Money Matters 5 (2013-2014)
Money Matters 5
Fiscal Year 2013 – 2014
The Treasurer reports to membership about the past fiscal year’s financial results and provides spreadsheets with full details of income and expenditures. Summaries of much of this information are also presented during various meetings at the Annual Conference, and at its Town Hall. As good citizens everywhere recognize, knowledge of the financial operations and management of organizations dedicated to their welfare merits consistent attention and familiarity. Being involved with one or more of SALALM’s many activities and commitments should bring to mind the financing of our endeavors as well as serve to suggest recommendations for improving our relevance to the evolving professional responsibilities members hold in their workplace.
For this FY our total revenue was $189,256 and total expenses $129,206 as reported on the IRS990 which is the required annual Federal tax filing for non-profit organizations. The IRS categories and definitions vary in some cases from how SALALM categorizes income and expenses so our Treasurer’s and Secretariat’s annual financial reports contain some differences albeit the figures ultimately concur. TIAA-CREF management of our endowment provides full accounting for transactions. We treat this account separately from the Secretariat accounts because funds are not directly under the Secretariat’s control. When summing the various bank accounts, SALALM had total assets of $1,015,195.
The 59th Annual Conference in Salt Lake City received $24,690 in income and had $20,066.75 in expenses. This excludes the Libreros’ reception accounting because it is a separate, self-funding event given by the Libreros and not SALALM or the Conference’s host institution. We are deeply appreciative of the dedicated work that the entire Brigham Young University staff brought to this successful, insightful and valuable program, as well as the opportunity to see the campus in its beautiful setting.
SALALM is more than a professional organization for indeed it is a community of individuals with shared interests and commitments. Significant time and expertise contribute to this community as do the donations beyond the membership fee. Monetary contributions for the Endowment, Scholarship and ENLACE amounted to $4,029 and an additional estimated value of $1,000 represents the ENLACE raffle prizes. We are appreciative and thankful to all who select SALALM for these contributions that enable us to expand and strengthen our programs.
Personal and institutional memberships remain our primary source of operating income. Total personal memberships of all categories stood at 223 individuals, and institutional at 102 of which 19 are sponsoring members. Our dues structure remains unchanged for a number of years thereby making SALALM not only affordable to all but also a great value. With the prepayment plan of three years members can avoid the annual renewals each September, so please consider this option for saving time.
Active committee and subcommittee participation has always been a key to SALALM’s appeal. Ideas and problems receive open discussion, personal networks develop, and the mix of generations enables different types of expertise to inform these meetings. Through involvement in one or more committees a great deal of practical learning occurs that directly and indirectly serves to strengthen one’s abilities in the workplace. In many instances committee work continues throughout the year making for especially productive sessions at the Annual Conference. Over the course of years strong leadership skills may develop as witnessed by the numbers of Latin American specialists who become administrators. As Mark Grover reported in his paper at SALALM 59, the early years had many library administrators attending, but in the course of time, with the strength and effectiveness of SALALM as a central meeting place for engaged area specialists, these administrators gave way to our own talent that arises with deep subject and area knowledge.
Some important initiatives are ongoing to foster such development and enhance the overall value of SALALM for itself and the profession. To cite four examples: the mentorship program overseen by Barbara Alvarez, the Roda Viva panels organized by Alison Hicks, new member profiles on LALA-L by Adán Griego, and the SALALM Conference Attendance Scholarship for MA-level candidates in archival or library information science programs with co-chairs Mary Jo Zeter and Alison Hicks. These along with other projects strive to bring new ideas and networking to SALALM members. Suggest ideas for other initiatives to the Executive Director, President and Executive Board.
This remains our most important activity and as such constitutes a major commitment of time by many members and of expenditures by SALALM. Host institutions provide substantial financial and in-kind assistance, thereby significantly reducing costs to SALALM. In financial terms we have come to rely upon host institutions able to secure reasonably priced lodging and meeting rooms, as well as to underwrite some of the conference’s costs of local transport, printing, IT, and personnel to assist at registration. Profits from conferences contribute appreciably to support locations where lower costs prove difficult to obtain.
Princeton University hosts the 60th as it did in 1985 for the 30th. Being entirely based on the small campus with sessions in seminar rooms and auditoriums, we will benefit from these efficiencies. Lodging costs are low and a considerable range of price levels for meals exists on and off campus. Everyplace is within easy walking distance so car rentals and taxies are not necessary.
