Following the Money

by Aaron Grossman, OMVNA Treasurer

In a November OMVNAtalk posting regarding our newsletter, Greg on Fairmont Ave asked, “Where are all these ad revenues going anyway???” That’s a good question.

The OMVNA steering committee, elected at our fall general meeting, sets the annual budget for the next year to guide all of OMVNA’s financial actions. Our current financial information is presented and reviewed at every steering committee meeting, the second Monday of each month. Guests are welcome to attend the meeting, see the monthly financial report, ask questions, and have their concerns addressed.

Our annual income comes mostly from newsletter ad revnue. Realtors especially value ads in the OMVNA newsletter because we deliver so effectively to Old Mountain View residents. We serve a very desirable location for real estate sales and purchases. These realtors have told us that they would not be very interested in advertising if we did not deliver hardcopy issues to most residences in Old Mountain View. Adding electronic distribution is fine with them as long as we maintain our existing paper delivery route.

Income can vary greatly from year to year, depending on the demand for ads. Election years are good for us with the additional campaign ads. Ad rates are posted on our web site under the newsletter tab. Very popular is our ½ page ad that costs $260 for each issue when 5-8 issues per year are purchased in advance. Recent OMVNA annual income has ranged from $4,000 to $11,000, depending on the size of the newsletters and the number of ads. Printing costs directly take 50-60% of that income. We print 2,200 four to twelve page newsletters each edition, delivered eight times a year. Mailing them would quickly bankrupt us. Only our army of volunteer delivery people lets this keep working. The remainder of the income goes to our annual events such as the summer picnic, basic operating expenses, OMVNA CERT, and occasional donations to local nonprofits such as the MVEF. We occasionally apply for and receive special purpose grants for community development. Getting back to the newsletter, besides being written communication, it effectively allows OMVNA to exist as a voice for the neighborhood and speak up for our interests and concerns at the city level.

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