John Acker published this 2012 EOY financial report in January 2013 (below) which was published in Jan/Feb 2013 #361 ACFB, he won the election for Treasurer and resigned as ACF Treasurer in September 2013. He took the offices of ACF Secretary and Treasurer as interim responsibilities after Kim Willis resign in mid-fall of 2011 with his appointment by President Alan Millhone.  New Officers were elected in 2013 as: President, Alan Millhone; 1st Vice-Pres. John Webster; 2nd Vice-Pres. Ken Millhone; Treasurer, John Acker; Secretary, Travis Weddle; and Player Representative, Michael Holmes.  Richard Beckwith was appointed interim Treasurer by President Alan Millhone when John Acker resigned, and no election was held in 2014. This was the first financial statement published for the membership since 2003 when Alan Millhone published a financial in the 2003 October #305 ACF bulletin & #324 ACFB following his 2003 election win as President, Matthew Clark, Secretary and Anthony Bishop, Treasurer. Richard Beckwith published the 2014 ACF PNC Bank Account & Statement & ACF Account Balances  &  12/2014 ACF PNC Account Statement Beckwith published a 2/2015 Statement  March 2015 Statement published in ACFB #374 August 2016 Report in ACFB #382


American Checker Federation
2012 Financial Report


Prepared by John Acker, Interim ACF Treasurer
Email: acker.jt@gmail.com
ACF Website: www.usacheckers.com

December 31, 2012


Introduction and Report Purposes

 

The American Checker Federation (ACF), established in 1948, is a registered 501(c)7 nonprofit organization incorporated in the State of Ohio. Its purpose is to organize and promote professional checkers matches and tournaments in the United States, in cooperation with state and international checkers federations. The ACF is a charter member of the World Checkers and Draughts Federation (WCDF), which is in turn a member of the Fdration Mondiale du Jeu de Dames (FMJD, the World Draughts Federation). Full ACF members receive a number of benefits, including an official rating, bimonthly issues of the ACF Bulletin, voting rights in ACF elections, and participation in a small but vibrant community of other checkers enthusiasts.

 

As specified in its Constitution, available online at  http://www.usacheckers.com/acfconstitution.php, the ACF is governed by an Executive Committee comprised of the President, the Secretary, the Treasurer, and the Player Representative. For the term ending in March 2013, the ACF President is Alan Millhone, and the Player Representative is Richard Beckwith. Kim Willis served as Secretary and Treasurer until mid-2012, when she had to resign due to health problems. John Acker is serving as Interim Treasurer, and the office of Secretary is vacant until the February 2013 election. The Executive Committee is assisted by two Vice Presidents (currently John Webster and Ken Millhone) and nine District ManagersJason Solan serves as the ACF webmaster, and Jim Loy is our Bulletin Editor. None of the ACF officers draw a salary, but certain ACF-related expenses (for instance, tournament equipment) may be reimbursed.

 

This financial report has two primary purposes. First, it meets the legal requirements for nonprofit organizations to release their financial data at least every two years. A copy of this report will be made available online, and a condensed version distributed in the February 2013 ACF Bulletin. Second, and more importantly, this report is a good-faith attempt to regain the trust of current and former ACF members, and to improve the ACFs professionalism and financial transparency. For the past several years, the ACFs accounting practices have been inconsistent at best, and while there is no evidence of financial mismanagement of ACF funds, many checker players have been rightly angered at the lack of information. On behalf of the ACF leadership, I apologize for these shortcomings.

 

The remainder of this report contains the latest and most accurate information available about the ACFs income, expenses, and account balances Unfortunately, full information on the ACFs discretionary spending and reimbursements is not yet available, but I have requested it from our former treasurer. If and when that information becomes available, this report will be updated to include it. Should you have any questions about the information given in this report, please contact me at  acker.jt@gmail.com. Thank you for your attention.

 

ACF Account Balances

 

The ACF manages several accounts, though we hope to streamline them in the near future. Here are the most recent account balances available. For the Oldbury, 200 Club, and Gene Lindsay funds, the ACF may only use the interest in most cases, so the principal remains constant. These ACF Funds were placed with specific purposes (at donor's wishes) for the interest earned; the principals do not represent spendable cash. The Oldbury fund supports the GAYP National Top 5 places and the GAYP World Title Match when an American competes.  The 200 Club fund supports the 3-Move National and the 3-Move World Title Match when an American competes. The Lindsay Fund Supports 3-Move ACF National Masters Division and International Matches.

 

Accounts:

Balance

Purpose

PNC

$1,524.66

Operating expenses, incl. $1,282.86 from youth fund

Wachovia

$5,469.08

Store proceeds

Oldbury Fund

$101,146.01

GAYP matches and GAYP Nationals

200 Club Fund

$85,359.21

3-Move matches and 3-Move Nationals

Gene Lindsay Fund

$291,670.91

3-Move Nationals, mostly Masters Division

  Total of above 5 accounts

   $485,169.87

 

ACF Income

The ACFs income sources can be divided into four categories: membership fees, book and equipment sales, private donations, and endowments. Each ACF-rated tournament also collects its own entry fees, but as 100% of those fees are returned to the prize fund they are not detailed in this reportPrize reports for individual tournaments are available from their respective tournament directors, and are often also published on JR Smiths excellent website,  http://www.nccheckers.org.

