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Wednesday, 13 April 2011 14:31

Dr. Noble Irwin Foundation posts small profit in 2010

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By Chris Jaster — This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

After two years of running a deficit, the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation finally created a small surplus.

The foundation which purchases capital equipment for the Cypress Health Region lost approximately $2 million in 2008 and $173,686 in 2009. According to Dr. Noble Irwin’s audited financial statements for 2010, the organization recorded a $77,210 surplus, increasing its total balanced fund to $4.29 million.

Although it appears the foundation’s finances are in better shape than they have been in the last few years, hospital and equipment donations have decreased from the Dr. Noble Irwin Foundation.

The organization spent more than $2.15 million on equipment and hospital gifts in 2008. That number dropped to $440,287 in 2009 and again to $378,700 in 2010. Only 11 equipment purchases were made in 2010 compared to 19 in 2009 and 23 in 2008.

According to Karen Schaitel, the newly-elected board chairperson of the Dr. Noble Irwin Foundation and member of the finance and audit committee, it’s better for the donations to be down to keep the foundation sustainable.

“It’s more important to be a prudent steward of the cash we receive,” she said. “We want our books to be open and people to understand what we’re doing. We’ve taken a real look at various expenses over the year and managed to cut some and will be cutting some more in 2011.

“We want people to know that when they’re donating to the foundation that we’ll be working to putting the money toward the communities, wherever the communities are. I think that’s the most important thing is we have to be able to show people where we’re putting our resources. When we put new defibrillators in ambulances in Frontier and Val Marie, we need to show people that’s their money going to work. If you can show people good value for their donation, you’re going to increase the amount of money that’s entrusted to you.”

While the donations decreased from the Dr. Noble Irwin Foundation, its administrative costs increased.
The cost of wages and benefits increased more than $21,000 in 2010 and the cost of office supplies increased from $3,255 to $10,074.

Clay Thompson, the executive director said the wages increased as they moved the salaries of the janitorial and maintenance staff for related businesses such as the gift shop and Rotary House to that section of the report from the development costs.

Other increases in the administrative side were deemed to be one-year anomalies associated with hiring a new executive director and advertising. The foundation ran an advertising campaign from January into March last year to bid farewell to the former executive director Lyn Johnston and welcoming Thompson to the position.

“(We hope the) costs that are unique to last year are the recruiting costs for a new executive director,” said Schaitel. “Hopefully, that’s a one in five or six-year fee, which also drove up the administrative expenses.”

Overall, Schaitel believes the foundation is in good financial shape and is looking forward to raising funds and purchasing equipment in 2011.

She’s hoping the organization will have a strong fundraising campaign this year, especially through the radiothon in September. She’s also hoping for a year of good crops as the foundation receives more donations in years where the agriculture industry is thriving.

“Last year, people were nervous. We were all a little nervous, whether you were farming or working in an industry depending on farming,” she said. “There’s a lot of water out there and it could be a tough year again.

“On the other hand, we could have the most beautiful crops known to man, in which case we’ll all benefit.”

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