6.2.1 Revenue responsibility
6.2.2 Mandatory in-house services
6.2.3 Fiscal Policies and Procedures
6.2.4 Budget Plans
6.2.5 BARC reviews
6.2.6 Charges for services
6.2.7 Overhead charges
6.2.8 Interest exclusions
6.2.9 Bad debt and unrelated business income tax
6.2.10 Royalties assignment
6.2.11 Furniture and equipment acquisition
6.2.12 Computer equipment depreciation
6.2.13 Furniture and other equipment depreciation
6.2.14 Endowments and long-term investments
6.2.15 Charging additional fees
6.2.16 Programming costs
6.2.17 External funding
6.2.18 Limitations on 501(c)(3)s
The ACRL budget is divided into programs (projects), each with a name and number. Each project includes line items for revenue and expenses. ACRL staff salaries and administrative costs are distributed throughout the projects. Salaries are estimated for each project based on historical data of actual staff time spent on projects (from the historical budget matrix) as well as on the Executive Director’s knowledge of factors likely to affect particular projects during the budget year. The operating expenses are estimates and percentages are distributed among projects. Operating expenses include a fixed percent for the ALA indirect cost charge (overhead), the rate of which is determined each year by ALA based on an indirect cost study of the previous fiscal year. Overhead is charged on revenue generated for certain projects.
The ACRL annual budget process begins in the Executive Committee with the establishment of priorities. The Executive Director, beginning well in advance of the fiscal year, then constructs the preliminary ACRL annual budget. The budget is constructed with input from the officers, the Board, and the member units, and in accordance with ACRL policies and the ALA operating agreement, and is reviewed periodically by the Budget and Finance Committee. Revisions are made throughout the process to reflect changes made by ALA or the ACRL Board. (It should be noted that at any one time the Budget and Finance Committee may be working on annual budgets for three fiscal years.)
The preliminary budget emerges as a final budget at the Annual Conference immediately preceding the start of the fiscal year. It goes forward from the Budget and Finance Committee to the ACRL Board for approval in time for the beginning of the fiscal year on September 1.
The annual operating budget of ACRL, excluding Choice, should be balanced so that operating revenues cover operating expenses. A balanced budget is defined as follows: The ACRL annual budget, excluding Choice, is balanced if revenues plus the ACRL fund balance over the mandated operating reserve are greater than expenses. Source: ACRL Board, July 1982, revised June 1998
ACRL generates revenue in three categories: membership dues/other, publications and education. Categories for expenses parallel those for revenue: member activities, publications, education—and a fourth to cover special programs.
The budget year is divided into four quarters. Revenue and expense activities will occur throughout the year. However, a majority of expenses, those supporting members, and conference activities, and all revenue from national conferences and preconference registrations are realized in the third and fourth quarter after the activity is held. The majority of expenses from member activities will occur in the third and fourth quarters of the year when programs and projects are completed and requests for payment of reimbursement have been processed. Expenses for educational activities are paid as they occur. With the exception of the bank service charge, which is recognized monthly, endowment and long-term investment expenses generally occur in the third and fourth quarters.
During the fiscal year, the Executive Director provides quarterly financial reports to the Board and the Budget and Finance Committee comparing actual revenues/expenses to those budgeted. In these quarterly reports all general administrative and staff salaries, as well as related costs, are recorded on a separate line. During the year, ACRL staff maintain records of their daily use of time. The resulting percentages are used to allocate salaries, benefits, and general expenses such as telephone, postage, reprographics, etc. At the end of the year, these costs are distributed to each individual project.
Source: Budget and Finance Committee, general comments, Midwinter, 1997
The budget is driven by a process that assures that the priorities of the association are met. Units must justify their requests for funds in relation to Board priorities. ACRL approves financial support to its committees, sections, and affiliated chapters.
Source: ACRL Financial Plan, April 1989; ACRL Board, 1994.
The document guiding the relationship of ALA and ACRL fiscal policies is Policies of the American Library Association in Relation to Its Membership Divisions, commonly known as the Operating Agreement, June, 1989. These policies are printed in the policy manual section of the ALA Handbook of Organization and are summarized in the ACRL Guide to Policies and Procedures. Any changes undertaken in this operating agreement shall be implemented consistent with the budget cycle of ALA and its divisions and shall be done in such a manner as to minimize negative impact on the program of ALA and of the divisions.
The fiscal year, used for all budgetary matters, runs from September 1 through August 31.
ALA and its divisions use accrual accounting, which recognizes revenues and associated expenses in the accounting period in which the revenues were earned. An example is that revenues for conferences are recognized in the accounting period in which they take place, even though expenses for activities such as exhibits or registration processing may have been paid in a previous period. “Deferred revenues” is the phrase used to refer to cash received for items such as membership dues, periodical subscriptions, and/or registration fees, a portion of which has been paid for the providing of all or part of those goods and services after the current financial reporting period. Some of these revenues have not yet been earned, so are deferred to another period when goods or services are provided. For example, revenues for subscriptions are deferred for all but the issues this far supplied. If a journal has 6 issues and two have been delivered only the revenue for two of the issues is recognized. (Should some mischance occur, a subscriber would receive compensation for the issues not distributed, which is why revenue is recognized only when the issue/service is provided.)
“Reserve Funds” are different from “deferred revenues,” which legally must be held in escrow to satisfy subscribers, or registrants if it is not possible to publish all the issues for which they have paid or to hold a program for which they have registered. Reserves are funds saved for general or specific purposes, such as a hedge against future deficits, or a source of supplemental funds.
ACRL is responsible for generating revenue to support ACRL staff, administrative office operations, and carry out ACRL programs.
ACRL must use exclusively the following services provided by the ALA: computer and information technology systems, personnel, membership services, telephone, insurance, purchasing, financial services, legal counsel, and archives. ALA Divisions must be housed in properties owned or leased by ALA.
ACRL is governed by prevailing ALA fiscal policies and procedures, and participates in formulating and revising these policies and procedures.
ACRL must provide ALA with annual and multi-year financial and budget plans consistent with ALA’s existing financial policies reflecting the priorities of ACRL members and support for ALA’s strategic planning initiatives.
ALA Council action that imposes specific assignments on ACRL is reviewed by the BARC (Budget Analysis and Review Committee) with ACRL Board to assess any financial implications.
Five categories of charges for services exist between ALA and ACRL. These range from ALA services provided at no charge to partial or full charge. Refer to the Operating Agreement, Section V. for the definitions of the categories.
ALA imposes overhead charges on revenues generated from such activities as conference and continuing education registration fees, exhibit space sales, royalty payments and subscription sales. As of the 1999-00 BARC policy #15, overhead will be assessed at 50% of the ALA composite rate on revenue from net sales of materials, subscriptions, advertising (except in those publications which are provided to division members as a prerequisite of membership, including those that are reformatted, and other miscellaneous fees. Revenues from registration fees are assessed at 100% of the ALA overhead composite rate. ACRL pricing of revenue producing activities must incorporate the cost of these charges.
ACRL does not receive interest on fund balances or deferred revenue.
