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Friends of the Sea Otters
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Friends of the Sea Otters


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  • 1. Friends of the Sea Otter (FSO) LaTesha Charbonnet Jane Franklin Neda Levanture Sean Weatherston
  • 2. Overview of FSO
    • FSO was established in 1968 and is a well-known organization in the environmental community.
    • “ As the only advocacy organization for sea otters in the world, FSO has become a voice to be reckoned with in the fight to protect marine communities. Its focus and mission statement includes not just protection of the southern sea otter, but sea otters throughout their north Pacific range, and all sea otter habitat…”
    • Throughout its 50 years in existence, FSO has had many different focuses all pertaining to sea otters, and their survival and longevity.
    • “… In 2006, FSO was forced to refocus as the burden of a full staff, office & retail store became more than the organization could bear. FSO returned to a largely volunteer effort through 2007, and has refocused it's time and energy to the advocacy of sea otters at the state and federal levels.”
  • 3. Friends of the Sea Otter Today
    • FSO is in a reorganization phase:
    • It is currently located in Carmel, however they hope to relocate to the Monterey area (specifically closer to MIIS) in the near future.
    • They previously owned a retail store, but it was closed in October 2006 due to internal issues.
    • Organization was not active after store closure until recently, however donations have still been received.
    • The organization wants to focus more on advocacy (as they once did).
    • A new board of executive members has been established.
  • 4. Key Findings
    • Diagnostic tool used has been the organization’s comparative balance sheet for 2006-2007. Interviews conducted with the board members via MIIS liaison.
    • High number of liquid assets.
    • Majority of the assets is cash (literally money in the bank).
    • Accumulated depreciation does not balance out.
    • Expenses seem high considering inactivity for the past year.
    • Board members do not understand balance sheet.
    • Board members are not exactly sure of the direction they want to take the organization.
  • 5. Our Current Objective
    • Clarify the organization’s assets (tangible and possibly intangible).
    • Provide information to facilitate the understanding of the balance sheet.
      • The organization currently pays a book keeper to maintain their financial statements. However, the board members do not understand the balance sheet or the assets of the company as they appear on the balance sheet and would like clarification on their bottom line. We plan to meet with the book keeper and clarify balance sheet categories and amounts for easy understanding.
    • Determine the organization’s capacity to implement future activities. If the organization decided to do something tomorrow, what is their capacity and what do they have to offer (e.g., experience, expertise, etc.)?
  • 6. Recommendations and Lessons Learned So Far
    • The organization is at a good place to start over again, however without strong leadership, it will continue at a slow pace.
    • Define goals and activities within the programmatic sphere in order to clearly understand financial needs and potential.
    • Possibility of investing cash assets in money market or CD accounts.
    • Organizations dependent on part time decision makers have trouble making timely decisions.
    • Lack of financial understanding leads to confusion about capacity.
  • 7. Questions or Comments