Every fall, it seems we are bombarded with letters from charities and other non-profit organizations appealing for donations. Acadia Senior College also makes such an appeal, and some members wonder why. If our instructors are volunteers and our classroom sites are free, why does ASC need any funds besides what we already pay for membership and tuition?
What does it mean to be a member of Acadia Senior College? ASC is a 501(c) (3) non-profit membership organization. This means that you, the members, are the authority that runs the College, through an elected Board of Directors. Whether you take a course or not, your membership dues ($35) entitle you to attend all our events, receive all our communications, and most importantly, participate in elections at the annual meeting and have a voice in how the College operates.
What are course tuition fees used for? Yes, our sites are free and our instructors are volunteers. But administering all that we do requires a paid part-time staff. Related expenses include brochure printing, office supplies, internet and phone, website maintenance and improvements, etc. Tuition also covers the expense of all course materials – textbooks, literature, photocopies.
So, why the annual appeal for donations? The funds generated by membership dues ($13,000) and course tuition ($25,000) make up the bulk of ASC income. (All figures used in this article are approximate based on the last couple of years.) We also receive some income from grants ($5,000) as well as from investment and endowment interest ($4,000).
What are our expenses? Our major expense is for staff. We spend about $47,000 a year for administration plus bookkeeping and accounting. Other significant costs are for course materials and production of our brochures as well as for office supplies and equipment ($20,000).
As you can see, our income of about $47,000 does not cover our expenses of about $67,000. We make up the difference by the generosity of our members, who have historically donated another $20,000 in response to our appeals.