ACRL must assume responsibility for bad debts and for paying taxes resulting from unrelated business income. All ALA units generate unrelated business income from periodical advertising revenues. ACRL is responsible for paying taxes resulting from revenues generated from this advertising. The amount budgeted for these items is specified annually by ALA. Typically, ALA has said to budget 5 percent of gross sales for return of goods, 1 percent of gross sales for bad debt, and from one to eight percent of gross advertising revenue for unrelated business income tax depending on the periodical..
ALA pays royalties to ACRL for ACRL-generated publications that are published by ALA publishing services, and on the sale of tapes of ACRL programs held during the ALA Annual Conference.
ACRL may acquire furniture and equipment for its use through three methods: outright purchase of the cost is $1,000 or less, on a depreciated basis if more that $1,000, or if computer equipment is through the ALA lease plan. Furniture and equipment purchased with ACRL funds are under the control and use of ACRL, but remain assets of ALA.
Equipment such as computer printers and fax machines with a price over $1,000 has a three-year depreciable life. One sixth (one-half of one third) of the item’s purchase price is allocated to depreciation expense in the year purchased, one-third of the purchase price each of the second and third years, and one-sixth in the fourth year.
Office equipment and furniture with a price of over $1,000 has a five-year depreciable life. One-tenth (one-half of one-fifth) of the purchase price is allocated in the year purchased, one-fifth in each of the second through fifth years, and one-tenth in the sixth year.
ACRL may establish endowments and long-term investment accounts, but must follow guidelines outlined in ALA policy. Use of interest from ACRL endowments and long term investments is subject to ACRL Board approval and applicable ALA policy.
ACRL may charge additional fees in accordance with ALA Bylaws, Article I, Sec.2, and Article IV, Sec.6(c), when approval of such fees has been given by the membership by a mail vote.
ACRL is responsible for all costs incurred in planning and carrying out preconferences, workshops, institutes, seminars, and ACRL national conferences.
ACRL may seek external funding to pursue projects to enhance program priorities. The ACRL Board must approve all requests for which ACRL is the lead applicant, seeking for funding external projects other than sponsorships from the vendor community. All proposals and contracts for such funds are signed by the Executive Director of ALA. All costs for projects funded through grants or contracts from outside agencies or organizations should be covered by project funding. The ALA Development Office reviews requests to solicit funds from companies, foundations, and other funding sources, to coordinate the requests.
Grant requests for which ACRL is a partner or co-sponsoring organization in a secondary role may be approved by the ACRL Executive Director in consultation with the ACRL President, the ACRL Past President and the ACRL President Elect. This group may also approve through joint decision the issuance of letters of support for external organizations grant proposals.
Source: ACRL Exec Committee, May 2013.
Limitations on 501(c)(3)s.
- As a 501(c)(3), any activities which are not charitable, educational, or literary must be insubstantial, i.e., short-term or limited in nature.
- ALA may engage in lobbying up to $1 million. Lobbying is the support of or opposition to legislation.
- All political activity is prohibited. Political activity is the support of or opposition to candidates for public office.
- Transfer of funds to organizations in different tax-exemption categories is prohibited, unless the transfer furthers a charitable, educational, or literary purpose, or constitutes a loan at market rates of interest.
Administrative cost categories include expenses of the day-to-day operation of the ACRL office including staffing. Such expenses include salaries and benefits, staff professional development, staff membership dues in other organizations, ACRL communication and correspondence costs, supplies and other operating costs identified in the budget category for administration. The portion of time spent by ACRL staff on specific projects is tracked, and the proportionate costs are allocated to the projects. This is described further in the section on Budget of ACRL.
Salaries/benefits for ACRL staff must be no more that 45 percent, and total administrative costs no more than 60 percent of the total operating budget, not including Choice. (See also Staff, 6.26.4.)
Source: ACRL Financial Plan, April 1989
ACRL awards are of three types: Research and Publications, Recognition, and Fellowships and Scholarships. In compliance with ALA policy, the minimum amount for an award is $1,000.
Effective 1995, the administrative fee for all ALA Awards, including new awards, is 20 percent of the award amount, not to exceed $1,000. The administrative fee would not apply to the Endowment Scholarships. For awards from an outside source, the standard overhead should be requested. For awards by a unit of ALA, administrative costs estimated by the unit shall be included in the proposal and in budget requests as needed. The purpose of the administrative fee shall be to pay for: a) costs of preparations, printing, and distribution of award criteria and nomination forms; b) publicity and promotion of the awards; c) costs for preparing citations and/or plaques; and d) expenses for the award presentation ceremonies.
All proposals for new awards must need the ALA awards criteria and guidelines. Proposals for new awards must clearly indicate that the award will have financial support either from a vendor or from the establishment of an endowment. Recurring funding for an award must include an amount to cover the costs of the awards administration. This administrative funding will be used for such purposes as publicity and reimbursement of ACRL Staff time. The amount of administrative funding needed for an award shall be determined in consultation with ACRL staff prior to the establishment of the award. After establishment of the award, staff will annually adjust the administrative fee in consultation with the award vendor.
Source: ACRL Board, January 1993
New Awards should have a five-year commitment of funding. ALA awards represent four types: Grants, Recognition, Scholarships, and Conference Sponsorships. Effective 1995, the minimum amounts are as follows:
Conference Sponsorships: $1,000
Source: ALA Awards manual
Basic services are identified and described in the “Report of the ACRL Joint Subcommittee on the Definition of Membership Services” prepared for the ACRL Board of Directors January 27, 1992.
Basic services (e.g., C&RL, C&RL News) are those made available to all division members at no additional charge beyond their division dues. Some basic membership services may be supported with non-dues revenue.
Source: ACRL Board, January 1990
Basic services provided as perquisites of membership are distinct from basic services funding which is allocated to committees and sections. See COMMITTEES and SECTIONS for explication of basic services funding.
The ACRL Board approves the total ACRL budget, even though it may not necessarily see the details of the budget in the specificity required for accounting purposes and the ALA budgetary process.
Source: ACRL Executive Committee, December 1982; Budget and Finance Committee, January, 1982
The Executive Committee has the authority to approve unbudgeted expenditures not to exceed 10 percent of the total budget in any given year, excluding the budgets of Choice, C&RL and C&RL News.
Source: ACRL Executive Committee, December 1981; Budget and Finance Committee, January 1982
The Executive Director is authorized to approve individual unbudgeted expenditures, up to and including $10,000, not to exceed 1% of the total ACRL and CHOICE budgeted expenditures. The Executive Director will notify the ACRL President of such expenditures.
Source: ACRL Exec Committee, October 2004. Revised by the ACRL Board of Directors, February 2018
In recognition of service on the ACRL Board of Directors, Board members, upon completion of their terms of office, are honored at the final Board meeting of the Annual Conference. Board members are presented with a token of the Association’s appreciation. The funding level will be adjusted annually.
Source: ACRL Board, July 1985
The Budget and Finance Committees is a standing committee of the ACRL Board and is therefore responsible to the Board. It performs a service in the Board’s behalf in the fiscal affairs of the association. The committee analyzes and reviews the budget in relation to the strategic plan and ACRL priorities and submits a budget recommendation to the Board that ensures balanced support for the division’s activities and programs as they relate to the plan. The committee advises the ACRL Board of Directors on questions regarding the fiscal matters of the division. The committee does not establish policy. The committee is guided by current priorities and the strategic plan, both approved by the ACRL Board.
