Re: Chamber donations

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Posted by Karl E. Huggins - USC Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber on August 24, 2000 at 17:55:16:

In Reply to: Chamber donations posted by Captain Tim Burke on August 23, 2000 at 20:52:41:

The following is a copy of the reply I sent to Tim when I first read his e-mail this morning.
I have also added most of this reply to the Chamber Funding Web page at:

That is NOT correct. USC does not get 20% of the funds that were donated.

That being said, as with all universities there are administrative overheads that is taken out of accounts. This overhead is not a
percent of what was raised, but of what is spent. In the case of the Chamber Gift Account the overhead is 15%. This is quite
reasonable for university overhead. Normally it is 50% or higher. For Funded Grants (like the County's Chamber Grant to
USC) the overhead is 63.5%

In the case of the Chamber's Gift Account (which is where the proceeds from Chamber Day go) the USC General Fund
receives 15 cents for every dollar spent on budget items. The overhead is only taken out when the money is spent, it is not
taken off the top. This means a 15% overhead works out to be 13% of all the moneys spent out of the Gift Account (including
the overhead).

For example last fiscal year we spent about $65,000 from the Chamber Gift Account on expenses. USC's General Fund then
received about $9,750 in overhead from the Chamber Gift Account. The total budget from the Chamber Gift Account was a
little less than $75,000 for last fiscal year. This was a bit higher than normal due to some equipment purchases and compressor

Now the question becomes, "What does the Chamber Program get from USC for these overhead expenses?"
First and foremost it gets the administrative support and benefits of belonging to USC, as well as USC's non-profit status. For
example, all the volunteers who work at the chamber are considered "employees" while they are here and are covered by USC
Workman's Comp. As for specifics, the following are some of the items provided by USC to the Chamber program without
any charge.

* Housing for Volunteer Chamber Crew (Apartment + electricity + water)
* Free transportation for volunteers on School Boats
* Use of University vehicles on the island
* Office Space for Chamber Office (including electricity)
* Centrex Telephone System with no charge for USC's local coverage calls (whereas normally any calls off island are long
distance, even to the same 310 area code)
* Computer System and support
* Internet connectivity (e-mail, web server, e-mail list server, etc.)
* Chamber Hanger space
* Medical Trailer space
* Electricity for Office, Chamber Hanger, Medical Trailer, and COMPRESSORS!
* and finally, the CHAMBER!

There are a whole lot of other little things that if you add up the time and effort it would take to deal with them would be a
major cost in personnel power and expense.

Is all of this worth the approximately $50,000 in overhead that USC receives from the Chamber's accounts ($9,750 from the
Gift Account and $39,000 from the County Chamber Account)? I would have to say YES! If the Chamber Program were to
gain this additional $50,000 and lose the benefits listed above, it would require more money and effort to operate the Chamber
Program. Not only would we have to start paying for the items and services listed above, but additional personnel would have
to be hired by the Chamber Program to take on all the additional work that is now done by USC services.

I hope that this clears up any of the questions or concerns you had. If some remain please feel free to call me at

Please pass this information along to whomever brought the "20%" issue to your attention and let them know they can contact
me if they have any further questions.

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