The official PASS Blog is where you’ll find the latest blog posts from PASS community members and the PASS Board. Contributors share their thoughts and discuss a wide variety of topics spanning PASS and the data community.

PASS Financials Update

We are currently in the midst of what we consider the PASS budget season for our Fiscal Year (FY), running from July 1 to June 30. This is typically the time of year where we are deep into reviewing and adjusting the extensive PASS budget in anticipation of voting on the budget in June.

This year, however, is an unprecedented time for us with the uncertainty surrounding PASS Summit, which accounts for 94% of PASS’ revenue. As we’ve discussed over the last few months we have been looking at ways to diversify that revenue, but the reality is that for FY 2021, PASS Summit will be the primary source of income for our community. COVID-19 has had a significant impact. Registrations have slowed to a trickle at a time when we would expect to see our biggest numbers. We are facing an unprecedented situation where we are having to re-evaluate our path forward and the timeline.

We’ve talked about how we are evaluating that path forward between virtual and in-person, and that we will be in a position to share more on that in early June.

What does this mean for PASS’ financials? In short, immediate cost cutting measures, innovation, and staying focused on the future health of the PASS organization. As you may imagine, we’ve been looking at every possible scenario. We have put a spending freeze in place for the remainder of FY 2020 on everything outside of necessary operational expenses. Our partner C&C (aka PASS HQ) has gone above and beyond to temporarily and significantly reduce PASS’ operating expenses while continuing to move multiple initiatives forward. Thank you to our PASS HQ team for your commitment to our community.

PASS HQ has been working tirelessly to parallel plan for both a virtual and an in-person event as we explore how best to proceed – PASS Summit will happen in one form or another. The team is also working hard on developing new programs that can be introduced to keep the community engaged, create new opportunities to diversify revenue, and support PASS. The Board and PASS HQ are doing everything in our power to help guide our organization through this difficult time.

With all of these factors to be taken into consideration, we are delaying approval of the budget by 1 month*. This will allow us to budget appropriately against the most relevant information available. It is also the most realistic timeline, as this year’s budget process had to be put on hold while we worked to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 and planned our best path forward.

Regarding the impact to the FY 2020 budget, as you will recall, the Board approved a small deficit for FY 2020. As PASS Summit 2019 happened in FY 2020, the bulk of revenue has already been accounted for. Thanks to the efforts of PASS HQ and the careful management of operational costs, we are anticipating to come in as budgeted for FY 2020.

While we acknowledge the challenges we still face, we are confident that the plans we have in place and the team we have to implement them can help us come out of this situation in an even stronger position as an organization.

Of course, none of this would be possible without the contributions of our amazing community year round. Your insights, feedback, and support have helped inform us so that we can make the right decisions for our global members and the growth of our organization.

If you have any questions on our FY 2020 financials or the FY 2021 planning process, please contact me directly or the PASS Finance Team.

i. We will vote in June to preapprove defined operating costs for July. The Board will vote in July to approve the overall PASS FY2021 budget.
ii. Not having an approved PASS budget by June is not new, this has happened before. While we strive to have the budget passed prior to the start of the new FY, it is not required by PASS bylaws.

Tim Ford
About the author

Tim is a Microsoft Data Professional with over 20 years of experience. His career in data started accidentally and he contributes much of his success to the near 20 years spent as a PASS volunteer. He is currently the Subject Matter Expert for the Microsoft data platform at Mindbody, the leader in SAAS tooling for the wellness and beauty industry where he focuses on Cloud migration and High Availability. 

Tim is also a business owner, launching SQL Cruise events in 2010 under his Tech Outbound brand. He also has experience as a Consultant, Speaker, Trainer, and even as a Certified Yoga Teacher. 

As a technical author of hundreds of articles, Tim has a passion for reaching audiences at the start of their journey in,,, SQLServerCentral,, and He is the co-author of a book on Dynamic Management Objects with Louis Davidson and creator of The Periodic Table of Dynamic Management Objects. Tim presents on technical and professional development topics at many events, including PASS SQLSaturday, PASS Summit, SQL Cruise, and Local Group meetings.

Tim currently resides in Issaquah, Washington. His CV is available here.

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