As I sit working on the NAI regional budget for 2016, the famous line from Jerry McGuire, “Show me the money!” is reverberating in my mind. Many of you probably haven’t thought much of our region’s finances unless you have been on a planning committee for a regional workshop or are on the board. I would like to share some of the ways I can show you the money in our region.
For interpreters, regional workshops are a great opportunity for networking with other interpreters and to learn new skills that you can take back to your workplace. For the region, it is our biggest expenditure for the year. When you pay a registration fee, it covers everything from food, rental costs and supplies needed to put on a successful workshop. It is the goal of the planning committee to cover all costs and keep costs low for attendees. At the same time, it should build revenue for the region that can help cover costs that don’t have a source of revenue.
Scholarships offer members a way to participate in workshops that they may not be able to afford. Scholarship awards typically cover registration, lodging accommodations and money for travel. Our region sent five people to the regional workshop in Puerto Rico that otherwise may not have been able to attend. Where does the money come from that supports these scholarships? You! When you bid on that auction item, you can think of it as a way to support NAI members to attend next year’s workshop. So bid big and bid often! The more money we bring in, the more scholarship opportunities we can offer in our region.
The Sunny Southeast is a large area and the regional workshop isn’t always a central location for everyone in the region. To give our members more opportunities to get together, state coordinators are tasked to organize at least one state meeting a year. What you may not know is that the region builds in a little dinero to our budget for state meetings. Coordinators can request up to $100 to cover costs of food, rental space or anything else used in the meeting. If you haven’t had a state gathering, contact your state representative and ask when they are going to organize the next meeting and remind them they can request this money.
There are costs associated with creating and providing opportunities for our members but it is our members that help raise the money it takes to support our region’s goals. If Rod Tidwell was treasurer he would ask, “That’s what I’m gonna do for you, what are you going to do for me? SHOW! ME! THE! MONEY!”