I-INCE, founded in 1974, is a worldwide consortium of organizations concerned with noise control, acoustics, and vibration. This editorial gives an overview of I-INCE from a financial perspective. Historical and the latest financial reports are available on the I-INCE website (http://i-ince.org/finances.php).
The institute is funded by annual fees from four categories of membership (small, medium, large, and sustaining and institutional) as well as from a small share of the fees from the annual INTER-NOISE congress that I-INCE sponsors. Most years, these two contributions are similar in size. However, as INTER-NOISE fees to I-INCE are proportional to the number of attendees, this is a potentially more variable source of income.
We ensure that the vast majority of the institute’s expenses contribute toward scientific activities and have successfully ensured that over 80 percent of our expenses are spent in this way. Scientific support is primarily financial support to young professionals to help ensure a healthy future for our profession, for NNI to promote noise control and communicate with our members, and more recently, the online conference database that gives all members access to all INTER-NOISE and NOISE-CON conference proceedings, thus helping research, paper writing, and network building. In addition to these activities, a number of activities are supported on a trial basis with the view to identifying areas of useful investment. These include I-INCE lectures available on YouTube and the Professional Practice School. A full list of initiatives is available on our website.
In addition to being reliant on voluntary resources, both the treasurer and the secretary general seek to minimize administrative costs.
In the last five years, there have been two years of loss, the others resulting in a profit. This has typically been due to lower expenses than budgeted for. Over time, the Institute has built up a healthy equity, in line with recommendations for organizations similar to I-INCE, to enable it to support significant initiatives, most likely of a one-off nature, if it so chooses. The institute is aware that it is a nonprofit organization and does not aim to further increase equity. However, care is taken not to commit I-INCE to additional large long-term commitments but to focus on a number of regular activities and a number of ad hoc activities.
From a treasurer’s perspective, recent years have focused on a range of activities:
- Reviewing and updating of I-INCE’s financial reporting methodology and format to provide enhanced insight and transparency
- Increasing follow-up on outstanding member fees from previous years, with the result that this post has been effectively eradicated
- Ensuring a clear and legal definition of I-INCE as a nonprofit organization, including ensuring that banks have I-INCE’s updated address, particularly in relation to governmental reporting requirements
- Setting up a second account in another bank as part of I-INCE’s risk management strategy, as there is maximum guaranteed €100,000 compensation from each bank
- Distributing invoices by email for cheaper and faster communication and transferring bank correspondence to email where possible to help minimize administration costs
- Ensuring that treasurer activities are performed in line with the updated milestones in the I-INCE Rules and By-Laws for better alignment with the general assembly
With this, I feel that I-INCE is well equipped to promote noise control, with a strong equity available for supporting worthy causes, while dealing with the challenges of the modern world.