15 June 2011

Revenue Diversification

I attended a workshop on Revenue Diversification yesterday, sponsored by the Council of Heritage Organizations in Ottawa. i was joined by reps from several museums in the area. The workshop was focused on the changes which have occurred within revenue streams over the past several years, on the means used to identify viable sources of revenue, and on helping each other tackle organization-specific questions. This session was not designed to tell you where to find more money for your organization.

It did get me to look at our own Branch finances. I was a little surprised to discover that our biggest source of income is Gene-O-Rama, although I also realized that the event also costs to put on, so our net income is not as large. Our second largest source is, as might be expected, membership fees. Sales of publications, Inquiries, etc. comes in third and has declined from 17% of our revenue to barely 7%.

I know that most of you are not interested in this but it does affect the entire membership. The income pays for publication of The Ottawa Genealogist, purchases for the Branch library, expenses for transcribing cemeteries, meeting costs, the Branch website, etc. Despite declining membership in the Branch, we have managed a balanced budget. 

But we can always use additional income. With the new City of Ottawa Archives opening later this month, the Branch would like to be able to provide additional resources, such as public use computers for on-line access. We would like to operate more outreach programs to reach the local genealogists who are unaware of the branch services. These all take money, so if you have suggestions, and even more important, can assist with new ideas to bring in new members or new money, please contact me at pastchair@ogsottawa.on.ca

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