USA Swimming’s membership revenue this year is projected less by an estimated $926,000 (or 3.8%), according to the minutes from the latest Board of Directors meeting in September.
The shortfall is contributing to an anticipated operational deficit of $1,731,587 — the national governing body’s largest since at least 2011. The Board had approved a budget deficit of $1,368,963 for this year, but USA Swimming is expected to exceed that figure by $362,624 (or 26%).
In their latest performance monitoring report, CEO Tim Hinchey and CFO Eric Skufca self-assessed “potential non-compliance” with the broadest financial policy provision due to the budget discrepancy.
Another policy provision instructs the CEO to “not allow cash and cash equivalents to drop below that amount necessary to meet operating expenditures over a 30-day period,” but Hinchey reported himself in compliance despite having just $2.3 million at the end of June to cover $3.3 million in operating expenses for the following month. USA Swimming has also tapped its reserve fund for more than $1 million so far this year. While the organization has a policy for the CEO not to dip into reserve funds, Hinchey reported those withdrawals as compliant because they were approved by the Board.
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Revenue should rebound next year with a projected $4,371,116 in profit forecast for the Paris 2024 Olympic year, but even that figure is nearly $2 million less than Tokyo.
USA Swimming’s Net Revenue by Year
- 2011: $504,672
- 2012: $994,719
- 2013: $567,805
- 2014: $390,406
- 2015: $277,622
- 2016: ($870,772)
- 2017: ($747,813) *Hinchey replaced Chuck Wielgus as CEO
- 2018: ($1,453,784)
- 2019: ($1,136,933)
- 2020: $6,227,240
- 2021: ($1,028,218)
- 2022: ($1,286,252)
- 2023 Forecast: ($1,731,587)
- 2024 Forecast: $4,371,116
Note: Parentheses indicate deficits
USA Swimming managing director of sport development Joel Shinofield cited a decline in clubs since the pandemic, the new “administrator” membership category not being budget neutral as projected, and the lack of migration from flex members to seasonal/premium members as reasons for the membership revenue shortfall.
Thousands of swimmers have registered with AAU over the past year, but the exact number is unknown because the organization declined to share figures. Club coaches told SwimSwam that the move away from USA Swimming saved them time and money in the wake of the organization’s Online Member Registration (OMR) rollout last year, though they kept their competitive swimmers signed up with USA Swimming. Chris Davis’ Swim Atlanta (Georgia) and Peter Perers’ Mecklenburg Swim Association (North Carolina) led the charge, with Brent Mitchell’s Metroplex Aquatics (Texas) and Randy Reese’s Clearwater Aquatic Team (Florida) among the clubs expected to follow suit next May.
USA Swimming appears to be addressing those complaints with the creation of the Junior Swim League (JSL). The mission of the new collaboration is to “provide more competitive opportunities for minor athletes through lower costs and easier access to competitions.” They hope that the JSL’s format will help USA Swimming retain more members and allow for the utilization of more facilities.