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Land trusts, also known as conservancies, are not-for-profit organizations dedicated to protecting wildlife habitat and natural lands by acquiring ownership rights and transfer of development rights (conservation easements) either thru donation or purchase. This series of Term Projects follows a small land trust through the process of budgeting. Term Project I requires students to develop and analyze an annual line-item budget and translate that budget, and additional information, into a quarterly cash budget. Term Project II requires students to convert the line-item budget into a functional budget. Further information is employed by students to create a flexible budget. Actual numbers have been obscured while remaining true to the…show more content…
Some technical functions, such as legal review of conservation easements, annual audit, and some routine accounting are contracted out. Members of the BOD, and other volunteers, continue to help with membership, fundraising, stewardship, and new project evaluation.

The BOD is extremely concerned that the CWC be managed so that it is sustainable. The commitments of land trusts are, by their very nature, long-term (actually perpetual). Therefore, the CWC must ensure that their business plan and budget will ensure their long-term survival.

The Current Situation
The Executive Director is formulating an Operating Budget recommendation for the next year. He has made a series of assumptions based on previous year performance and expectations about the coming year. He is particularly concerned about increased energy costs and a likely recession that may hold down contributions and foundation support. The CWC wants to budget for a 5% (of total expense) surplus to provide protection against unforeseen events.

Your role is to prepare the budget for the following (next) year based on the assumptions adopted by the Executive Director and the budget for the current year. You will also be asked to analyze the results of those budget assumptions. Assumptions for NEXT budget year:
Revenue: Special events will increase by 20% due to a new event. Contributions will increase by 10% due to new membership drives. Grants will fall by 20% due to the
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