 

Since three of these categories depend on supply and demand, e.g. the number of checkerboards sold in a year, its difficult to predict precisely how much money they will generate. The fourth category, endowments, generates a more predictable rate of income, since most of the endowment terms specify that the principal (as opposed to the interest) may only be used under very specific conditions. Overall, however, the ACF is financially solvent, and the leadership does not anticipate any serious shortfalls in terms of the organizations regular expenses.

 

Membership Fees

 

As of this date, a full membership costs $40/year for members in the United States, $45 for those in Canada, and $50 for overseas members.  Members outside the US may join at the $40 rate with an emailed bulletin (which has the same contents as the printed bulletin), as the extra fees are only to cover the extra international shipping costs. The ACF also offers junior memberships (for players under age 18) and associate memberships (for players who wish to try out tournament play) for $15/year, as detailed on http://www.usacheckers.com/jointheacf.php. Finally, a player may invest in a Life Membership for $515, which exempts him or her from annual membership dues and entitles him or her to a free copies of annotated games from our National Tournaments.

 

At the time of this writing, the ACF has 237 paid members. Of those, 117 are Life Members, meaning that the remaining 120 supply membership dues. At this time precise information on dues payments for 2012 is not available. However, based on current membership levels and player distribution, we anticipate $4,985.00 in 2013 membership income:

 

Overseas: 16 @ $50 = $800

Canada: 5 @ $45 = $225

US: 99 @ $40 = $3,960

 Book and Equipment Sales

 

The ACF maintains a modest inventory of checkers books and equipment (official boards and pieces) for sale in its online store (http://www.usacheckers.com/store/) and at tournaments. Proceeds from these sales go toward the ACFs operating expenses, including bulletin printing and match/tournament donations. The specific income varies by sales volume, and the current store account balance is approximately $5,500.

 

Private Donations

 

The ACF greatly appreciates its many donors, whose generosity allows us to fund special projects (such as the National Youth Tournament), subsidize travel costs for overseas events, and upgrade ACF equipment when needed. Typically, donations are earmarked for a particular match or tournament, and each event director or referee keeps a donation list. Players are especially encouraged to donate to the annual National Tournament, our strongest event and our best source of ACF recruitment. Players may donate via PayPal at the ACF store, using the Donations tab at the top of the screen. Alternately, cash or check/money order donations may be given to a ACF officer.  Thank you!

 

Endowments

 

From time to time, players have chosen to make very substantial and generous donations to the ACF, often in the form of a bequest (i.e. as part of the players will), to fund a particular aspect of ACF activities. Many of us consider checker players to be our second family, and its very gratifying to see our fellow players leave this kind of legacy. These inheritances typically come with rules directing the ACF to use the funds (principal and/or interest) in particular ways. So, for instance, if you wanted to support youth checkers, or beginner players, or 11-man ballot, you could specify that your gift be spent in those ways. Some endowment accounts are managed by ACF officers directly, while others are not.

 

Reducing ACF Expenses 

 

Checkers is a fairly inexpensive game: a full set of new tournament equipment costs less than $50, a good tournament clock may add another $30, and all we need to play is a table and two chairs. Since most players bring their own equipment to tournaments, and since many tournament directors use their own supplies (e.g. laptops and printers) to run events, the ACF is able to maintain fairly low operating expenses.  Accordingly, its main expense is printing and mailing the ACF Bulletin six times a year. We currently outsource the domestic mailing to Sir Speedy Printing, and ACF President Alan Millhone handles the international mailing.

 

Based on the available data, it costs us about $6.30 to produce and mail a single bulletin issue. This amounts to $3,780/year, about 76% of our income from membership dues. One way we can reduce this cost is if more members switch to electronic bulletins. E-bulletins include all the same content as print bulletins, but they are distributed about one week earlier by email, in Portable Document Format (PDF). Naturally, this saves the ACF from having to pay for printing and mailing those copies, and especially for international members it guarantees a much earlier arrival time.  Printing and mailing one bulletin currently costs about $16/year, plus international postage costs where applicable. So, if fifty players agreed to switch to emailed bulletins, the ACF would save $800/yearmoney that we could use to launch new programs, upgrade our tournament clocks, cover volunteers expenses, and so on. In my opinion, this is an easy and concrete way to improve our financial situation, and I strongly recommend that all players consider it.

 

Concluding Remarks

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this report, and for your interest in the ACFs efforts to promote checkers. Our greatest champion, Dr. Marion Tinsley, once remarked that checkers butters no bread, and thats equally true of playing checkers and running a checkers organization. Managing the ACF is a labor of love, and all of our volunteers donate their resources, knowledge, and time to help improve your checkers experience. As we transition into 2013 and welcome a new group of officers to the Executive Committee, we hope to improve both our internal recordkeeping and our communication with members and potential donors, so that future financial reports can be more detailed and so that we can benefit from your collective ideas about the best ways to invest in checkers. We welcome your feedback on anything discussed in this report, and look forward to partnering with you to improve the ACFs financial position and the popularity of professional checkers.


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