Chapter 3: Budget and Finance

Committee budgets

All ASCLA division- and section-level committees and discussion groups may submit a budget request. The committee chair should submit a plan and a detailed budget to the ASCLA executive director during the fiscal year (September 1–August 31) immediately prior to the year in which the project will begin. Section committee chairs should get approval from their executive committee before submitting the form. The ASCLA Board of Directors approves the budget at the ALA Annual Conference.

Reimbursement procedures

The chairperson should submit an itemized statement of expenses broken down by category to the ASCLA office, preferably on a copy of the request for reimbursement form. This statement should not be included in the text of a letter concerning other committee business since it must be forwarded to ALA Accounting. Original receipts for the expenses must be included.

Seeking funding outside of ASCLA

Before seeking or accepting financing for any ASCLA section or committee publication, program, preconference, or other activity, please observe the following procedures. As a first step, contact the ASCLA executive director and indicate the funding need, vendors you wish to contact and amount you will request from each. Do not contact any vendors until you receive clearance from the ASCLA executive director. Once you have received a commitment from a donor, please get written confirmation and send that to the ASCLA executive director.

When soliciting funds from vendors, approach those prospects most likely to recognize the benefit to themselves of funding an ASCLA program, project, etc. If seeking full funding from a single donor, approach them one or a few at a time, first in person or by phone, then by follow-up letter, then by a follow-up phone call asking for a commitment. If one prospect declines, move on to the next on this list. Do not discuss or name other potential donors when dealing with one prospect.

If seeking partial funding for a project from each of a number of prospective donors, let all of them know that others are being invited to share in the opportunity.

Types of situations where outside funding/ support might be appropriate include: award, membership directory, program, brochure, preconference, research project, large-scale mailings.

There are different types of support you may request: in-kind, providing speakers, doing large-scale mailings (be certain that ASCLA's name appears prominently on the envelope—otherwise people may think it is a promotion piece if it comes from a vendor); financial participation; donation applied to the total cost; ASCLA pays the bill and is reimbursed by donor.

In your letter of solicitation, be explicit about what you will offer the company for their sponsorship. You might offer to list the company’s name on the program brochure, publications, Web site, etc.; give public acknowledgment and thank you at the program; offer to display the company’s literature at the program/event; publicize the sponsorship in follow-up reports about the program/event.

Remember that ALA mailing lists cannot be sold or negotiated, they can only be rented. ASCLA representatives soliciting outside funding should keep the ASCLA executive director and, through the ASCLA executive director, the officers informed about their activities.

Unexpended funds

Unexpended funds allocated to a committee, section or section-level committee of ASCLA for a special project or a specific purpose shall revert to ASCLA. Income derived from publications, preconferences, institutes or other ventures conducted by ASCLA committees, sections or section-level committees shall be the property of the division.

ASCLA business plan

The purpose of the ASCLA business plan is to document fiscal strategies for the division that will focus and direct efforts. These strategies will assist the division in identifying and meeting member needs; guide the division in pricing and marketing products and services; define the future scope of such products and services; assist the division in introducing new services; and indicate the need for staff support to provide services and develop and market useful products. Source: ASCLA Board of Directors, 1990

The business plan is revised annually to ensure that current conditions, trends, and opportunities are incorporated into the strategies being employed by the division.

ASCLA Business Goals and Objectives


To increase the number of personal and institutional members of the division


A. Recruit 600 new personal members by 2010.

B. Improve retention rate from 83% to 86%.


To increase the frequency of division preconferences and Web CE offerings


A. Develop three new Web CE courses by 2010.

B. Encourage each section to offer at least one preconference each year.


To expand and enhance the production of ASCLA publications


A Publish two new titles each year.

B. Publicize and market the publications.


To provide financial planning and management sufficient to ensure the fiscal health of the division


A. Continue to remain eligible for ALA subsidy.

B. Develop a monetary reserve of 50% of one year's basic service costs plus net revenue from non-basic service projects to cope with adverse or unanticipated conditions or to cover cash flow needs.

C. Increase staff FTE from 1 to 2 by 2010.

Also, see Strategic Plan page.