YOUR Support Makes a DIFFERENCE!
Have you ever wondered how the MRTF operates or where your membership dues, registration income, or donation ends up? Well, I thought I would take a few moments to share how this all works and why your involvement in the MRTF makes a difference.
The MRTF is governed by a diverse board of directors (lawn, golf, sports, distributors, etc.) made up of your peers in the industry. This board of directors provides guidance and direction for the executive committee and for our Purdue Turf Program. The overall mission of the MRTF is to support turf research and education at Purdue University for the advancement of the turfgrass industry. Since 1945, the MRTF has been fulfilling this mission.
To help carry out the MRTF mission, the board directs funds for turf research at Purdue University, supports the W.H. Daniel Turfgrass Research and Diagnostic Center operating budget, sustains turf research through endowments at Purdue University, champions student scholarships, offers regional educational and networking opportunities, provides opportunities for pesticide continuing certification hours (CCHs), informs and engages its membership, recognizes the service achievements and professionalism of members, and acknowledges the environmental stewardship efforts of our members. That’s a lot!
Where in the world do we get the funds to accomplish all of those services that support our mission? From you! Your membership dues, registration fees, and donations all go to support our mission. Furthermore, the MRTF board of directors makes every effort to steward the income it receives.
From our 2022-2023 FY budget, the MRTF is budgeting to direct 47% of its revenue toward research. This amounted to approximately $114,000 for the Daniel Turf Center, research projects, or endowment growth. By keeping our education event costs (22% of the budget) to a minimum, we maximize our ability to support turf research. Furthermore, we have minimal administrative costs compared to most foundations spending only 15% of our budget on salary, training, and travel for our Executive Secretary. All other positions on the MRTF board of directors are voluntary, including my position as Executive Director. This keeps our costs low and maximizes our impact. We also invested $9,000 (4% of the budget) in scholarships or growing our student travel endowment to reward deserving students. We spend about $8,000 annually (~4% of the budget) on member services such as membership renewal (print & postage) and award receptions. Last but not least, we incur about $7,000 a year in foundation expenses (accounting, insurance, etc.) necessary to maintain our 501(c)3 status and keep the foundation functioning well.
I trust this short look into our finances provides you with some more insight into how the MRTF operates and the impact that your participation makes. We work diligently to be good stewards of the dollars you contribute annually to the foundation. I hope that you will think about the impact your dollars make each time you renew your membership, register for an event, or provide a donation. Learn more about the MRTF online at our updated website, www.mrtf.org.
Thank you for your support!
Dr. Aaron Patton, MRTF Executive Director