At the American Dental Association Annual Meeting held in New Orleans earlier this month, the ADA’s House of Delegates approved a 2014 operating budget of $123,956,500 in expenses and $122,244,000 in anticipated revenues, but did not seek a dues increase. Expected additional nondues revenues in 2014 are predicted to create a positive net by year end 2014.

The Board of Trustees anticipates positive gains in revenues because of projected favorable results compared to budget, due to three main sources: revenue from strong investment performance; royalty revenue from ADA Business Enterprises Inc; and royalties from member insurance programs. House actions totaled $269,000 in expenses over the Board’s submitted budget proposal. National dues will remain at $522 in 2014.

Charles Norman, DDS, who was installed as ADA president on November 5, 2013, said he was heartened by the outcome of the House. “They had the restraint not to spend excess revenue, and going forward, if the House and the Board can continue to have that restraint we can continue to be a fiscally sound organization and deliver relevant services that are of value to our members.” he said.

This approach, he said, will benefit all levels of organized dentistry. “The more we can collaborate at all three levels of the tripartite and deliver best-in-class service in an effective and efficient manner, then the more we can utilize our limited resources to accomplish much, much more as an organization.”

Ronald Lemmo, DDS, ADA treasurer, credits good fiscal management as much as anticipated revenues in 2013 for the current positive ADA financial picture. “The House, the Board, the volunteers and staff have worked together to make this happen,” he said. “Increasing our nondues revenue helps us in turn to stabilize our dues.”

Lemmo reported that the Association’s reserves, at 46.78% of operating budget, are closely approaching the 50% target level. Also, in 2012, the establishment of a Capital Reserve Fund Account helps protect ADA reserves, and its establishment reduces the likelihood of a special dues assessment for future capital expenditures, he said.

Maxine Feinberg, DDS, ADA president-elect, agreed that changes in the approach to the budget have made a difference. “The budgetary process has improved so much in the last 3 years, and that is a tribute to the growing trust between the House and Board and also a tribute to our treasurer, Dr Lemmo,” she said.

The 2014 budget reflects the Association’s commitment to member value, Feinberg added. “I think the House understands the importance of our ongoing programs, such as the Center for Professional Success. That is one of the best programs the ADA has produced in the last 20 years, and I hope our members will appreciate its value and use it to its fullest extent.”