didn’t give the Board (or me) enough visualization to the impacts of decisions to the financial health of NASAR. We now have a rolling 36 month budget tool that is updated and reviewed on a monthly basis.
This tool helped us do the analysis of providing the SARTECH I testing free to members, and based on what we saw we were able to provide that enhanced benefit to members without negatively affecting NASAR’s financial health.
Develop A Quarterly Financial Report And Explanation For Membership / Post On Website
Transparency is an important concept for an organization like NASAR, a concept we had not fully embraced historically. To enhance our transparency, we are now posting our quarterly financial statements with a narrative by the treasurer to the website for everyone to see. Virginia corporate code says that any NASAR member can inspect our financials, so we have gone a step further and pushed them out to everyone, not just members (see it here).
Develop A Reasonable Annual Price Increase Cycle To Account For Cost Of Living / Cost Of Production Increases
The price of everything seems to rise each year. If you are a NASAR member, we are trying to hold the line on all costs for you. For example, this year the cost of items in the bookstore for members was not increased, but it was increased for non-members. We can’t do that for members every year, but we are going to try and keep your costs as low as possible.
As the cost of doing business rises, we will have to pass some of it on through the cost of items we sell, or through increasing shipping costs. As we analyze this more, we will let you know what we find and how we are going to move forward. No matter what happens, remember that members come first and that we refuse to grow NASAR on the members backs.
Goal of $500,000 In Reserves By 2025
This is a very aggressive goal, and it will take us doing everything right for the next 10 years to meet it. We need to have reserves at this level to help us fund short term, long term, and really long term projects moving forward, as well as have an emergency fund in case of economic downturn or other unexpected negative event. Reserves at this level also show potential donors that we are frugal and know how to manage money affectively, so they are more likely to donate to us.
You can see from the items in strategy #6 that we want to be very efficient and use every dollar to its maximum, be as responsive as possible, and build for the future.
I hope these articles help you understand where we are heading and how you can help us all get there together.
Thanks for being a member and holding on for the past year while we developed a strong foundation for NASAR to succeed. I appreciate your patience, and if you have any questions please feel free to call me or contact me at email@example.com.
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The National Association For Search And Rescue
PO Box 232020, Centreville, VA 20120-2020