The Chair of the ACRL Budget and Finance Committee is a member of the ACRL Board and the ACRL Executive Committee.
Before taking final Board action, the ACRL Board refers all items with fiscal impact to the Budget and Finance Committee for advice. The Budget and Finance Committee reviews budget projections and requests at the ALA Midwinter and Annual Conferences and recommends to the ACRL Board at its final meeting of the annual conference a budget for the following fiscal year.
Source: ACRL Board, January 1979
Annually, at the Midwinter Meeting the Board and Budget and Finance Committee meet jointly to discuss ACRL’s fiscal status and planning. ACRL members are encouraged to attend this meeting.
Annually, the Budget and Finance Committee evaluates the need for a membership dues increase and makes a recommendation to the Board at the ALA Midwinter Conference. The Budget and Finance Committee has a standing subcommittee charged with monitoring trends in the ACRL budget in order to evaluate the potential need for a dues increase.
The Budget and Finance Committee must examine the current fiscal year budget in relation to the previous and next fiscal year budgets. Because of the fiscal impact of the ACRL National Conference, the Budget and Finance Committee also must view the budget in relation to the National Conference cycle.
Source: ACRL Board, July 1982.
6.8 Budget Calendar
ACRL must follow ALA’s fiscal calendar and its fiscal year. The ALA divisions operate under three calendars: Program year, fiscal year, and membership year. This document outlines those activities and timelines that are important to the divisions’ budget planning process.
All funds are handled by the ALA Planning and Budget Office. All budgets are reviewed by the ACRL budget & Finance Committee, which recommends a budget to the ACRL Board of Directors. Following the ACRL Board’s review of the preliminary budget, BARC (Budget Analysis and Review Committee) reviews this draft budget, which is then reviewed by the ALA Executive Board. The ACRL Board approves the budget at the Annual Conference. The ALA Board then gives final approval to the entire ALA Budget, which includes division budgets at their fall meeting after the start of the fiscal year. The timetable for this process is described in the following narrative.
The general process and ALA deadlines are the same for all divisions, but the specific timetables will vary with each division, according to established patterns and each division’s organization. The charts are therefore generalized.
ALA fiscal services and division staff are working with the “closing” of the fiscal year, which ends August 31 st. There are three closing reports issued during September and October. Everyone works to correct errors and clean up any problems. A considerable effort on the part of all is necessary to ensure our mutual goal of total accuracy for all accounts. ALA final overhead charges and taxes will be posted on the third close. The final, official and audited budget reports will not be available until January at Midwinter.
Meanwhile, the new fiscal year began on September 1 st.
Division staff will begin work on the preliminary budget for the fiscal year starting the following September. In preparation for development of the preliminary budget, devision staff review past budget performances, prepare environmental scans, study inflation factors, study new program areas and conduct impact studies, etc. What is accomplished between October and Midwinter Meeting is submitted to the various Budget and Finance Committees and Boards for review and modification, and usually differs somewhat from the budget that is finally approved at Annual Conference.
ACRL units anticipating special funding needs should work with the ACRL staff to ensure that their budget requests are included in the budget development. The ACRL units must also submit a separate action item to the ACRL Board for approval of the special funding request.
Budget instructions and worksheets are issued to division staff by the ALA budget and planning staff in November or early December. Included in the instructions are the assumptions that all units of ALA, both general fund units and divisions, are asked to include in the preliminary budgets. These assumptions include inflationary estimates for supplies, postage, telephone, travel and photocopying. Estimates are also provided for bad debt and returns as a percentage of gross sales, unrelated business income tax (which relates to a portion of advertising revenue for a division journal) employee benefits as a percentage of salaries, and estimated overhead rates. The final overhead rate and the official average percent increase in staff salaries are not usually known until after the Annual Conference.
Division Budget and Finance Committees and Boards provide various levels of input, advice, and review on the preliminary budget, and approve it for submission to the ALA review process.
Immediately following Midwinter
Division staff makes the necessary changes to preliminary budgets, and submit them to ALA Planning and Budget. This preliminary budget includes a complete set of notes, outlining virtually every single expenditure (and calculation thereof) in that budget.
Each division submits a budget impact statement following instructions provided by the Planning and budget staff, which usually includes:
- description of division activities/relationship to ALA’s strategic action plan
- division’s business objectives and strategies
- situation analysis; environmental impacts
- market analysis
- trend data and indicators
- current financial status and multiyear trends
- likely impact on ALA as a whole
This impact statement includes many of the elements of a business or financial plan which, is also submitted at that time.
ALA Planning and Budget staff assembles the preliminary budgets, together with spreadsheets comparing the preliminary budget with the actual budget for the prior year, and five-year projections. Based on actual performance for the last fiscal year and projected performance for the current fiscal year, a budgetary ceiling for the divisions is calculated. The budgetary ceiling is the sum of the fund balance at the end of the last fiscal year plus the anticipated revenues for the upcoming fiscal year.
The divisions’ Executive Directors review the preliminary budget in a meeting with the ALA Executive Director, the Associate Executive Director of Finance, and the Associate Executive Director for Member Programs and Services. Following these meetings, ALA management forwards the division budgets to the ALA Executive Board for its review.
At the spring meeting of BARC, that committee reviews all the budgets, makes substantive analysis and returns them as information to the ALA Executive Board and ALA administration.
At the ALA Annual Conference, the divisions’ Budget and Finance committees review and analyze the budgets, suggest changes, and recommend the budgets to the boards for approval. The extent to which the approved budget differs from the preliminary budget will vary greatly, depending upon a number of factors, such as refinement of special project budgets, more recent membership dues projections, new projects since Midwinter, changes in overhead or tax rates, etc. The budgets approved by the division boards do not include the official projected figures for salary increases. These rates will be approved by the ALA Executive Board at Annual, and therefore need to be included following the conference.
Following Annual Conference, usually in August, division staff will work to finalize the budgets, incorporating the official salary projections and overhead rates. The overhead rate will be based on the indirect cost study for the previous fiscal year, which would have been reviewed by BARC.
The division staff will enter monthly projections for each expense and revenue line in its budget. These projections will increase everyone’s ability to monitor budget for performance throughout the year, as well as provide financial services with essential information for projecting cash flow for the whole of ALA.
On September 1, the fiscal year actually begins. Prior adoption of the ALA budget, divisions are able to operate fiscally, because the ALA Executive Board approved the budgetary ceiling at Annual Conference, thereby providing the necessary authorization. At its fall meeting, the ALA Executive Board adopts the division budgets as part of the entire ALA budget for the fiscal year, which started September 1 st.
Chapters are allocated $1 per ACRL member within the geographic region served by the chapter; a $100 minimum allocation has been established. A chapter chair may be reimbursed for expenses incurred while conducting business or carrying out an activity during the year. (See Expense Reimbursement.) The amount requested for reimbursement cannot exceed the state/region allocation.
Source: ACRL Board, 1993; ACRL Chapters Relations Task Force Report, April 1998; ACRL Board, June, 1998
Beginning in the 1999-2000 fiscal year, ACRL grants to each chapter $10 for each new ACRL members living in the chapter’s geographic region who joined ACRL during the previous fiscal year, if the chapter conducted ACRL membership recruitment activities during the previous year and summarized them in its annual report.
