At the recent Board of Directors meeting held in Boston, September 2005, when the membership approved the proposed budget ($109,190), it was in line with what the organization had spent the past 15 years. However, the Senate organization had not always been fiscally sound and it was only 20 years ago that the organization started to see their financial position improve from the early years. Officers today are more fortunate to have the funds to assist them to promote the organization than those of yesteryears.

When the US JCI Senate started in 1972, the main sources of revenues were dues and charter fees. Interest and products sales (pins and patches) were part of the budget but their contributions were minor. Therefore, the officers had to pay for their own expenses to promote the organization. To help defray the cost, the presidents had some resources to run the organization: first president (1972-73, Illinois) Jim O'Connell #5046 had his own airplane to help him get around; second president (1973-74, Virginia) Bob Lindholm #7792 state Senate organization wrote letters to their members asking for contributions to help defray some of Bob's expenses; and fourth president (1975-76, Iowa) Darryl Watts #9776 requested that the state Senate organization pick up the expenses of traveling and lodging for his visit. While these actions helped reduce the cost the presidents had to pay, they still had to expend hundreds of their own dollars to keep the organization going. The presidents had to pay for their own yearend registration until Phil Thompson #15388 (1977-78, Kansas) changed this practice. The budget continued to grow but very slowly. When Emil Ruzicka #21478 became president (1981-82, Colorado), he loaned the Senate organization $5,000 in order to start the products program. Once $5,000 was generated by the sale of Senate products, the loan was repaid. Ruzicka did this because he was concerned that the organization was not generating enough income to sustain the expenses the organization was going to incur. To raise additional money, Ruzicka implemented the first ever silent auction at the 1982 national convention, which brought in close to $10,000. The money raised was distributed to the US Jaycees and JCI (Coral Gables). [It was done again in Fisher's year but it did not generate a great deal of revenue and many were not happy that the Senate organization was not keeping any portion of the money brought in by the silent auction.]

The next year was a watershed year. Fred Fisher #21307 (1982-83, Illinois) was able to defray some of his presidential expenses with the assistance of his then employer, Centennial Bank of Illinois, but recognized that the organization was going to need additional revenue if it were to provide services to the membership. At this time, dues were $1.50 per member and there was a push to increase the dues to $3.00 with $1.50 being designated for the Mentors. The ad sale in Mentors was ideal to generate revenues for the Senate but it did not raise the revenues it thought it would. To get the membership approval, the Treasurer, Don Goerger #25752, wrote an open letter addressing these concerns and asked for the support of the dues increase. In his open letter, published in the Spring 1983 issue of Mentors, he stated in part the following:

“Unfortunately, I have also selected this time to blow your socks off with a bad piece of news. I am sure many of you are aware for several years there has been talk of a dues increase. At the TOYM in Tulsa, I called a special finance committee meeting to discuss our financial stability. I pointed out that in the early years of our organization a small surplus of revenue was built up and held in savings. However, in recent years we have been gradually depleted taking a setback. So far on these last two issues, our Mentors advertising has taken in less than $100. This means we have to dip into our reserves again. Our organization is annually assuming more and more responsibilities, not only across our own national but across the world.

Our elected and appointed officers presently receive a token budget. However, there have been no requests for increase in this area. This administration does not feel an increase in this area is needed nor required. The dues increase we are recommending for the most part is to cover our communications and to bring it back to a professional standard without jeopardizing any present or future programs. Typically of the Jaycees, dues cover a very small portion of the operation of the organization at any level. However, basic administrative costs must be considered. It is with these thoughts in mind, that the finance committee is recommending for your consideration at Hartford a dues increase of $1.50 for total annual dues of $3.00.”

At Hartford, the motion to increase the dues by $1.50 passed with this increase designated to the publication, Mentors.

Naturally, the next year, the budget took a quantum leap. The income increased from $9,452 to $32,513 in Jim Luff's #24706 administration (1983-84, Missouri). Fearing that the organization might be forced to ask for another dues increase if the revenue did not materialize in the near future, it was decided to run a major fund raiser which became the US JCI Senate Ball. This was a formal dinner event at $100 per couple and a reverse raffle with the prizes valuing at least a $100. (The following year the ticket was reduced to $50 per couple) This event was approved by the Board of Directors meeting in Tulsa, January 12, 1984 with the stipulation that the profit be split up three ways: 50% for US JCI Senate; 40% for U.S. Jaycees Foundation and 10% for the JCI Foundation. Note: the motion was in effect for only this Ball. The event raised a profit of approximately $4,300.

