Budget work never really does change

Published 6:17 am Saturday, August 25, 2018

The end of August brings a flurry of activity to my desk. August is the end of the Hormel Historic Home fiscal year which means one budget is winding down and another is being created. The finances of a non-profit can be complex as the funding sources are varied and sometimes restricted. Reports have to be done for donors, granting agencies, and accountants, and educated speculation is required to prepare for future expenses and projects.

This process is not unique to our business nor is a new phenomenon. I recently and finally took the time to open the antique file cabinet that stands in George Hormel’s historic home office. (Yes, it’s been nearly six years, and I have never really studied its contents…!) In it I found 20 years of annual reports for the YWCA from 1923-1943. The director in those years also had to report of the upkeep and programming required by the organization. Not much has changed; the income streams were varied then and the expenses were similar.

The YWCA was established in Austin in 1906, but in October of 1927, they were given the Hormel family home so that the house could become a community resource. George A. and Lillian envisioned their home as a place where the community could come together for social gatherings. The YW fulfilled this vision and the HHH still does today. A portion of the income for the YWCA in their 1927-28 fiscal year came from pledges of ($32), class fees ($109.65), a rummage sale ($156.14), room rental ($854), support from the Community Chest ($300), and of course memberships in the amount of $411!

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The expenses that year consisted of $78.10 for light, $28.98 for gas, $14.50 for telephone, $55.70 for repairs, $7.35 for office supplies and staff salaries of $737.25. When the YW moved into their new space they hosted an open house and spent $7.48 to make it grand! I wish I could report the same amounts for our expenses today but you can probably guess that is not the case.

Today, the income for the HHH comes from similar sources. We rent rooms for events. We receive grant funding from community sources for our Autism programming, and we are grateful for our pledges/donations. Nearly 10% of our revenue comes from Memberships just as it did for the YW, and the start of our new fiscal means the start of another membership campaign. An HHH membership does come with benefits, but our hope is that the main reason for joining is to support the history and mission of the organization which was established by the Hormel family. We hope you’ll consider becoming a member. Our phone bill is a little more than $14.50 now so every dollar counts.

You never know what history you might find if you finally stop to open a drawer.

History Happy Hour-Traveling History Bus

5:30 p.m. social, 6 p.m. program, Monday, Sept. 10

Free for members of the HHH, Mower County Historical Society, and Friends of the Library. $5 for nonmembers.

All are invited to enjoy free snacks and a cash bar.

Harvest Fest Participant-Packed With Protein Event

10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 15

Presentations for all ages by Jen Haugen, R.D., at 10:30, 11:30 and 12:30. Free for all. Hands on snack making throughout event.