Finance Committee (FC) Report to the 2014 AGM
Membership: (Appointed June 14, 2013) Toufic Boulos (Montréal) – FCDSA Vice-President (Chair), Athena deBrouwer (Western), Ullas Kapoor (Saskatchewan), Victor Le (Manitoba), Heather Patry (Dalhousie).
The Executive took the lead of developing activity plans and related budgets.
The Finance Committee contacted a number of potential sponsors in order to evaluate the possibility of securing financial support for the FCDSA. Emails and letters were the methods mainly used to initiate contact. A marketing kit was drafted as well as a presentation letter.
After the FCDSA bank account was opened, it became necessary for FCDSA to set a fiscal year-end. The Executive considered possible fiscal year-ends. Financial services continue to be managed by The Secretariat with the assistance of CDA staff.
As FCDSA would be paying expenses from its own bank acount, it was necessary to adopt a Travel Expense Policy to define valid travel expenses and the methods for reimbursement. The Secretariat consulted with CDA staff to develop a policy.
The Executive drafted activity plans and related budgets for 2014-2015. The 2014 AGM is funded through a $25,000 sponsorship received from CDSPI, while the bulk of the other governance-related activities (Executive and other committee meetings and activities) and administrative activities run through the Secretariat are supported through the sponsorship in kind provided by the CDA. In addition, CDA made a generous transfer of $5,000 into the FCDSA bank account to help defray banking fees and have some money available in case of some unexpected emergency. The Executive is committed to keeping that seed money untouched unless absolutely necessary.
We have developed an agreement with the NDEB, whereby the NDEB has agreed to provide FCDSA with a yearly grant which will allow two FCDSA representatives to attend the NDEB Annual Meeting in October of each year. The CDA has invited FCDSA to send one representative to their Annual General Meetings held in April, and has agreed to pay the related travel and accommodation expenses. While a number of liaison activities are planned with other organizations in addition to the CDA and NDEB, a lack of funding renders the rest of these unfeasible at this time.
Unfortunately, as funding is not available, it was not possible for FCDSA to attend the ASDA Annual Session in Feb-March 2014 and attendance at the ASDA National Leadership Conference planned for Oct-Nov 2014 is pending sponsorship.
The Finance Committee contacted a number of companies and organizations requesting financial support for the FCDSA:
- Henry Schein: Answered – Not interested in sponsoring FCDSA as a whole. Already sponsoring member associations.
- Patterson Dental: No answer
- 3M: Answered – Would sponsor a keynote speaker for a future event.
- DENTSPLY: No answer
- GSK: No answer
- Sinclair Dental: No answer
- Provincial dental associations: Request was discussed at a special meeting of the CDA Corporate members during the CDA Annual General Meeting. It was felt that the provincial dental associations are already contributing through CDA’s support of the federation and no further funding is planned at this time.
The Executive is recommending that the Council set the FCDSA year-end at December 31 to align with the year-end of the Canadian Dental Association. A related resolution is included at the end of this report.
The Secretariat provided a financial report of all revenues and expenditures for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2013. A related proposed resolution is included at the end of this report.
The Executive approved the Interim Travel Expense Policy circulated to 2014 AGM participants. This policy has since been revised and the amended version is presented to the Council for approval. The Interim Travel Expense Policy will be in effect for the 2014 AGM but the revised policy would come into effect for future meetings/travel. A related proposed resolution is included at the end of this report.
Summary and Reflection
Discussions with the Executive yielded the conclusion that the financing strategy of the FCDSA, as well as its fundraising strategy, should be reviewed. It seems that sponsors do not yet see the advantages of funding the federation as opposed to its member associations. It was suggested that emails may not be the best method to be used as a first approach and therefore future members of the finance committee should opt for meetings and/or phone calls. It was also suggested that we may benefit from asking for sponsorship for specific events rather than the Federation as a whole. Detailed budgets should be included to support financial requests.
- In depth discussions are needed regarding a new financing/fundraising strategy.
- Tasks should be more widely separated among Finance Committee members, who should all initiate contacts with a set number of potential sponsors.
- It is also hoped that personal contacts be made before using more formal ways of communication such as emails and/or letters.
- Finance committee members should also strive to set up meetings with potential sponsors, as this strategy seems to have proved to be more efficient in the past.
BE IT RESOLVED that the proposed activity plan for 2014-2015 be approved as presented.
BE IT RESOLVED that the fiscal year-end of the Federation of Canadian Dentistry Student Associations (FCDSA) be set as December 31.
BE IT RESOLVED that the Financial Statements for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2013 be accepted as presented.
BE IT RESOLVED that the FCDSA Travel Expense Policy be approved, as amended.