In addition to the goals and objectives under the four key strategies of the 2014 - 2018 Strategic Plan, there are goals and objectives in the plan related to governance, finances, development, and evaluation of the strategic plan. Progress in these areas has been significant. However, the limitations of a small group of volunteer engaged in the effort, and the enormity and high costs in terms of time, effort and resources is evident in what still remains to be done. In this respect the plan has proven to be ambitious and even unrealistic in terms of the projected, or hoped for timeline for achieving stated objectives. Briefly, following immediately below, is a review of the progress and of the work remaining under the goals and objectives for governance, finance, development, and evaluation of the strategic plan.
Governance -- Goal 9 of the Plan is "to review with counsel our corporate structure, potential alternative changes to the structure and classification under IRS Section 501 to accommodate our desire to raise program and capital funds through grant sources and tax deductible gifts, as well as our desire to engage in philanthropic educational activities, as well as activities for the mutual benefit of dues paying members." This last desire for providing benefits for a select group (as opposed to the public), Alumni of Delta Gamma Theta and Tau Delta Phi - Tau Sigma, fits within allowable activities for a non-profit organization, but not for one that is tax-exempt under IRS, Section 501 law. This goal of the Plan had three objectives, all of which were to be carried out in the first year of the Plan, 2014. The first two objectives were completed in that time frame. However the third objective has yet to be completed.
Objective 9a called for changes in organizational structure that responded to the new mission of the alumni association, and to do so under advice of counsel. As advised by counsel, and through their services, the DGT Foundation was established as an IRS 501 (c)(3) tax exempt organization. It's sole member is the DGT Alumni Association, Inc. with the responsibility for appointing the Directors of the DGT Foundation. Under advice of counsel, the alumni association discontinued the use of the IRS 990 form for annual tax returns, and with the services of CPA re-submitted its returns to the IRS for 2011, 2012 and 2013 using IRS 1040 form. A similar process was followed with respect to NY State tax filing.
Under Objective 9b, immediately after the adoption of the Strategic Plan, the Tau Delta Phi - Delta Gamma Theta Alumni Association was called to agree on a new name by amending its articles of incorporation, and to include any other amendments to the articles as recommended by counsel. The name of the corporation was changed to DGT Alumni Association, Inc. and the change is reflected in an amendment to our original articles of incorporation, which were filed with NY State in 1973.
The final and not yet completed Objective 9c, under Governance, called for amending and updating if needed, under advice of counsel, the bylaws so as to meet current requirements, standards and best practices for the governance of non-profits. DGT Alumni Association has developed, adopted and implemented the use of Internal Controls, as recommended by the NY Department of Law (Attorney General), and amended the by-laws to provide for governance by a Board of 5 directors that meets quarterly. However a thorough review of the bylaws has yet to be undertaken.
Finance -- Goal 10 of the Plan is "to develop an operating budget projection for each of the fiver years of the Strategic Plan, assess our capacity to finance capital improvements, and obtain the financing." Two of the five objectives under Finances have been completed, with work remaining to complete the other three.
Objective 10a essentially called for a five-year budget plan, and DGT Alumni Association developed its first budget in recent memory, if ever, and is on an annual budget planning and adoption cycle. Objective 10b called for assessing DGT Alumni Association's capacity for financing capital improvements. The dust has barely settled from the conclusion of a long sought mortgage modification, and there is now an opportunity to undertake the completion of this objective as part of the annual budgeting process, or finally, as part of a five-year budget plan.
Objective 10c, which was a central preoccupation for the Board for more than four years following an erroneous declaration of default and under threat of foreclosure, called for concluding a mortgage modification process. This was successfully accomplished in April of 2015. Objective 10d, called for a review and update of accounting and financial management policies and procedures. The previously mentioned Internal Controls, were updated in early 2015, and a policy and practice for maintaining a six-month operating reserve of $20K was implemented. Current accounting practice allocate costs among two categories, income and expenses allocated to running and operating the property, and income and expenses allocated to alumni activities.
Currently, in observance of the 'segregation of duties,' under internal Controls, monthly bookkeeping and reporting to the Board are provided on a volunteer basis by the President, using an accounting software package. The work is provided under consultation and advice of the CPA annually hired to prepare the Association's tax returns. As part of the budget process, DGT considered allocating resources for outsourcing this work to a professional bookkeeper. However, resources for this have not yet been allocated in the budget. The monthly task takes up a considerable amount of volunteer hours yet needs to be performed in a timely manner and consistent with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, which are being followed.
The final objective 10e, under Finance, is the initial and annual approvals by the membership for budgets, including capital budgets, and their implementation. To the extent that this was done for 2015, and is scheduled to be done for 2016, it can be said that the work under this objective is on track and completed to date.
Development -- There is one goal, and four objectives for development in the Strategic Plan. The Goal, number 11 of the Plan, is "to formulate and implement a five-year development plan specifying the goal and objectives for fund development, including targeted annual amounts and proposed sources for capital and operating funds." Objective 11a, concerns the development of overall goals for fund development in each of the five years, including income from rent, member dues, individual gifts, events, grants, and corporate gifts. Objective 11b is to identify and assign the tasks associated with meeting the income targets, as well as a timeline for performing the tasks. Objective 11c, is the implementation of the tasks associated with meeting the income targets, and Objective 11d is the monitoring of development activities quarterly and conducting an annual evaluation. The work on all of the Development related objectives has not yet begun.
Evaluation of the Strategic Plan -- The goal is to "complete annual assessments of the successes and challenges of developing the strategic plan in order to improve the process and to apply lessons learned to future planning. This goal includes two objectives: 12a -- develop and use a survey instrument to obtain baseline information from members, and administer the survey and analyze results annually. Objective 12b -- called for an annual review of the list of completed and yet to be completed objectives to identify completed and yet to be completed objectives, identify challenges, and address them through any needed changes. These objectives have not been carried out as planned, given the demand on the relatively small number of members involved in implementing the Strategic Plan. This report is an attempt to provide some accounting for what has been done and what remains to be done while providing for feedback and suggestions from the growing number of active, dues-paying members.