Source: ACRL Chapters Relations Task Force Report, April 1998; ACRL Board, June 1998
In order to foster the relationship between ACRL and its members, funds are available to give chapters the opportunity to invite members of the ACRL Board and the Executive Director to the region as participants in chapter activities. The purpose of the visit is to speak about the activities and initiatives of ACRL and to learn of members’ interests at chapter level.
Source: ACRL Board, 2004
6.9.3 General Chapter financial policies
If any chapter does not use its full budgeted allotment during the ACRL fiscal year, the money reverts to the ACRL general fund. Expenditures are only for activities in the current fiscal year.
Source: ACRL Board, January 1979; Budget and Finance Committee, January 1991
ACRL Chapters may spend budgeted resources on any items or activities that support the charitable and educational purposes of ACRL’s strategic goals as identified in the strategic plan with two exceptions. 1) The allotted funds may not be used for payment of honoraria or travel to support librarians' presentations at ALA, ACRL, or ACRL chapter conferences and 2) The allotted funds may not be used to purchase goods or services prohibited by ALA and ACRL policy.
Accountability for the expenditure of these funds lies with the Association of College and Research Libraries, not the state library associations. Reimbursement of expenses is handled in accordance with ACRL policies and procedures. Submit two copies of the Reimbursement Request form and original receipts to ACRL before August 15 of the current fiscal year. Source: ACRL Board, January 1987; revised June 1987, January 1993, and January 2006.
With the exception of the requirement to submit annual reports, restrictions on ACRL funding allocated to chapters are limited to those required by ALA policy.
Source: ACRL Board, January 1987, and revisions June 1987, January 1993, June 1998
The ACRL administrative service charge to Choice is based upon ACRL time study.
Source: ACRL Board, July 1985
Principles Concerning the Fiscal Management and Status of CHOICE were approved by the ACRL Board on June 21, 1977, and reaffirmed in January 1986. The Principles not made obsolete by time (e.g., budget figures from 1976) are listed below.
CHOICE has a separate reserve fund, rather than participating in a general ACRL or ALA Publishing Reserve Fund. As is true for all ALA current funds, the Choice Reserve Fund does not bear interest. CHOICE will maintain a mandated Reserve Fund equal to 25 percent of the average annual operating expenses over the four most recently completed years, excluding ALA overhead. This objective does not preclude consideration of needs to develop and improve the Choice program through current budget funding. The ACRL operating budget contains an expense line for the mandated reserve for CHOICE, and it is appropriately budgeted as part of the annual budget preparation process.
Source: ACRL Board, January 1989, January 1992, revised June 1997
- Should Choice experience major financial problems in the future, the first attempt to resolve them will be from the Choice Reserve Fund. As a second level of support, ACRL will examine its overall program requirements and financial status to determine if assistance can be given to Choice. The final responsibility for resolution of such problems will rest with the ALA General Fund.
- It is recognized that, as with the ACRL budget, BARC and the ALA Executive Board still have purview over the Choice budget in a general sense, but the detail budgeting procedure and decisions follow the current process involving Choice staff, the ACRL Executive Director, the ACRL Budget and Finance Committee, and the ACRL Board.
Source: ACRL Board, June 1977
- Choice’s net asset balance may be used to support ACRL’s initiatives, programs, and services. The specific amount to be contributed to ACRL by CHOICE shall be determined on an annual basis via the regular ALA/ACRL budgeting process. Some preliminary assumptions that will guide this process include:
- That CHOICE shall at all times maintain an Operating Fund balance no less than 75 percent of total expenses for the previous fiscal year.
- That the financial needs of previously planned and approved major CHOICE capital expenditures, e.g., the purchase of CHOICE office space, shall take precedence over monies to be made available to ACRL.
- That CHOICE shall at all times retain sufficient monies to fund necessary product development expenses.
- That the amount to be contributed to ACRL by CHOICE in FY 2009 shall be initially set at $100,000 with the final amount to be determined during the course of the FY 2009 budget process. We anticipate the amount of this contribution will increase in successive years, reaching $200,000 by FY 2011.
Source: ACRL Board of Directors, January 2007
The primary purpose of the Choice Long-term Investment Fund is to generate income to support the operation of and enhancement to the publication and its related projects. Funds in excess of the required Choice Reserve Fund are available for investment in a Choice Long-term Investment Fund. The Choice Long-term Investment is that portion of the Choice net surplus that has been invested together with similar funds of the ALA for the purpose of providing permanent income to the publication. In general, the principal of the Choice Long-term Investment Fund is not available for current operations and activities.
The Choice Long-term Investment Fund initially will be used to support the publication of the next edition of Books for College Libraries.
- The Choice Long-term Investment Fund will be invested with the ALA Long-term Investment Fund and will be subject to any policies governing the Long-term Investment Fund in general. An initial sum of $20,000 shall be invested, fulfilling the minimum level of funding for a separately designated Long-term Investment within the ALA Long-term Investment .
- It shall be the intention of ACRL to retain the principal of the Choice Long-term Investment Fund of the ALA Long-term Investment Fund by using only a portion of the new earnings of the fund (defined as cash dividend and interest income) to support activities of Choice to be determined from time to time by the ACRL Board under the advice of the Choice Editorial Board and the ACRL Budget and Finance Committee.
- Withdrawals from the Choice Long-term Investment will be made only under limited circumstances, as defined and approved by the ACRL Board. Withdrawals will be authorized only in order to carry out strategic priorities or in order to respond to emergency situations.
Source: ACRL Board, July 1997. (Specific policies pending ALA BARC/Divisions Endowment Policy Task Force Work)
- Separate restricted endowments may be established, provided they meet the minimum level of funding for a separately designated endowment within the ALA Endowment. Each separate restricted endowment will require its own separate policy statement.
- All funds in the Choice Long-term Investment Fund, regardless of their sources, are considered to be funds of Choice.
- The ACRL Board annually will make a determination of the disposition of any unused paid out net earnings consistent with ACRL policy for use of Long-term Investment funds. Paid out earnings will be used for CHOICE projects. In the absence of specific Board action, any unused paid out net earnings revert to the Long-term Investment principal.
- The ACRL Board will authorize additions to the Choice Long-term Investment fund as part of the budget approval process and in accordance with existing policies and the approved financial plan of the division.
Source: ACRL Board, January 1991
A portion of the Choice fund balance, not to exceed 20 percent, may be made available for special projects. The major criterion for deciding whether a project is appropriate for this type of funding is the value of the project in fulfilling the Choice publishing statement and furthering its goals:
- to provide selections services for libraries and librarians;
- to develop an electronic publishing program;
- to increase the number of subscriptions to Choice.
- Proposed projects to be funded from the Choice fund balance must be included in the Choice budget.
- The Budget and Finance Committee reviews such projects when considering the Choice budget, and recommends them to the ACRL Board separately from the remainder of the ACRL budget.
Source: ACRL Board, June 1989
Deferral of subscription revenue.
It is standard accounting practice to recognize subscription revenue as the subscription is fulfilled, and to consider the amounts paid for issues not yet supplied to the subscriber as liabilities on the books of the publisher. This implies that, should some mischance occur, a subscriber would receive compensation for the issues not distributed. For this purpose, revenues for all but the issues thus far supplied to a subscriber are “deferred,” and are recognized as they are, essentially, used up.
