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The Boring Bit
Or, if you prefer . . .
A Look at the Cash Flow of this Grower Networking Effort
Michael speaking now, one to one. Time to let go of that editorial 'we' that I've tried hard to reflect in writing most of the other pages on this site.
What follows is apple accounting: honest, simple, and without guile. I need financial support to make a legitimate go of the Holistic Orchard Network. You in turn need to trust the story and not merely be taken in by the glitter. I'll post each year's finances here in this form until such time as more people give credence to 'more normal' bookkeeping, if such can truly be said of non-profits and other bureaucratic twists and turns.
organic apple orchardist,
sets out for a day's work at
Lost Nation Orchard
(photo: Frank Siteman)
Our Bare Bones Budget
We do what we can with your generous support. Now it's time to plan on doing even more. Upping the pace of fundraising to $1,200 a month will provide the resources necessary for me to network more consistently. This includes sending out informative newsletters as well as promoting community orchards everywhere. Being this network's Orchard Extension Agent for the Little Guy, so to speak, helps bring earth sense to a conversation that otherwise rarely breaks from toxic thinking. Hiring a research coordinator to work directly with growers is another goal. Funding all this comes down to sharing a vision of bringing orchard health to the fore. Grower memberships (both new and renewed) along with fruit lover fervor empowers the Holistic Orchard Network. Together we are discovering deeper ways to in turn support our trees.
Seeing folks inspired to grow healthy fruit makes these efforts worthwhile. Let's each continue to do our bit . . . and keep that tree wisdom flowing!
We have upped the ante this past year, finally, with total contributions coming in at $5015. Sponsor upgrades on the Grower Resources page helped as did member mystique around the Secret Tattoo. Huzzah! Web expenses $2327; GOA research projects and networking $1519; coordinator compensation $1800. Adding new titles to the Bookshelf kept revenue potential humming there as well.
Turns out we're a steady state affair some ten years down the road. Contributions tallied in at $3715. Web expenses increased to $2341 in order to make the site more mobile-friendly. Research into biological sprays and fungal riffs added up to $729. Two newsletters cost $1200 to write and produce. Book sales made up the difference. We do what we can in the context of your support.
Appreciation to all who kept the network rolling along this past year. Contributions tallied in at $3135. Web expenses accounted for $1670; networking held the line at $220; orchard research into nutrient sprays/equipment added $957. No wages were wasted on the slacker who never wrote a single newsletter. Book sales contributed a net of $648 to help rebuild inventory. Maintaining a core fund balance of approximately $2000 determines just how much headway we can make in a given year.
So goes a year dedicated to crafting Mycorrhizal Planet. Financial support fell off slightly to $3372 accordingly. Web expenses accounted for $2421, allowing for significant upgrades to our online community. Networking held the line at $200; research tallied $1170 as monies were indeed used for fungal acumen. And last but not least, $500 was dedicated towards putting together a 'mineral rich' summer newsletter.
A guy writes more newsletters and of course folks respond . . . financial support for network efforts increased to $4810. Web expenses accounted for $1823; grower networking for $450; research got a $700 chunk for herbal tea assays and a light microscope. Accounting for the tax hit (as these numbers indeed apply to my personal 1040) allowed $1200 for michael mojo to write those informative issues of Community Orchardist.
Network donations dropped slightly to $2914. Web expenses accounted for $1758; grower networking for $279; research took the form of a $500 deposit on a flail mower attachment; with the taxman taking his requisite 10% cut. Our Bookshelf produced a modest profit of $800, thereby allowing the holistic guy behind these efforts a $500 salary for the first time in years.
Contributions totaled $3379 this year. Spending consisted of $1760 towards internet doings, $309 towards networking, $366 towards research, and $300 to the taxman. Another $3422 was spent on book inventory, the sales of which netted approximately $975 to further help with costs. Keep in mind a certain portion of inventory remains in stock at all times, which goes hand in hand with a fluctuating bank account.
Member donations of $3105 this year, coupled with two grants for $500 apiece, allowed us to launch The Portal! Developing this online community cost $2206 so far, with all data firmly secured within the GOA domain. The usual website expenses accounted for $1141; direct networking for $583; and $200 for the taxman to 'atone' for setting aside an impressive $1000 more for ongoing research. Bookshelf profits edged slightly over the $500 mark, covering nearly half of the requisite ISP connection.
Call this an infrastructure year. My devotion to getting The Holistic Orchard into print meant newsletter writing mostly got put on the backburner. . . but folks still came through with $3415 to grow this network. A mega accomplishment was setting up the Bookshelf to create future cash flow for general office expense. Computer upgrading ties in here as well. Most exciting of all, we now have $500 set aside for funding ongoing research in the years ahead. Now that's progress!
People donated $3155 towards our budget goals this year . . . and that shows we're gaining rightful momentum. Our full-fledged member count increased by sixteen, with another six growers renewing their financial support. Website expenses accounted for $393; direct networking for $308; another $593 went to purchase a network digital camera; the soil test project accounted for $305. This allowed $1000 for coordinator remuneration, $300 to catch up with the taxman to date, leaving an account balance of $416 to keep us moving ahead.
Raising funds for this effort reflect the orchard year, in a sense. People donated $340 in the winter dormant season, another $1080 came in during the growing season, and the harvest season (when we all get overwhelmed!) saw a final $300. New memberships, renewals, business sponsors, and the occasional apple lover made the work accomplished on the site possible this year. Expenses account for $960; I allot $500 for many hours of work; leaving an account balance of $260 to start the new year.
I spell out a very specific plea in the winter newsletter: The time has come to launch Grow Organic Apples but funding is needed for all sorts of page encoding on Sienna's part. Six very inspired supporters donate $900 immediately. Other growers recognize the value of what's taking shape with an additional $360 of supporting membership donations by year's end. All direct site expenses are paid for the year. I bet I have as much time in on this project as I have contributed in all the past years combined. What's exciting is that we have achieved the goal of a genuine networking site filled with inspiration and real-time plans.
Golden Apples is introduced as a means to share the costs with the grower community, very much like Public Radio does. Six good people are inspired to donate $200 total. This covers the costs of registering a separate domain name and site hosting. No research updates are posted as there's no additional funding for Sienna, our webster, to do the 'voodoo speak' that makes it possible for you to see dazzling new insights on the worldwide web. I send out two newsletters and start saving for that sprayer.
The orchardist pages on my farm website were initially financed by web sales of my Apple Grower book. Internet sales average about 60 copies a year, netting about $900 a year (after I in turn purchase books from my publisher and pay for shipping). These earnings covered the costs of site hosting and paying our talented webster . . . but I eventually came to recognize why I could never afford a decent orchard sprayer! My many hours of writing and research time were donated to aspirations of what might be.
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