Published Dec 1, 2014

$95,400 to farmers, and other fiscal facts about PFI

By Teresa Opheim
Suzi Howk

PFI’s finance and benefits manager Suzi Howk. Photo by Autumn Canny of Happy Day Photos

This week, our auditors arrive, which is always a somewhat stressful time, but not nearly as bad as it could be. Why? Because we have Suzi Howk. From a squirt hired just out of college as office support, Suzi has worked up to become our finance manager. She pays our bills, prepares our invoices, reconciles our checking and savings accounts, helps develop our annual budget, and prepares analyses for our board. She even closed our books this year and has a big binder ready for the auditors’ review beginning Wednesday.

Today at our staff meeting, Suzi presented some important information to the staff on our Fiscal Year 2014 (which ended September 30th). We thought you would appreciate her update as well.

  • Practical Farmers has a $1.4 million budget. That means we have a lot of moving pieces and parts!
  • We spent about $46,000 of member donations for beginning farmer programming. (We are grateful to have that support to continue helping our beginning farmers.)
  • We surpassed last fiscal year’s membership benchmark and also received $15,000 in lifetime memberships as well.
  • We had 39 different grants operating during FY2014, including 18 foundation, 12 state, and nine federal grants. Each grant comes with a separate contract and deliverables. This is a lot to keep track of!
  • We paid out $95,400 to farmers this year. There aren’t many organizations that can say that close to 10 percent of their budget is paid back directly to their membership.
  • 80 percent of our budget goes directly to programming, while 20 percent of our budget is management and fundraising.

We will await the auditors’ results to give you other final results for the fiscal year, but we are confident we ended in the black–which means more dollars to help build PFI’s future.

Congratulations to Suzi for “bird dogging” our finances, to the entire PFI staff for working hard to procure funding and then using our resources well, and to the PFI Finance Committee and Board of Directors for their oversight. May we have as successful a year for FY2015!