Author: Ganesh Rao
The Congress of Neurological Surgeons continues to grow financially in a consistent, sound, and responsible manner. The current CNS assets are at an all-time high and are in excess of $24 million. Growth of CNS assets has been primarily the result of continued and now record membership expansion, the sustained strong financial success of the CNS Annual Meeting, and outstanding CNS publications (Neurosurgery®, Clinical Neurosurgery, and Congress Quarterly). The CNS Finance Committee provides stewardship to the financial activities of the CNS and is composed of Dr. Ganesh Rao (Committee Chair and CNS Treasurer), Dr. Nathan R. Selden (CNS President), Dr. Russell R. Lonser (CNS Past Treasurer and CNS President-Elect), Dr. Daniel K. Resnick (CNS Past President), Dr. Alan M. Scarrow (CNS Secretary), Regina Shupak (CEO), and David Berg (CNS Senior Director of Strategy and Operations). The CNS Finance Committee provides organizational financial reporting and recommendations to the CNS Executive Committee.
CNS long-term assets are principally contained within two investment instruments that include the reserve and long-term asset funds. The reserve asset fund contains more than $5.5 million. This fund is a conservatively invested asset designed to preserve wealth and hedge against potential future financial hardship. Based on its overarching objective, this asset is maintained and grown in a manner that continues to adequately meet its stated purpose. The second fund is the long-term asset fund, which contains over $10.5 million. This fund is used primarily to finance critical initiatives related to the CNS educational mission (new educational efforts, fellowships, and other mission-specific innovative opportunities). Overall, this fund represents the largest defined asset to drive the critical goals of the organization and is invested in a lower-risk, moderate growth portfolio. The remaining CNS assets are defined in the fiscal operating budget that underwrites the day-today business of the CNS.
CNS Operating Budget
The 2015 CNS operating budget (revenue and expenses) exceeds $12 million dollars. Primary revenue generators (these account for nearly 90 percent of total CNS revenues) include membership, the CNS Annual Meeting, and CNS publications. Principal expenses include the CNS Annual Meeting, headquarters operations, journal operations, and the joint initiative support with the AANS (e.g., the Washington Committee, Joint Section expenses, and others). Additional expenses this fiscal year will include expansion of infrastructure (particularly the enhancement of information technology capabilities) to better and more efficiently drive CNS educational efforts, as well as funding of new innovative educational opportunities, including a rapidly growing and critical guidelines effort and simulation.
Future Budgetary Opportunities
Based on responsible fiscal management and innovation in its primary revenue sources, the CNS is well-positioned for future financial growth. Specifically, the principal revenue sources (CNS Annual Meeting, publications, and membership) are continually being improved and streamlined to more costeffectively provide first-rate member offerings.
CNS Annual Meeting. Because of its broadbased educational appeal and volunteer drive, the CNS Annual Meeting continues to be a financial success. Meeting program leaders, including Dr. Ashwini Dayal Sharan (2014 Annual Meeting Chair), Dr. Elad I. Levy (2014 Scientific Program Chair, 2015 Annual Meeting Chair), and Dr. Steven Kalkanis (2014 Annual Meeting Vice-Chair, 2014 Scientific Program Vice-Chair), along with the meeting organizers and volunteers, deserve all the credit for producing a world-class scientific program offering. New and innovative educational opportunities continue to be planned to drive the success of future CNS Annual Meetings for our membership.
CNS Publications. Continued excellent fiscal management and production of outstanding offerings, including Neurosurgery®, by Dr. Nelson Oyesiku, the CNS Publications Committee chaired by Dr. Gerald A. Grant, and the headquarters office has led to sustained and robust profitability of the CNS-published products. Better than expected advertising revenue in Neurosurgery® and sound economic responsibility across CNS publications provide opportunities for sustained CNS publication profitability and exceptional products.
Membership Growth. Continued growth of CNS membership nationally and internationally (currently at a record 8,882 members) has created a secure financial foundation for the CNS to continue to develop innovative products and educational efforts and to advocate for neurosurgery (via the Washington Committee) in a manner that meets member needs. Continued outreach and response to member desires will help to increase CNS membership nationally and internationally in the years to come.
Investment Funds and Development. Improving returns in the current economic environment on reserve and long-term investment funds continue to improve the CNS bottom line. To better exploit future financial opportunities, the investment management firm and the CNS financial leadership continue to manage CNS funds as described above. The CNS will continue to develop strategic opportunities to better position the organization in the future and ensure its financial success in a variety of areas, including product development, collaborative relationships, and other mechanisms.
2014 Financial Audit
This year’s independent audit (conducted by Legacy Professionals) of the CNS finances and business practices returned a clean and unqualified report. This audit represents the sixth consecutive outstanding audit of the CNS business and finances. The audit findings underscore the transparent and careful oversight that marks the management of CNS assets and business practices. Specifically, transparent administration of CNS business practices, including contracts, business relationships with vendors, the CNS Annual Meeting, investment planning, publication offices, and the headquarters office, have led to consistently unqualified audits. The CNS Finance Committee, along with the CNS Executive Committee, will continue to remain vigilant in maintaining fiscal transparency and oversight in the years to come.
Based on its volunteerism, innovative spirit, and cost-conscious efforts, the CNS remains one of the most cost-effective specialty medical organizations in North America. These inherent organizational qualities continue to underlie the mission and financial success of the CNS. We are proud that the CNS Annual Meeting registration fees, membership dues, and other associated fees remain the lowest in the field and across other medical specialties. The CNS remains committed to maintaining and providing world-class, costeffective educational opportunities for its members, while also supporting the broader goals of its membership. Please feel free to contact us at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or comments.