ALA began to defer subscription (and dues) revenues in the 1981-82 fiscal year, and full deferral accounting is now in place for all dues and subscription revenues.
Difference between Reserve Fund and Deferral.
In accounting terms, the difference between these concepts is clear. Reserve Funds are a part of the “Owner’s Equity,” while Deferrals are a “Liability” in the equation: Assets = Liabilities + Owner’s Equity. In practice, Deferred Revenues must legally be held in escrow to satisfy subscribers if it is not possible to publish all the issues for which they paid. Reserves are funds saved for general or specific purposes, such as a hedge against future deficits, or a source of development funds.
Source: ACRL Board, January 1986
Since its establishment, ACRL's Colleagues program has supported ACRL programs and activities directly or indirectly by providing such things as scholarships, honoraria for speakers, Internet access, receptions and refreshment breaks, virtual conference, and more. The ACRL Colleagues Program has six levels of giving:
Summa cum laude ($30,000+)
Magna cum laude ($22,500-29,999)
Cum laude ($15,000-22,499)
Honor Roll ($10,000-14,999)
Dean’s List ($5,000-9,999)
Mortar Board (up to $4,999)
The ACRL Colleagues Program is an ongoing mechanism for seeking additional revenue for ACRL in support of its mission. The ACRL Colleagues are composed of vendors, publishers, libraries, and others. Colleagues opportunities are not directed to individuals. The Executive Director must review all applications for outside funding in order to prevent various groups within ACRL from competing for the same funds, but requests for funding from vendors do not need Board approval. See 6.16 External Funding.
Source: ACRL Board, January 1992
The ACRL Conference Colleagues Committee is charged with the responsibility for ACRL Conference fundraising according to the following procedures:
The ACRL Conference Colleagues Committee will work with ACRL staff to develop a list of sponsorship opportunities and benefits; and donor prospect list; and maintain a history of previous ACRL Conference fundraising activities.
The Colleagues Committee typically meets at Midwinter and Annual Conference with the ACRL Conference Coordinating Committee to report on progress and to be briefed on the Committee’s program progress.
The ACRL Executive Director sends thank you letters to participating vendors.
Funds are available to committees under two categories:
- Basic Services Each committee chair may be reimbursed up to $150 for expenses incurred in carrying out the work of the committee. Funding covers such items as telephone calls, fax, postage, and photocopying.
- Committees may apply directly to the ACRL Board for additional funding to support or underwrite special initiatives. This funding should be requested as initiatives are being proposed.
- See also REIMBURSEMENT
- As soon as a unit determines that it wants to hold a conference or preconference, a request to proceed is submitted to the ACRL Board or Executive Committee. The ACRL Board of Executive Committee approves the activity and any request to seek funding.
- ACRL staff is responsible for contractual agreements with the conference hotel for room rates, arrangements for room reservation cards, food functions, function space allocation, complimentary room assignments and, in consultation with the program committee, meeting room requirements. ACRL staff coordinate the preparation of all letters of agreement, contracts, purchase orders, and other obligations and make sure that the proper signatures are secured.
- For any expenditure over $100, ALA Financial Services requires that purchase order be prepared in advance of the expenditure. Members planning activities for which expenditures are anticipated must provide this information to ACRL staff so that staff can prepare the appropriate paperwork in advance of the expenditure. Purchase orders and letters of agreement must be prepared for speaker expenses. ACRL staff will assist in the preparation of these letters.
- Any solicitation of gifts shall be undertaken with care, coordinated with ACRL staff, and commitments shall be obtains in writing, with copies in the ACRL Office.
- Conference registration brochures shall include the following statement(s):
“Conferences and preconferences are offered on a cost recovery basis and may be canceled if there is insufficient registration. If an activity is canceled, ACRL cannot be responsible for cancellation/change charges assessed by airlines and travel agencies.”
and, if a conference registration fee includes a meal function or other entertainment, also include the following statement: “$___of the registration fee is for meal and entertainment expenses. You should consult your tax advisor regarding the deductibility for federal income tax purposes of various components of the registration fee.”
The brochures also should include fees and what is offered for the fees, price differential for members and non-ACRL members, price of extra events if appropriate, deadline for registration, registrations accepted after deadline is space available and subject to prescribed late fee, and fee for cancellation.
- All institutes, workshops, etc. sponsored by ALA and/or its units shall be self-supporting, and shall include provision for covering all direct and indirect costs and ALA administrative costs. The ALA indirect cost charge is determined annually. It is calculated on revenues exclusive of donations and money for separately ticketed events.
- All conference costs are borne by participants and not by membership funds, for only a relatively small number of members may benefit. Consequently, registration fees for each conference or preconference must be set at a level to meet all costs of each conference, including direct staff costs.
- To keep registration costs at a reasonable level, a guiding principle is to rely on local committees for conference planning arrangements, thereby avoiding travel and personal expenses for non-local members. The same principle applies to staff time. Consideration should be given to appointing a conference or preconference chair that resides in or near the site chosen so that planning costs and hence registration fees can be kept at a minimum, and to facilitate planning. The chairs and members of the local arrangements committee should reside near the location of the preconference to facilitate planning and to keep costs at a minimum.
- Because ACRL is held responsible for conference costs, the ACRL Executive Director and the ACRL Board, upon the recommendation of the ACRL Budget and Finance Committee, must give final approval to a budget and registration fee. The registration fee can be set only after the budget is prepared. It is the responsibility of the program committee to inform ACRL staff of the exact sleeping room and function space needs prior to the drafting of the budget.
- To afford ACRL financial protection, only 80 percent of the total registration revenue may be included in the budget. All costs being reimbursed must be budgeted to include total revenues (including donations), and total expenses.
- The budget shall include staff salary and benefit amounts based upon ACRL staff time studies for the most recent fiscal year.
- For any ACRL program registration, the difference in the registration fee between non-ACRL members and ACRL members must be at least the amount of the costs of ACRL membership dues.
- Expenses normally are not reimbursed for:
- Planning and local arrangements committee members’ personal registrations and travel expenses; in the case of preconference, registration fees for up to three preconference planning or local arrangement chairs will be waived; in the case of the National Conference, the chair of the National Conference Executive committee receives complimentary registration.
- Section chair and section executive committee members’ personal conference registration and travel expenses;
- Section chair travel expenses to attend preconference planning committee meetings, unless also the chair of the committee;
- Registration and travel expenses for ALA members who attend preconference and also serve as discussion leaders, panel moderators, or facilitators.
- After the budget for a conference or preconference has been approved, no additional funds or expenses shall be recognized unless approved by the ACRL Executive Director, in concert with the Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee.
- The budget is presented for preliminary approval at the Midwinter meeting 18 months before the conference or preconference. Staff work with members planning a preconference prior to the time the budget is due. At times, the Budget and Finance Committee may request that groups planning preconferences meet with them to clarify budgetary requests (typically 18 months prior to the preconference). Budget requests must be submitted by December 1 (when Midwinter is in early January, budget requests are due November 15), preceding the Midwinter meeting when the budget is presented. Decisions as to whether to hold or cancel a preconference are typically made immediately after the deadline for advance registration.
