J. Abbott Byrd, III, MD
The Scoliosis Research Society continues on solid financial footing as of December 31, 2018. Total assets are $13.4 million with $2.2 million in General Assets and $11.2 million in Research/Endowment Assets. General operating income for the year from dues, etc. was $759,865 while other income from meetings, courses, etc. was $4,194,367 for a total income of $4,954,233. General and other operating expenses for the year was $4,964,067. This resulted in a General Net Fund income loss of ($9,834). Though in the red for 2018, the net loss was much improved compared to the ($727,300) net loss for 2017. This significant improvement was due in part to budget steps taken by the Presidential Line (PL) and Board in 2018 and also a much more financially successful IMAST meeting in 2018 compared to 2017. The PL and Financial leadership team have proposed a 2019 draft budget that should result in a profit of $424,406 if projections are accurate. This budget will have been voted on by the Board at its March meeting.
The Endowment Fund is accounted for separately from the General Operating Budget. Due to the stock market pullback in December, the Endowment Fund had a negative income of ($98,499) for the year. Fortunately, and again due to the stock market run-up, the Endowment Fund gained $2,660,424 in 2017. Fund expenses in 2018 were $408,266 most of which were awarded research grants and directed research grants which are counted as expenses on the Endowment Fund balance sheet. As most know, the stock market has surged since January 1 and the hope is that it will continue to do so in 2019 leading to gains in the SRS Endowment Fund. The SRS investment strategy remains the same with Rockefeller Financial and Vanguard each managing about half of the Endowment Fund.
The two primary revenue generators for the SRS are the Annual Meeting and IMAST. Net income for the Annual Meeting in 2018 was $278,378. While short of the $385,098 budget projection, it was ahead of the 2017 meeting net income which was $242,867. As noted above, the welcome result of the year was the net income for the 2018 IMAST Meeting at $122,145 compared to a loss of ($280,712) for 2017. This is what really gave SRS almost a breakeven 2018. Meeting revenue was higher and costs lower for 2018 compared to 2017 which accounted for the positive net income. This was particularly welcomed because IMAST was in the red for several years in a row prior to 2018. To maintain this positive result, future IMAST meeting sites will be selected both on site attractiveness to participants and meeting cost for a particular site.
Other 2018 SRS courses included the Beijing course, Russia course, two cadaver courses, the European directed course and the Latin America directed course. All but one of the cadaver courses was in the red for a total loss on these courses of ($114,930). Despite the losses, the SRS Leadership team believes these courses help the SRS fulfill its mission of global education and should be continued. Likewise, the Spine Deformity journal operated in the red for 2018. Some changes are being made with the expectation that the financial situation for the journal will improve in the future.
Corporate funding remains strong for the SRS with $2,062,127 donated in 2018. This came in the form of support for Scholarships/Fellowships, Educational Grants (meeting support) and Exhibit/Workshop/Marketing support at SRS meetings and courses. This was slightly up compared to corporate support of $2,023,700 for 2017.
All in all, from a financial standpoint, 2018 was a good year for SRS. The SRS Leadership Team is committed to continuing this positive financial trend for the Society as this will ensure our viability well into the future.