At each YALSA Board or Executive Committee meeting there is at least one conversation that focuses on the fiscal health of the association. When the YALSA Executive Committee met in Portland, OR earlier this month there were several agenda items that related to this topic. As the YALSA Fiscal Officer I want to provide an overview of these discussions.
- Item 5 on the Executive Committee agenda focused on the FY ’15 financial numbers and implications for FY ’16. Part of this discussion was a follow-up to an Annual Conference discussion of the YALSA Board in which Board members talked about what they need in order to better understand the fiscal documents provided to them. The Executive Committee agreed that it is important to continue to support Board members in better understanding YALSA’s fiscal health and I and YALSA’s Executive Director will work on methods to achieve this.
Item 6 on the Executive Committee agenda focused on a proposal related to dues and member categories. At their meetings at Annual Conference earlier this year, the YALSA Board reviewed a previous dues and member categories proposal. During this review the Board voted to place a measure on the 2016 YALSA ballot that, if approved by members, would allow YALSA to increase dues based on the Consumer Price Index. This change would coincide with the same change already voted on and passed by ALA membership for overall ALA dues and PLA membership for PLA member dues. Ultimately this approach would give YALSA the ability to have a stronger long-term financial plan.
During Annual Conference meetings the Board also asked YALSA’s Capacity Building Standing Committee to develop, in time for the fall Executive Committee meetings, an analysis of options and rationale for (or against) a change in association member categories and the associated dues structure. The Capacity Building Standing Committee reviewed several other ALA division’s dues structures as well as those structures in other youth development/educational organizations. The document discussed by the Executive Committee provided several options for the group to consider. These included adding a new category of membership for those that use YALSA’s free resources but do not pay any dues and a potential dues increase for regular members. The Executive Committee asked the Capacity Building Standing Committee to revise the proposal looking at the potential impact of raising organizational member dues – as these dues often pay for more than one employee – and re-working the proposal related to a free member category. This new document will be presented to the Board at Midwinter Meetings in January 2016. Any ballot measures that come out of those discussions will be on the 2016 YALSA ballot.
- Item 7 on the Executive Committee agenda was the YALSA Financial Advisory Committee Fundraising Plan. The plan outlines a strategy for YALSA to use as they raise funds for their Friends of YALSA related initiatives. These initiatives support many of YALSA’s awards including the Spectrum Scholarship and the Emerging Leaders program. The Executive Committee determined that they would like to have the Financial Advancement Committee revise the document so to better integrate methods for reaching long-term donors and donors outside of YALSA. The Committee will also look how to leverage national, local, and regional events as a way to expand the association’s fundraising efforts. I will work with the new Chair of the Financial Advancement Committee and Committee members on these updates.