ENLACE travel fellowships enable librarians and archivists to attend, participate with a formal presentation, and network. Over the years these fellowships have enriched our programs and knowledge while giving our colleagues in the Caribbean and Latin America a valuable experience at a professional meeting and exposure to different research collections during visits to the sponsoring campus. SALALM provides annually $1,000 that is supplemented by ENLACE’s own efforts including the raffle at the Libreros’ reception with $1,784, and donations for $726 when renewing membership.
The SALALM Scholarship continued to evolve during its third year with emphasis on attending the Annual Conference. Four scholarships of $1,000 each were awarded. Members donated $797 to the Scholarship and $216 to the Travel Scholarship. For FY 2014 – 2015 the two are combined into a single scholarship to support attendance at the Annual Conference.
Based at Tulane University’s Latin American Library, the Secretariat is the administrative part of SALALM responsible for maintaining our daily operations that include receiving income and dispersing checks to meet such expenses as editing conference papers, printing SALALM publications, conference-related charges, and banking that includes credit cards, PayPal, and bank charges. The Program Coordinator’s salary and benefits, both within the pay and benefit structure of Tulane, come entirely from SALALM but are paid into the Tulane account, thereby making the position wholly one of the University and not of SALALM. From an administrative and financial perspective, this arrangement is highly beneficial to SALALM. Hosting the Secretariat involves a major commitment for the institution to provide personnel (i.e., the Executive Director), space and such services as telephone, IT assistance, mailroom support and access to student assistants. This institutional commitment by Tulane represents a notable, and much appreciated, cost savings that in turn enables SALALM to expend its capital on various projects supporting our overall mission.
Although regular expenditures such as salaries, editing, printing, and bank charges are fairly predictable and form the core of each year’s budget proposal for the Finance Committee and Executive Board, the evolving interests of membership and arising opportunities present some challenges to calculate costs and to ensure that such expenditures are feasible given our income. For several years, committee and subcommittee chairs have had the opportunity to develop budget proposals well in advance of the annual meetings of the Finance Committee. More forward thinking and discussion about what SALALM should do in the future must occur throughout the year, so that well-reasoned decisions can emerge during the annual meeting of the Finance Committee.
As is the case with most non-profit organizations dedicated to education and research, an endowment is essential for securing operations during times of financial shortfalls, as well as to provide an income stream to support pilot projects and special initiatives. The income sources include donations and bequests from members, reinvested interest, dividends and capital gains, and income from membership dues. Donations began in FY 1979 – 1980 and annually the option appears with the membership renewal form.
TIAA-CREF began managing our account 3 July 2013. Following discussions with the Finance Committee, I meet periodically with our portfolio manager to discuss the investments and potential needs of withdrawals to support our programs. Our asset allocation tends toward the conservative: US fixed income 44%, US equities 32%, international equities 14%, international fixed income 4%, real estate 3% and cash 3%. We began the FY with $884,563.26 and by 31 August 2014 this had grown to $978,352.51. The management fee was $6,708.53, withdrawal to fund the Secretariat $14,581, donations $506, and dividends and interest $22,292.15.
SALALM’s stability and success comes from the dedicated work of many volunteers and also Carol Avila, the Program Coordinator, based at the Secretariat at Tulane University’s Latin American Library. Although only a part-time University employee funded by SALALM, her deep interest and keen eye keep the various accounts accurate and payments prompt. Her responsibilities have broadened considerably as SALALM undertakes new initiatives and technology mandates changes in old procedures. We are all indebted to Melissa Gasparotto for her oversight and problem solving with our website. This vital source experiences an admirable stability given her attention and the quality of Tulane’s technical staff. Betsaida Reyes handles the content — often a good deal of posting. Gayle Williams continues her dedication to keeping LALA-L available for new information, research queries and communications from the various parts of SALALM. Overseeing and leading all of our processes is Hortensia Calvo, Executive Director. Her attention to SALALM’s operating procedures and requirements, details, calendars, work flows, relations with a range of organizations, and provision of support to the President and Annual Conference hosts prove essential for our success as an organization and as an example within the profession that area specialists wield knowledge and skills essential to this type of administrative responsibility.
Peter T. Johnson, Treasurer, 15 March 2015
Attachment: SALALM Financial Report Sep13- Aug14-1