Financial ResultsDonations from the public increased by 66.9% over 2003 while fixed expenses were stable or less than the prior year. Notably among these was insurance, the largest single category, which declined significantly. We experienced higher variable expenses, due to the cataloguing project which kept the library open day and night, seven days a week.
Chief among these variable expenses were utilities and janitorial expense, both of which were higher than 2003. Repairs to the heating and air conditioning system increased during the year. While this is partially due to increased hours of operation, the system is about 30 years old and more frequent repairs is not unexpected. A long-term goal is to replace the system with a more efficient and economical one. This would decrease on-going repair expense as well as significantly reduce utility expense. The donation of a new system would be a magnificent project for a donor seeking to make a contribution of lasting significance and value to the library.
Copy machine expense continues at a lower rate than each of the prior two years due to a favorable equipment lease. Dues paid to the General Society declined due to better management of our membership roster. Members we had included on the active rolls who had not paid dues were dropped.
Aside from expenses associated with the catalog modernization project, extraordinary expenses for the year included: $30,000 in book acquisitions; $34,000 to build out new work areas, expand book shelves, add new display cases and refinish tables; and $1,200 in electrical system expansion.
The Society has been notified that it can expect to receive approximately $85,000, the balance of a significant bequest left in 2003, in the second quarter of 2005, or sooner. It is blessed with its magnificent Library and Headquarters property, which remains free and clear of debt.
Audit CompletedDuring 2004 the Society completed an audit by the Internal Revenue Service. The Society’s tax returns have been verified by the IRS as accurate and no changes were requested.
An auditor informed the Society that, in his experience, its books and
records were among the most thorough and detailed that he had ever
encountered in examining a non-profit organization.
Despite the complete settlement of the litigation brought by another society in 2002, it has been suggested that the audit may have been sought by those who continue to harass the Society and threaten Anne Coe, our Librarian of more than twenty years. Among other things, these individuals sought harm by asserting that the Society’s Librarian was improperly classified as an independent contractor and that the SR owed back payroll taxes. The IRS reviewed this classification and no request was made to change it. The Society has once again been vindicated and the Librarian’s position saved as of this writing.
Despite their assurance that settlement would bring finality in all matters, those that brought the litigation, at a cost exceeding $60,000 to their society, have continued to act in bad faith, including having reneged on their promise to restore membership in the society they control to three Presidents Emeritus of this Society who were wrongfully “suspended pending the outcome of litigation”. One of them, individually named in their law suit, recovered nearly $13,000 in costs winning victory by summary judgment after the individuals behind the litigation prohibited the plaintiff society from signing a settlement to which it had agreed. The SR did not take any action against those that brought the malicious litigation, either at the time or since. Total costs of litigation to the SR was $2,500.