National Association of Black Journalists says a profitable summer convention and solid business practices have turned things around.
After years of financial problems, the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) says it is on firm financial footing — and will end the year with a projected $1 million surplus.
The surplus would be the highest in the organization’s 41-year history, and comes after a profitable summer convention.
NABJ President Sarah Glover announced the surplus at the organization’s fall board meeting on Sunday. A surge in convention registrations clearly helped. The joint convention for NABJ and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists attracted 3,209 NABJ registrations. Total registered attendance was 3,890.
Glover said the organization’s finances are on an upswing because of the convention revenue as well as prudent planning.
“I am very proud of the strong business practices NABJ put in place at the beginning of the year,” Glover said in a statement. “Those efforts contributed to a projected million dollar-plus surplus for 2016. NABJ will meet my goal of no deficit in 2016,” Glover said. “I’m thankful for our partners and members who stepped up in a major way and helped us reach this historic milestone by supporting the 2016 NABJ/NAHJ Convention and other NABJ programs. We could not have achieved these results without the NABJ family.
“We are working to ensure NABJ’s long-term financial health by focused efforts on zero-based budgeting and careful fiscal management — watching expenses closely, securing new revenue, and making sound investments,” Glover said.
In a lengthy, upbeat news release, NABJ noted the organization is in its best financial shape in more than 20 years. NABJ also took issue with some of the negative media attention it attracted while getting its finances in order. NABJ explained in the news release:
The organization’s current leadership inherited a significant deficit, prompting far-reaching media headlines that questioned the organization’s viability. The reports of the association’s demise were highly exaggerated. Not only is NABJ now in the black, it’s in a strong position to improve its savings and investments, operations, programs and partner relationships.
The 2013-15 NABJ board oversaw operations that resulted in a two-year deficit of $642,000. The 2015-17 NABJ board adopted zero-based budgeting this year to facilitate the turnaround.
While the organization has had a multi-million dollar revenue stream before, this is the first time in the organization’s history it will end the fiscal year with a surplus of more than a million dollars, according to NABJ Treasurer Greg Morrison and NABJ Finance Manager Nathaniel Chambers.
“The NABJ Finance Committee, under the leadership of chairman Greg Lee, took a hard look at our fiscal governance model and made some thoughtful recommendations to the president, executive director, and board. Those recommendations were approved and put into practice,” Morrison said. “We are very pleased with this outcome.”