- Written cancellations and changes will be accepted until four weeks (20 working days) before the first day of the event and are subject to a handling fee. Cancellations will be processed after the conference or preconference.
a. To reduce costs, planning meetings shall be held in conjunction with ALA conferences or virtually. Costs, including expenses for one ACRL staff member to attend each planning meeting and the conference, must be budgeted.
If there is to be a printed brochure, the layout and design of the preconference brochure must be submitted to the ACRL Office no less than six months prior to the preconference date. Lead time is needed for staff to guarantee that the finished product will include all necessary registration and program information, and conform to ALA guidelines, such as those regarding fiscal policy and sexist terminology.
Other printed materials may include registration materials, such as handouts and lists of registrants; meal tickets and invitations; registration folders; printed stock for personalize name badges.
c. Postage costs include mailing the brochure, registration confirmation, miscellaneous correspondence with committee and speakers, etc.
d. Honoraria for Annual Conference Programs, including the President's Program, may be provided on a scale that is appropriate to the scope and type of work performed and that is permissible within the budget of the ACRL unit, the ALA/ACRL budget, and in consultation with the ACRL staff liaison.
Preconferences are planned to be self-supporting, and costs of honoraria must be included within the conference budget. See also fiscal policies concerning Expense Reimbursement.
e. Expenses of free registrants (non-librarian keynote and general session speakers) may include food function expenses, registration packets, name badges, etc.
f. Staff costs will include: time charged as per the ACRL time study, and may also include housing, meals, and travel.
g. Facility costs include meeting rooms, special function space, equipment rental and labor.
h. ACRL Office expenses include copying, postage, telephone, fax, supplies costs, ALA overhead and indirect costs on all expenditures.
i. Other expenses may include hotel staff gratuities, special event transportation/space/etc.
- All conferences must be budgeted to be self-supporting; only 90% of the budgeted revenue may be recognized. Source: ACRL Board, January 2008.
- All fiscal responsibility is held by the division under ALA accounting practices.
- Revenues are not recognized until after the conference is held and the department budget is closed.
- All contracts for products and services must be reviewed by the ACRL executive director and processed according to ALA fiscal polices.
- The conference budget must be approved by the division Board.
- Representatives of ACRL may not solicit donations of money and/or services/and or books/equipment without review by the division staff and the national conference executive committee. See also 6.11 Conference Colleagues Committee.
- The conference budget will include expenses for all regular division staff salaries and benefits reflecting time spent on conference activities.
- All attendees must register.
- Volunteers, including committee members and speakers who are librarians must pay the regular registration fee to attend.
- Speakers who are non-librarians may receive a one-day registration waiver.
- In accordance with ALA practice, division members and/or librarians will not receive honoraria nor have expenses reimbursed for presenting ACRL Conference programs.
- Honoraria and expenses for non-librarian speakers will be negotiated by ACRL staff in consultation with the conference committee. Reimbursable expenses include: a pre-established per diem, travel expenses (coach or lowest available airfare), and hotel costs (single room at conference hotel). Expenses of free registrants may include food function expenses, registration packets, name badges, etc. See fiscal policies concerning Expense Reimbursement.
- Requests for equipment to be used by speakers must be submitted to ACRL staff for review within a time frame established by the staff in consultation with the conference committee (for ALA Annual Conference programs, all AV requests must be submitted by May 1).
- Speakers may be reimbursed for the duplication costs of hand-outs to be distributed to attendees, provided such costs were included in the budget.
- Program planners and unit leaders of preconferences, institutes, etc. may waive the personal preconference registration fee for preconference planning and local arrangements committee chairs. This waiver is limited to no more than three responsible persons per preconference.
Source: ACRL Board, February, 1995
Programs are presented at the ALA Annual Conference, but not at the Midwinter meeting.
Each ALA division receives an annual basic allocation of $1,500 from ALA to support Annual Conference programs. The ACRL Board of Directors provides additional funds from its budget to support Annual Conference programs (excluding cost of audiovisual equipment, which is provided by ALA).
Sometimes there may be a need to seek funding beyond that which is allocated through ACRL to support programs. The ACRL Colleagues Program, created by the Board in 1992, generates nondues revenue to allow ACRL to expand programs and services to members and potential donors, and to do more in the area of promoting the profession. The Board believes that it is important to coordinate all requests to potential donors and other outside funders through a centralized program. ACRL members may not make any formal requests on behalf of the division to potential donors for contributions without first clearing the request with the ACRL executive director. (For detailed procedures on soliciting funds to support your program, read ACRL Fundraising Tip Sheet.)
ACRL encourages its units to cosponsor programs with other ACRL or ALA units and outside organizations. ACRL recognizes two types of cosponsorships: (1) cosponsorship in name only (a written request should be sent to the ACRL executive director as early as possible, but at least one year prior to the Annual Conference at which the program is being presented); and (2) cosponsorship with shared planning and financial responsibilities (should be treated as a regular conference program with written proposal responding to criteria and guidelines).
"In name only" is defined as meaning that no ACRL resources, including staff time or space in ACRL publications, would be requested. It simply means that the ACRL name will be used in conjunction with the hosting unit's promotions. Source: ACRL Board, February 1994.
All cosponsorships that commit ACRL resources require Board approval. These activities must be reviewed and approved by the ACRL Board of Directors or the Executive Committee. Proposals for cosponsorship must be in writing following procedures in the ACRL Guide, and include the required extent of ACRL participation such as staff, money, and other resources. Fiscal responsibilities must be clearly defined in the proposal and in ACRL’s best interest. The Board will seek ACRL Budget and Finance Committee recommendation for all expenditures.
Source: ACRL Board, January 1981
Cosponsorships with shared planning and financial support should be submitted before the ACRL Board with a detailed accounting of the program budget including vendor donations as well as a summary/outline of assignments and the person or persons that will be sharing the planning duties.
Discussion groups are not in a position to request directly or through their sections any kind of budget allocation. They may request space at conferences. ACRL only keeps records concerned with their chairpersons. This policy was established so that they do not grow to the proportion of a section with many committees and a board. Source: ACRL Board, June 1978; ACRL Executive Committee, April 1985; ACRL Executive Committee, March 2010
ACRL staff will check each year to see if each discussion group has scheduled a meeting at ALA Midwinter or Annual. If not, staff will ask the chairperson to request dissolution of the discussion group. Source: ACRL Board, June 1987
The Board supports the Division Leadership Enhancement Program for orientation of the division vice-president and will fund the vice-president’s travel expenses to the Fall program.
Source: ACRL Board, January 1986
All gifts and donations to the ACRL Long-term Investment will be acknowledged in writing by the ACRL Executive Director. All gifts and donations to the Choice Long-term Investment Fund will be acknowledged in writing by the Choice editor and publisher and by the ACRL Executive Director.
Source: ACRL Board, January 1991
The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Board of Directors encourages donor support of ACRL's programs and activities and believes that it is important to coordinate all requests through a centralized program. In 1992, the ACRL Board of Directors created the ACRL Colleagues Program. The purpose of the program is to generate non-dues revenue to allow ACRL to expand programs and services to members and donors, and to do more in the area of promoting the profession.
Units may seek funds from outside sources to support a variety of programs and activities, such as providing speakers, establishing an award, conducting a survey, etc.