During Doug Hincker's #22200 year (1984-85, Michigan), the Senate saw changes that benefited the organization. Hincker promoted membership and the organization saw the greatest growth (1,186) in history. This remains the record to date. The US JCI Senate Ball continued and the profit raised from this event went to the next year's administration. However, at some point, the intent of this process changed and the money raised from the reverse raffle is now appropriated for the current administration's budget. The biggest change was that the introduction of an independent audit of the organization's finances. Up to this time, the Treasurer was responsible for reporting and reconciling the finance report. Both President Hincker and Treasurer Tony Dominiec #23393 thought it was time for an outside auditor because the Senate organization was starting to become a business organization. Jim Rose #30909 of New Jersey worked as a CPA and volunteered to provide the audit service free of charge. [Note: About six years ago, the Senate organization started to pay Rose for his services]. Joe has done the audit every year since 1985 with the exception of the 1998-99 administrative year.

During the 1987-88 administrative year, Treasurer Ray Baskett #29037 reported that the expenses were outpacing the incomes and there was a need to do another dues increase. At the 1988 national convention held in Richmond, the BOD approved the dues increase to $5.00 with $2.50 designated for Mentors. To improve attendance and increase revenue by changing from a formal dinner to hors d'oeuvres & drinks and The Presidential Ball was renamed as the Presidential reverse raffle in Reno, 1987. At the yearend convention held in Memphis, 1989, the format was totally changed to a mini state party with the raffle and the tickets were reduced to $25 per person (The 2 for $25 format became effective during the 1992-93 term with the idea that people would buy more tickets and have a better chance of winning). The brainstorm of this format is credited to Mike Harris #24801 (NC) and this revitalized this event as well as generated additional revenues for the US JCI Senate. This reverse raffle generated approximately a profit of $8,000.

During Dave Habershaw's #17879 administration (1990-91, Florida), the Business Manager position was created with the idea that benefits can be provided as well as generating additional revenues. Larry Green #27324 helped achieve one of the first products offered to the membership: the Master Card program where the Senate would receive money from purchases made by Senators using this credit card. The following year, 1991-92, saw the organization's income revenue break the $100,000 barrier: $106,286.

The US JCI Senate reverse raffle is one of the major sources to fund the Senate organization. It had been steadily growing each year but took a quantum leap during the 1999-2000 year when Frank Alfano #28424 changed the process of distributing the raffle tickets. He had them mailed to all Senators who were members of the US JCI Senate. The response was outstanding and the budget incomes reached an all time high: $120,207. For his outstanding work, Alfano was recognized as the outstanding appointed officer in Chattanooga.

Today, we continue to generate revenues from the US JCI Senate reverse raffle, product sales which have grown over the years, ads from Mentors, membership dues, and rebates from the services/benefits worked out by our appointed officer (Business Manager). As long as the Senate continues to grow and promote the organization, the US JCI Senate will see a healthy budget and the national dues remain at $5. However, we owe a great debt of gratitude to our past presidents, especially from the early years, for giving their time and money to make this organization strive. Listed below are the annual incomes and expenses. Note: Some of the numbers from the early years had to be calculated.

  Year Income Expenditures                
                1972-73 $   1,126 $   1,064  
  1973-74 1,095 400  
  1974-75 2,584 2,937  
  1975-76 3,156 2,985  
  1976-77 3,494 1,166  
  1977-78 3,655 1,921  
  1978-79 4,216 3,969  
  1979-80 8,569 6,096  
  1980-81 7,233 9,789  
  1981-82 9,667 10,793  
  1982-83 9,453 8,786  
  1983-84 32,513 36,440  
  1984-85 43,768 34,304  
  1985-86 55,184 59,357  
  1986-87 54,148 48,610  
  1987-88 59,415 58,575  
  1988-89 70,401 65,089  
  1989-90 69,869 64,869  
  1990-91 84,735 91,521  
  1991-92 106,286 100,398  
  1992-93 104,153 86,187  
  1993-94 90,681 91,034  
  1994-95 107,318 95,225  
  1995-96 106,544 101,890  
  1996-97 97,011 93,855  
  1997-98 87,408 67,392  
  1998-99 113,898 105,573  
  1999-00 120,207 101,671  
  2000-01 103,836 108,108  
  2001-02 102,746 89,767  
  2002-03 118,898 111,155  
  2003-04 105,405 98,236  
  2004-05 108,304 103,817  

Webmaster note: Thanks to Mike Sawyer #36403 and Karen Kopp #62305 for assembling this information.