I wonder how you developed your skills of measurement. Perhaps through helping a parent, at play, at school or through a hobby. It is easy to practise measurement skills of length, weight, volume, time, temperature, and distance. Needing much more training and experience are the skills of surveying and charting, or measuring atmospheric pressure, longitude and latitude. You can read more about the history of measurement at: historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?historyid=ac07#ixzz5tvvCD31z.
As an Association there are many things we need to measure and as many reasons for doing so. Creative Arts Committee members measure halls and tables to ascertain space requirements for staging entries at the State Exhibition. One member draws a plan to scale and places paper tables across a paper hall. Think about this subject at the member and branch level. Members measure ingredients for baking, knitting for size. Branches measure length of memberships, hours of volunteering, amount of donated goods, temperature of meeting rooms. I am sure you can add to the list.
As the end of the year approaches our attention turns to measuring our financial support of the Association and our monetary donations to local and other causes. How is your weight distribution? We count the cups, number the knives and survey the silver. The totals are recorded in the asset register section of the Branch Annual Return. These are tangible assets – ‘real and able to be shown or touched’. Thank you, branches and groups, for your donations to General Funds, held in the Main Account.
More important but less visible are intangible assets – ‘influencing you but not able to be seen or physically felt’. Intangible assets can be assigned a monetary value. Organisations, businesses and companies now include intangible assets in annual financial returns. RACV includes computer software, Microsoft goodwill and Nike its brand name. Here are some examples of intangible but measurable assets from the Australian Accounting Standards Board: technical knowledge, licences, intellectual property, market knowledge, patents, copyrights, customer lists, supplier relationships, customer loyalty, market share, mastheads and publishing titles, service and operating rights, recipes, formulae, and prototypes.
For the Association, our most valuable intangible asset is you. Yes, I know you think members should fall under the tangible list but it is your value as a member that cannot be seen or touched in a physical way. The value of a member is not only her hands linked in friendship with another member but the two-way moral support of the friendship, her loyalty to other branch members, her expression of solidarity through activity involvement, her care for ‘the brand’ through living out the Collect and her nurture of the goodwill the Association holds within communities.
An example of the level of goodwill the Country Women’s Association enjoys is the trust the federal government has shown in granting the state and territory Associations a further five million dollars in total for drought relief. Again, from the allocation assigned to Victoria, amounts of up to three thousand dollars were disbursed to eligible farming families in the east of the state and, with stricter criteria, in the northeast of the state. Applicants attached copies of accounts for items such as utilities, food household expenses and school fees to the application form. Victoria’s share, paid into the Emergency Fund – one of the Special Purpose Accounts, was distributed very quickly. Thank you, branches and groups, for your donations to the Emergency Fund – another measure of your generosity.
Measure what is measurable, and make measurable what is not so.
Linking hands in friendship…
Marion E Dewar