Step 1: Fundraising Plan Development
If an ACRL unit has a program or activity it would like to have supported by a donor, they should let the ACRL office know by submitting an ACRL Fundraising Plan form, which includes the following information:
• Name of sponsoring unit
• Brief statement of purpose
• List of potential donors and amounts you wish to solicit
• Time period of solicitation
Step 2: Fundraising Plan Approval
Under ALA and ACRL guidelines, you may not directly approach a potential donor without first clearing it with the ACRL executive director. Units receive written notification to proceed after their plans, which list the names of potential donors they intend to approach, have been reviewed. Prior to solicitation, the ACRL executive director will review requests to ensure that donors do not receive competing requests from ALA/ACRL..
Step 3: Approaching Potential Donors
Once clearance from the ACRL executive director to approach potential donors has been received the following steps should be followed:
1. Develop a clear statement describing how funds being solicited will be used and who will benefit.
2. Be prepared to tell potential donors about the benefits their organization will receive as a sponsor or cosponsor. Note: benefits must be approved by ACRL, and any benefits should be included in the fundraising plan form.
3. Contact potential donors first in person, by telephone or email and then by follow-up if needed.
4. If a potential donor is not responding, contact another on your approved list. Do not discuss or identify potential donors to other prospective donors.
5. Once you have received a commitment from a donor, ask that written confirmation be sent to the ACRL staff. Only ACRL staff can issue invoices and process payments, and staff will send invoices once notified.
6. If several donors are being asked to support one project, let all of them know that others are being invited to share in the opportunity.
7. Tell potential donors that their contributions will be acknowledged by the ACRL executive directors.
If your unit has a program or project that it thinks has potential for securing substantial funding ($25,000 or more) from a foundation or governmental agency, you should arrange to discuss your idea with the ACRL executive director in-person, or send an email describing the idea to the Executive Director. The Executive Director's contact info can be found on the Contact ACRL page. ACRL staff will assist you in preparing a proposal for approaching potential funders. All grant proposals must be reviewed by the ALA Development Office staff.
Any grant request going forward with ACRL's approval must be for a project that will benefit either academic/research libraries or their clientele. It is mandatory for ACRL staff to do a technical/procedural review of all funding proposals. Every grant request going forward with ACRL approval must have been reviewed for content and competence, and the Board must approve and, where appropriate, forward it to the ALA Administration or ALA Executive Board for approval, before being submitted to the granting agency.
Source: ACRL Board, July 1986, January 1992
Proposals requesting grant funding of up to $99,000 must be approved by the ACRL Board of Directors and the ALA executive director before a potential funder can be approached.
Proposals of $100,000 or more require approval from the ACRL Board, the ALA executive director, and the ALA executive board.
Planners of all requests will receive a written message from the ACRL executive director updating the status and instructing on the next steps to follow.
The Friends of ACRL was created to provide a means for ACRL to take bold steps above and beyond its traditional member programs and services. Rapidly changing demographic, economic, and technological trends are presenting academic libraries and librarians with new challenges and competition that demand immediate solutions. The Friends of ACRL is a response to these "new challenges" and renders a means for academic librarians to give additional support that will enhance and ensure the relevance of our profession.
Donations made to the Friends of ACRL can be designated to any of the three giving categories below. These funds were created to supplement initiatives of special importance to academic librarians. Undesignated funds are allocated to a general fund.
1. ACRL Advancement Fund
The ACRL Advancement fund broadly supports the activities of ACRL with a focus on initiatives and programs that advance the priorities and goals of the division. This includes programs and initiatives that strengthen ACRL's influence in higher education and research.
2. ACRL Conference Scholarship Fund
The ACRL Conference Scholarship Fund supports attendance at the biennial ACRL conference for promising students, early and mid-career librarians. It seeks to increase diversity and enhance access to knowledge and expertise for the next generation of academic and research librarians.
3. ACRL RBMS Scholarships Fund
This fund supports attendance at the annual Conference of the Rare Book and Manuscripts Section by new professionals, and qualified students and support staff, with some scholarships designated for applicants of underrepresented ethnic and racial groups.
Recognition levels for Friends donors are:
- Patrons ($1,000 and over)
- Sponsors ($500-$999)
- Contributors ($250-$499)
- Associates ($100-$249)
- Friends (Less than $100)
Source: ACRL Spring Board Meeting, April 2016.
The ACRL Board is authorized to approve Friends Fund expenditures and will do so in accordance with donor intent. Funds allocated to the ACRL Conference Scholarship Fund are administered and disbursed by the ACRL Budget and Finance Committee.
Source: ACRL Board, May 2008, revised ACRL Board January 2013, revised ACRL Board April 2016.
“Divisions may establish Long-term Investments or add to existing Division Long-term Investments from any source, including existing fund balances, once the Division has reached a minimum fund balance as determined by the Division and approved in accordance with the budget review process and approved financial plan. The establishment of Division Long-term Investments will follow the guidelines outlined in ALA policy. The use of interest from these Division Long-term Investments will be subject to Division Board approval and applicable ALA policy.”
Source: ALA Council, June 1989 (Policy 6.4.1.II.E)
The purpose of the ACRL Long-term Investment is to provide a reliable source of income for an annual Initiative Fund that supports ACRL activities accomplishing the strategic directions and priorities of ACRL.
Source: ACRL Board, July 1996
Funds in excess of the required Reserve Fund are available for investment in a Long-term Investment fund. The Long-term Investment Fund is that portion of the ACRL net surplus that has been invested together with similar funds of the ALA for the purpose of providing permanent income to the division. The principal of the Long-term Investment Fund is not available for current operations and activities.
The ACRL Executive Committee approved the use of the net interest that will be earned in FY2005 from the long-term investment fund to fund initiatives in the strategic plan. Source: ACRL Exec. Comm. 2004
The Executive Committee confirms that the interest from the long-term investment fund be used to support initiatives in the strategic plan. Source: ACRL Exec. Comm. Fall 2005
The ACRL Long-term Investment Fund will be invested with the Long-term Investment Fund of the ALA and will be subject to any policies governing the Long-term Investment Fund in general. An initial sum of $10,000 shall be invested, fulfilling the minimum level of funding for a separately designated Long-term Investment within the ALA Long-term Investment.
Source: ALA Endowment Trustees, 1990
It shall be the intention of ACRL to retain the principal of the ACRL Long-term Investment Fund of the ALA Long-term Investment fund by using only a portion of the net earnings of the fund (defined as cash dividend and interest income) to support activities of the ACRL to be determined from time to time by the ACRL Board under the advice of the ACRL Budget and Finance Committee.
The ACRL Board will annually determine the use of any paid out annual net earnings in support of specific ACRL program enhancements and special initiatives, in ways consistent with ACRL policies for use of Long-term Investment funds. In the absence of any specific Board action, unused paid out net earnings will revert to the Long-term Investment principal.
The ACRL Board has established the portion of up to 50 percent of the net earnings to be paid from the Long-term Investment Fund to the ACRL portion of the division fund balance.
Withdrawals from the ACRL Long-term Investment will be made only under limited circumstances, as defined and approved by the ACRL Board. Withdrawals will be authorized only in order to carry out strategic priorities or in order to respond to emergency situations.
Source: ACRL Board, July 1997. (Specific policies pending ALA BARC/Divisions Long-term Investment Policy Task Force Work)
Separate restricted Long-term Investments may be established, provided they meet the minimum level of funding for a separately designated Long-term Investment within the ALA Long-term Investment.
