Several years ago, the YALSA Fiscal Officer resigned and for a little over a year, I assumed her role. It was 18 months of ‘new growth opportunities’ and, thanks to Beth Yoke and Nichole O’Connor, I learned what was important to a non-profit organization.
And what was that? Make sure that the profits realized from activities, match not only the organization’s needs, but also the amount of staff and volunteer time that is required. That message came across over and over and I became more aware of how great ideas from members impact the staff and make the use of volunteers imperative. Working with Nichole, who’s involved with all the ticketed activities YALSA offers at conferences (such as the Edwards luncheon/brunch, Printz Awards, Morris/Non-Fiction event), I collected a lot of information about cost and attendance. Although the numbers at each event did vary, depending upon location and expected authors, when we set up a spread sheet showing ten years of activities, it was obvious which events were really popular and which were waning. Hmm – time to evaluate those ticketed events. As the Board considered what we’d found, adjustments were made to determine if the event should continue and, if it would continue, what changes could make it more financially viable. The response of staff and Board to the cost/expense of these activities, reinforced the need to carefully scrutinize financial obligations, and YALSA does that. In other words, our donations are in ‘good hands.’
As members, I encourage you to join Friends of YALSA, aka FOY, and when you have the opportunity, ask the Fiscal Officer how the budget is going. Are there activities that will have to be eliminated or refined? Does YALSA continue to contribute to the Spectrum Scholarship? Does YALSA continue with its division scholarships, awards and grants (close to $200,000 a year are offered to members)?
When you become a member of Friends of YALSA, you give back to your division and to your members. As you prepare for the fall, please consider the request from FOY to ‘Give $20 in 2020.” Your twenty dollars will be put to good use as YALSA continues its tradition of supporting the Spectrum Scholar, Emerging Leader, National Library Legislative Day, various Writing Awards and many other member opportunities.
Give $20 in 2020 today.
~Pam Spencer Holley, YALSA member