Treasurer’s Report for dates 7/01/2020 – 6/30/2021
Rodney Wallette treasurer
Last year, Flathead Audubon Society (FAS) was accepted to participate in the Great Fish Challenge hosted by the Whitefish Community Foundation for the first time and as a result we raised enough funds to qualify for a percentage of the Great Fish matching funds. We plan to make the Great Fish Challenge our sole fundraising campaign each year. This fundraiser raised a total of $23,547.60. Other funding source for this past year included the Whitefish Community Foundation Day of Giving ($4565), a grant from Montana DPHHS ($13,817), our membership dues and donations. Our education program continues to be FAS’s primary focus and our only paid position is a ½ time Education Coordinator contractor, Denny Olson. The education program comprises 67% of our expenditures with the remainder supporting the Jewel Basin Hawk Watch, Owen Sowerwine Natural Area, Birds of Prey Festival and our overhead expenses. We had a strong year financially, primarily due to the one-time grant we received. Our financial statements, tax returns and FAS policies are available for review on our Reports & Financials page.
FAS now needs to file Form 990 EZ tax returns to quality for the Great Fish Challenge program and the CPA firm of Bryan Gilbertson was hired to do this year’s and future year’s returns.
FAS determined that we needed to have a clearer financial policy or guidelines in place, so a draft Financial Policy was completed and presented to the board. The policy was accepted at our May board meeting after some changes were made to address a few issues from the board. One change for our money handling process was to add a Financial Reviewer position to the board. Past FAS President Kay Mitchell, will now process all check/cash transactions and stamp checks for deposit before passing them on to the treasurer to deposit. QuickBooks was installed onto Kay’s computer so she will be a second set of eyes for our books and will now do the monthly bank reconciliations. Another change was the decision to have all of our investments managed locally. Merrill Lynch and the Whitefish Community Foundation will now be managing our investments. A decision to have $50,000 of these investments moved over to the Whitefish Community Foundation was approved by the board in May. This transfer is pending as a decision as to whether to allocate these funds into an investment account or start a permanent endowment fund needs to be made. Research into this decision is ongoing at this time.
FAS had committed to donating $7,500 to the Bad Rock Conservation Easement fund with Flathead Land Trust. The money was set aside but FLT managed to secure other funding for the easement so they recommended FAS use some of the money for the upcoming conservation easement appraisal at Owens Sowerwine Natural Area. $5,000 will be donated to FLT when the appraisal is completed this fall.