Chair update: Financial position and future financial direction of the association

Financial position and future financial direction of the association

Over the past year, the VMA Committee has engaged in productive conversations with the JCR and College about the current and future position of the alumni association. As outlined at the last AGM, whilst the alumni association is fortunate enough to enjoy rather sizable reverses in relation to its size, there is significant uncertainty and volatility in the income stream: students now have the choice to ‘opt out’ of the association, which presents a significant threat to the long-term financial stability of the association.

Current situation: thanks to the hard work of the JCR and the college to increase awareness of the VMA during Freshers week, ‘opt-in’ percentage figures are now back to a healthy level. Furthermore, the association continues to benefit from healthy financial reserves accumulated over the past ten years.

Proposal: Despite the challenges presented to us by the Covid-19 crisis, the committee believe it important to set out a broad roadmap for the distribution of these funds and the direction of the association. These will be discussed and approved in further detail at the AGM, but the broad principals are that:

  1. Operating reserve: In order to safeguard the provision of independent alumni events and provide a financial safety net for the VMA, we will aim to retain a reserve which allows us to enact our objectives with ease. This includes payment of deposits and reserves for the residential weekend, which is a sizable and complex event to organise.
  2. Distribution of surplus: The VMA will seek to distribute the remainder of its funds to projects which are closely aligned with its objects and purposes, as outlined in its constitution and standing orders.
  3. Maximisation of resources: As this will amount to a sizeable release of funds, we will seek to maximise the impact of this through cooperation with the college and JCR. For example, we would looks to cooperate on a project where funding is matched between all sizeable stakeholders (eg JCR, College, University).
  4. Accountability of decisions: In order to ensure good governance, we will present all proposals for sizeable investable to the AGM for approval, prior to approval.

Implementation: although we have had productive initial discussion with the college and JCR about potential projects that we could fund, we are keen to hear from our members about where they think our funds should be directed. We will have this discussion at out AGM. Members are invited and encouraged to contact eh VMA chair to discuss these proposals in more detail via neilcrimes at outlook dot com.

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