NPPA Budget Moves: Membership Expectations/Todd Stricker

by Todd Stricker

Pretty much all of us hate it when it comes time to tackle our budgets, but at some point we do it. We make projections based on history and future expectations but we don't always get it right. That is the position we find ourselves in at NPPA at the moment. We didn't get it right and we haven't for the last few years, due partly to the economy and partly to overly optimistic projections. But the bottom line is that we got it wrong. We find ourselves short on cash and we have made some changes to address the issue.

We have eliminated two staff positions in the national office in the last six months and have found other areas to cut. One of those is the way we produce the Best of Photojournalism book. In the past the BOP book has gone through changes ranging from paper quality to whether it has a hard or soft cover. This year we are incorporating it into a greatly expanded issue of News Photographer magazine in January 2004. It will be the largest issue ever for the magazine, but not what we've come to expect in the book. It was a difficult decision but one I feel we had to make.

We have started the process of turning our financial situation around. The first step is recognizing the problem. The second is creating a plan. And the third step is pulling together to make it happen. To make this financial turnaround a success, we need your support.

Your membership in NPPA is really what this is all about. In the last few months there has been more praise and recognition of the changes in this magazine than at any other time while I've been on the Board. Based on those responses and on other conversations, I believe the magazine and our educational programs are the membership benefits that you cherish the most. To assure that we can continue to deliver them, we have made these changes, and we hope that you will understand. We need you to tell us what the most important benefits are to you in your membership. Please contact your Regional Directors and Associate Directors, and tell us what your membership expectations are.

Todd Stricker can be reached at [email protected]