By Christina Norris
The National Association of Black Journalists is on track to exceed projections for revenue and profit from this year’s joint convention with the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. Officials say this will put the organization on a solid footing ahead of an expected financial downturn in the U.S.
As of June 30, NABJ reported convention revenue of $2.9 million, exceeding predictions by $403,000 despite an increase in expenses due to additional COVID-19 protocols put in place.
Even though the organization spent more than expected, the convention surplus was on track to exceed $234,000 for a total surplus of nearly $1.1 million.
“The recession impacts everybody and investment,” said Berry. “But we are well positioned, whether that storm will come. We’re going to continue with our training, scholarships and fellowships, and those types of things. And we’re going to plan as if we’re going to go on to Birmingham.”
The revenue will be a 70/30 split with the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, according to NABJ Treasurer Walter Randolph-Smith said.
NABJ’s treasurer’s report also introduced a new financial operating procedure, stating that every three months, the treasurer will be given access to all NABJ cash, credit, and investment accounts in order to review the organization’s monthly statements for the previous three months. The treasurer will then review those statements along with another executive board member.
NABJ President Dorothy Tucker explained this procedure, which the board unanimously passed.
“The reason we did that was to make sure that there was always another set of eyes on our money so that we have the same people doing the same thing all the time and nobody’s accusing anybody of anything,” Tucker said. “We’re just being extra cautious. And one of the ways to do that was to have a watcher and a board member come and have access to all of everything so we can make sure that we never have any issues.”
NABJ Executive Director Drew Berry said this continues the board’s careful oversight.
“We’re going to be just fine financially because we’ve been good stewards of our resources for the past few years,” Berry said. “We are putting more resources into our new news operations, Black News & Views, that we’ll unveil tonight and all of that. And so that’s where we’re reinvesting.”