BSC Budget 2021-2022 Updates

Board has approved the BSC budget for 2021-2022.

This includes:

Please please please check out the budget spreadsheet to see how it all fits together, particularly the visuals tab! I’ve added a revenue visual too. Basically, here are our budgeted expenses:

And here (to scale) is our projected revenue:

So, you can see for yourself how occupancy projections affect the big picture. We need to fill all the empty squares inside the black box, with some combination of increased occupancy, operating reserves, and donations. Because we’ve cut spending/investment a lot, if we were to have 100% occupancy we would actually have a surplus this year, which would go back into reserves. Here are our various reserve funds:

Altogether, it’s not much bigger than our annual operating budget. That’s the non-profit (literally, not as a corporate structure) aspect of our cooperative model – we pretty much run at cost. We’ve put a relatively small chunk of our revenue into these reserve funds each year so that we can give scholarships, maintain and improve our buildings, have emergency funds, and save up to cooperativize more buildings someday.

This year, we’re drawing from reserves instead of paying into them – by about the same amount that we’d be paying into them in a good year. We’re doing that partly because we can afford to, but mostly because it’s clear that right now, we do not have a democratic mandate to raise rent even by the $15 per member per semester it would cost to offset the increase in our own coordinators’ payroll budget. Long term, we do need to budget in a way that makes annual expenses and annual revenue balance out on average – but we can’t do that at all unless it’s as a “we”.

To be clear, I believe in class struggle. I believe there is a “they” that “we” need to fight against. But I really think that structurally, the BSC can be part of the “we”. Members are in charge here. Despite years and years of being manipulated to think that we were powerless, we were structurally able to replace the Executive Director – by taking over Board. I’m hoping that as we move toward transparency and everybody on both sides of the staff/member divide continues to deprogram from longstanding narratives of austerity and division, the BSC will feel more and more like a “we” to the members/workers who constitute it. Then – and only then – can we talk about the sustainability of our budget.

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