The ALSO Foundation faces a tough year ahead to get its books back in the black, reporting a $32,617 operating loss at it’s Annual General Meeting this week.

The organisation heads into a new year $67,300 in the red, but did reduce some of 2009’s hefty $139,732 operating loss. The board has projected a $9,851 surplus next year.

Concern was raised by some members that the ALSO Foundation was being propped up by ALSO Care – the separate fundraising arm of the organisation — and is unsustainable with is current spending levels.

At Tuesday’s AGM a block of four members voted against the new budget, claiming it didn’t reflect the true position of the ALSO Foundation’s finances.

Member Geoff Richards, who was present at the inaugural meeting of ALSO Care in the mid-’80s, accused the board of “smoke and mirrors”, saying money from Care, which mostly comes from bequests, was being used to bail out ALSO’s troubled financial position.

“When we set it up, they trusted us, that their bequests would go to the right place,” he said.

A loan of $54,782 from Care to the Foundation was this year extended to help with repayments. The board says this amount will be paid back in the next year.

Meanwhile, ALSO Care posted a $208,132 loss this year, further reducing its $1m 2008 balance to $684,905.

The board answered pre-AGM calls by members for greater financial transparency by including full cost breakdowns in the incoming budget.

Treasurer Gerard Brody admitted the year had been challenging but said the board was confident both arms of the organisation would pull through.

He said the Board had responded this year to improve the organisation’s financial position with “restrained” expenditure.

“The Board knows this is not a desirable position to be in,” he told the meeting. “We hope for a small surplus in 2011.”

ALSO President Jason Rostant said the organisation was getting the balance right in covering the range of areas it tackles for the GLBTI community.

“We’re confident Care and Foundation will go the distance,” he said.

ALSO undertakes a range of work for GLBTI projects with no ongoing government funding. Rostant said he was proud of the work ALSO had done with such scant resources.

The Foundation released its 2011 – 2013 Strategic Plan which has called for more inclusion of the transgender, bisexual and intersex community, and introducing a seniors action plan.

For the first time in two decades, two new presidents have been appointed to manage the ALSO Foundation and ALSO Care separately.

Replacing outgoing president Jason Rostant, Jarrod Hassell will take the reins of the  ALSO Foundation and Caren Aspinall has been appointed the new president of ALSO Care.

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