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Ways & Means Committee Reports

2021-2022 — Fran Wong, Chair

Rising costs and exceptional expenses, such as those to reestablish our headquarters when the Club moves back to 60 South Fullerton, have had a costly impact on the budget and the Club needs to diversify the funding base in order to avoid a dues increase. With the cooperation of everyone, as we work to maintain the strong financial position our Club has enjoyed, we need to have the ongoing means to continue all of our projects for many years to come.
 

Over the last two years, the Ways & Means Committee has designed a long-term, multi-stage plan to provide a strong foundation to supply additional income streams to support the Club. As a first step, a simple "DONATE" button was added to the home page of the Club's website. The committee designed a more robust version,
based on National Garden Club, Inc.'s example which, in combination with a modest, dedicated, giving campaign will encourage donors to participate in new ways. It awaits implementation when technical issues are resolved and promotional materials are developed.

 

The committee has proposed that, to attract donations from the general public who enjoy Avis Campbell Gardens, and perhaps the Triangle Gardens, signage with a QRcode, our website, and mailing address be displayed in the gardens with a notation that donations can be made. We also proposed a guest book, in which visitors can record their reflections on the garden, and would hopefully stimulate a desire to contribute. A waterproof box would house the book.
 

As the pandemic recedes and we learn to live in whatever new environment we are presented, the committee hopes that events like a mystery dinner/cocktail party or progressive dinner will be considered both to raise funds and to build camaraderie in the Club. Similarly, a major trip can be considered along with a return of excursions to nearby sites.
 

Kudos and thanks to the Members of this excellent committee who brought their experience, expertise, and thoughtful consideration to this effort which we hope will blossom into an important support system for
the Club.

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2020-2021 —  Fran Wong, Chair

The Ways & Means Committee has designed a long-term, multi-stage plan to provide additional income streams to support the Club.

 

The first stage will appear as a “DONATE” button on the home page of the Club website. Donors will be able to give in three categories: Avis Campbell; In Memory Of /In Honor Of; General Support

 

There will also be a “Comment” opportunity for entry of the name of the individual being honored or memorialized, for guidance on how the donor wants the funds to be directed, or any other input the donor wants to provide. Transfer of funds will be by PayPal, credit card, check, or stock. This phase of the program is designed to be inclusive with no donation amounts designated at this time.

 

The use of unrestricted donations will be determined by the Finance Committee. As we gain experience we will evaluate results that may change, especially in new elements of the plan. As we move forward an expanded range of donation opportunities, such as named giving circles, will be added.

 

To attract donations from the general public who enjoy the Avis Campbell and Triangle Gardens, signage with a QR code, our website, and mailing address will be displayed in the gardens with a note that donations can be made.

 

Pending pandemic developments in the coming year, a Mystery Dinner/Cocktail Party or progressive dinner will be considered both to raise funds and to build camaraderie in the Club. Similarly, a major trip can be considered but is less likely than the return of excursions to nearby sites which will probably come back at some point during the year.

 

Rising costs and exceptional expenses, such as those to reestablish our headquarters when the Club moves back it to the United Way building, have a negative impact on the budget and we need to diversify our funding base. With the cooperation of everyone as we work to maintain the strong financial position our Club has enjoyed, we will have the ongoing means to continue all of our projects for many years to come.

 

Kudos and thanks to the Committee and all the others who contributed their thoughts to this effort.

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2019-2020 — Karen Kadus, Chair; Susan Dumont, Vice Chair

After two cancellations due to rainy and windy weather, 11 Club members were finally able to visit the High Line, and it was well worth the wait! Our tour guide was Stephanie Ulrich, our 2019 Annual Meeting and Awards Lumcheon guest speaker. She brought along Marek Pundzak, the High Line's Urban Forestry Supervisor. Both Stephanie and Marek shared their vast knowledge of landscape architecture and plants while strolling along the elevated partk and answering our many questions.

 

We stopped at several points along the way to enjoy the incredible views of the City and the interesting plant combinations. We came away with an appreciation of the level of detail that was incorporated into the design process and the complexity of executing the plan in a dense urban environment. Afterwards, we ate lunch at Santina's on Washington Street, right below the High Line, where we enjoyed delicious seafood.

 

December's Holiday shopping trip to Morris County Farms Nursery (repeated by popular demand) was enjoyed by all. Thirteen Club members traveled to the nursery to shop for indoor plants, outdoor greens, and beautiful Holiday decorations. After filling our cars with shopping bags, we set off for the festive Tabor Road Tavern where we enjoyed a fabulous lunch.

Our guided tour of The New York Historical Society and lunch at Storico was canceled as the City shut down in mid-March due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Our April walking tour of the Brooklyn Bridge and the sidewalks of New York, a generous donation from Boutique Chair Susan Benner, was also canceled. Both trips will be rescheduled when restrictions are lifted and it is deemed safe to gather.

We used some funds remaining from the 2019 Holland trip to balance our 2019-2020 budget. The High Line trip also earned some money. We thank our Ways and Means Committee members for their involvement in planning new destinations.

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