The audited Accounts for the year are attached
Gift Aid is a scheme by which a charity can reclaim from the Inland Revenue the basic tax on money paid to it by way of subscriptions or gifts. In the 2007-08 year 172 members provided Gift Aid Declarations and the Inland Revenue credited a total of £600.26 to the Society's account in 2008-2009. At 78% of memberships this is a slight reduction on last year's 81%. The scheme costs members nothing and all those who pay tax are invited to sign up. Declarations remain in force while membership of the Society is maintained or until the donor cancels the arrangement.
The Society is grateful to Down District Council for its continuing support of the Society's activities. In the financial year the Council provided two grants - £300 in support of the production of Lecale Review and £100 for the St. Patrick's Festival Lecture.
During the year 18 new members joined the Society. However, eight of the existing members did not renew their subscription. During the year, sadly, we lost four of our members, Mary Croskery, founder member and Life Member, J.C. (Kit) Napier, Betty McCord and Dick Oram. By the end of the year the number of memberships stood at 221 (86 Family memberships, 127 Individual members and 8 Honorary members). This compares with 212 in the previous year and is the sixth year of continuous membership growth.
The cost of 500 copies of the Lecale Review was £2570 compared with £2495 in 2007. Each of the 221 members was supplied with a copy of the journal as part of their membership fee. Journal sales income was £1578. This reflects the discount to resellers. The £439 for 'Other publications' is mainly from sales of the Lecale Miscellany CDs.
The large reduction in Speaker costs is due to the large proportion of speakers drawn from the membership itself, to whom no fees are paid. The usual fee if £50.
Postage costs show an increase on previous years. The recent increase in postal charges will add additional costs in 2009-10. A large part of the cost is due to membership renewal subscriptions; in many cases requiring several reminders. Email is used where possible but only a small minority of members uses this. The Executive Committee has agreed to offer members the option of moving to a Direct Debit process where the subscription would be transferred from their bank account to that of the Society on an agreed date in April each year. This has been suggested by several members and is widely used by other societies and organisations.