Treasurer’s Update

 
At the end of each fiscal year, which runs from July 1–June 30, the Society’s finances undergo an audit. The fiscal year ending 2011 (FYE11) audit was conducted in August 2011 and presented to the Executive Board at its October 2011 meeting. The full audit is available online at www.biophysics.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=bObIroBHGsg%3d&tabid=472.

After deducting revenue from interest and dividends, which do not come from operations, the audit showed that the Society’s operations resulted in net revenue of $989,056. This reflects greater-than-projected Journal, membership services, and Annual Meeting income, as well as efficient control of overall costs. The Society’s net assets grew from $6,802,361 in FYE10 to $8,700,029 at the end of FYE11. That growth was due in part to the movement of FYE11 operating net revenues into reserves as well as to the overall gains in the stock market.

Society Grows to 9,000 Members

The Society has continued to flourish even in financially challenging times. Membership continues to be strong with nearly 9,000 members in 2011. Over the last four years membership growth has been mainly fueled by student and early career members, who represent the future of biophysics, and we’ve also seen an increase in membership from outside the US, which now stands at 34%.

Society Reserves

As has been done in past years, the net revenues from FYE11 are being moved to the Society’s reserves to ensure that those funds continue to build toward the prescribed level of 100% of one year’s operating expenses. Such a level is needed to ensure that the Society can withstand a catastrophic event such as a precipitous decline in meeting attendance due to a blizzard. The reserves level at the end of 2011 stood at $7,529,890, which is slightly over the projected FY13 operations expenses level. The Executive Board and Council are reviewing current programs and considering future programs that could be funded when the three year average of reserves exceeds 100% of expenses.

Ongoing Efforts

During difficult economic times, members turn to their professional societies for greater support services. The Biophysical Society is continually updating its website (www.biophysics.org) to help members better learn about the Society’s programs and more easily take advantage of the opportunities it offers. We have been working with Cell Press to increase worldwide readership of Biophysical Journal, and we offer members free online color images and lower page charges. More travel and poster awards were given to students, postdocs, and minorities than in any previous year. BPS sponsored very successful thematic meetings in China and Singapore in 2010 and in Asilomar in 2011, and awarded grants for local networking events to Biophysical Society members. The public policy efforts helped sustain funding opportunities for those conducting research in biophysics.

The San Diego meeting attracted the second highest number of abstracts and registrations of any Society meeting, with 4,100 abstracts and over 6,100 attendees. The Annual Meeting will continue to be the greatest networking opportunity for anyone doing research in biophysics. The Finance Committee and Executive Board will continue to monitor closely the Society’s fiscal health to ensure that the programs and services on which so many members depend continue to grow.

April 2012 Table of Contents