All funds in the ACRL Long-term Investment Fund, regardless of their source, are considered to the funds of ACRL.
The ACRL Board will authorize additions to the Long-term Investment
Fund as part of the budget approval process and in accordance with existing policies and the approved financial plan of the division.
All gifts and donations to the ACRL Long-term Investment will be acknowledged in writing by the ACRL Executive Director and gifts of $500 and more by the ALA Executive Director.
Revised Policy 8.5.1 – Long-Term Investment Funds: Association’s Use/Withdrawal and Repayment
In the preparation of the ALA annual budget the ALA Executive Director is authorized to include a) interest and dividend income generated annually in the ALA Future Fund or b) up to but not to exceed 50% of the five year moving average of the appreciation realized in the ALA Future Fund less any interest and dividend income transferred to the operating fund. Additionally, the Executive Directors of the Divisions and the liaisons for the Round Tables are authorized to include in the preparation of their annual budgets a) interest and dividend income generated annually or b) up to but not to exceed 50% of the five year moving average of the appreciation realized in their respective unrestricted funds. The 50% five-year moving average shall be calculated by averaging the interest, dividends and market gains (realized/unrealized) less bank fees, other investment related expenses and any interest and dividends that have been transferred to the operating budget. This calculation excludes any contributions or withdrawals made over the trailing five-year period. Withdrawals using the net 50% five-year moving average do not require repayment.
Use of Fund
Listed below are the primary instances whereby withdrawals from the Long-Term Investment Fund can be made.
A. Program Support
The General Fund, Divisions and Round Tables can request funds from their respective Long- Term Investment funds to support one-time programs.
Emergencies will include financial disaster due to a major revenue shortfall, act of God, building catastrophe, major lawsuit, etc.
C. New Initiatives
New Initiatives will include projects or programs that are multi-year in nature and deemed important to the future of the Association, Divisions, Round Tables or units.
Withdrawal of the investment funds for uses stated above may be supported by interest and dividends or the 50% moving average. Amounts requested to be withdrawn in excess of the greater of interest and dividends or the 50% moving average will require repayment with interest.
D. Scholarships & Awards
Allowable withdrawals from temporarily restricted and unrestricted Long-Term Investment funds designated for named scholarships and awards will be made to the extent necessary to support the award or scholarship according to its stipulations and requirements. If the interest and dividends of a scholarship or award is not adequate, the amount in the temporary restricted and unrestricted investments designated for named scholarships may be used up to the limits of any permanent or donor restrictions.
E. Life Membership Funds
Allowable withdrawals from temporarily restricted and unrestricted Long-Term Investment funds designated for Life Membership will be made from the Life Membership Fund to the extent necessary to support the annual membership fee for the participants.
F. Transfer of Existing Funds
It is allowable to make a transfer from an existing unrestricted fund for the establishment of a new and or in support of an existing scholarship fund, program or initiative fund within the Long-Term Investment Fund.
Each withdrawal for any of the purposes referenced in A, B, C and the 50% five year moving average must be approved by the Executive Board.
Withdrawals from the Long-Term Investment Fund for any of the following events:
a. Program Support
c. New Initiatives
will require repayment at the prevailing ALA borrowing rate with the term to be recommended by management and approved by the Executive Board.
The annual withdrawal of interest and or dividends from the Long-Term Investment Fund will not require repayment.
Source: ALA Council, January 2003
1. Expenses for coffee service for the ACRL Board meetings at ALA Conferences are paid by the ACRL budget. Expenses for coffee service for other units are not paid by ACRL. (Source: ACRL Board, July 1985)
2. Per 4.9 Section Special Events, Section Basic Services Funds or solicitation of donations may not be used for external social events, but can be used to support professional development events/workshops. (Source: ACRL Board, October 24, 2023)
3. Most ACRL meal functions are handled on a "no-host" basis, (i.e., each participant pays for their own meal.). (Source: ACRL Executive Committee, October 1985)
Source: ACRL Executive Committee, October 1985
All members of ACRL must be members of ALA. The membership year is 12 months, and is effective the first day of the month following receipt of dues payment.
ACRL has the right to establish ACRL personal and organizational dues structures and to set membership perquisites.
Source: ALA Bylaws, Article I, Section 2; Article VI, Section 6
The amount of personal member dues shall be determined by the ACRL Board of Directors. Annually, the Board of Directors will review and may authorize a dues adjustment not to exceed the percentage change in the most current Higher Education Price Index (HEPI) rounded to the nearest dollar. Adjustments in excess of the percentage change in the most current HEPI are subject to the approval of the membership in a mail or electronic vote. Organizational and corporate member dues shall be determined by the ACRL Board of Directors.
Source: ACRL Bylaws, Article IV: Membership and Dues
Discount and special promotion dues authorized by the ALA Executive Board apply only to that portion of dues applying to ALA membership. ACRL receives proportionate reimbursements for "free" Division choices of continuing and life members.
Source: Policies of the American Library Association in Relation to its Membership Divisions
(Operating Agreement), June, 1989
ACRL Basic Services are those services made available to all ACRL members at no additional charge beyond their division dues. Basic Services may be supported by dues or other options as determined by the ACRL Board. (See Sections for a discussion of Basic Services funding for sections.)
ACRL may charge additional fees in accordance with ALA Bylaws, Article I, Sec.2, and Article IV, Sec.6(c), when approval of such fees has been given by the membership by a mail vote.
Any projects related to membership promotion activities must be worked out and cleared through the ACRL Office in advance of a budget request being submitted. This policy is to avoid unwarranted duplication in efforts by the Membership Committee, the ACRL Chapters, and ongoing staff activities.
Source: Budget and Finance Committee, January 1982
Members of ACRL chapters are not required to be members of the national association, but officers are expected to be members of ACRL.
Source: ACRL Bylaws, Article XIV, Section 2
- Publication support requests from ACRL sections or other groups are referred to the ACRL Publications Committee by the Budget and Finance Committee, for a recommendation.
- Financial support for such publications is viewed as a special project expense.
- ACRL shall be offered the first right of refusal to publish any items produced with the assistance of ACRL funds.
- If ACRL chooses not to publish as outlined in c. above, the ACRL Executive Director or designee shall be involved in the negotiations with an outside publisher to attempt to recoup investment expenses, or to get agreement regarding the type of acknowledgment that will be made of ACRL support.
- When publication support requests are received at ACRL headquarters, staff automatically refer the requests to the Publications Committee as well as to the Budget and Finance Committee.
Source: ACRL Board, January 1985
- The ACRL Board will not act on any proposals for new ACRL publications or substantial revisions in the current status of ACRL publications without consulting the ACRL Publications Committee.
Source: ACRL Board, June 1984
The Board delegates to the Executive Director the responsibility for all negotiations with ALA Publishing in regard to publication royalties.
Source: ACRL Board, June 1981
ACRL units are restricted in their use of funding. See specific guidelines in the respective chapters on sections, committees, and chapters in the ACRL Guide to Policies and Procedures (Web ( www.acrl.org, select About ACRL, select Guide)
The ACRL Board must approve all applications for outside funding in order to prevent various groups within ACRL from competing for the same award. Any solicitation of gifts should be undertaken with care and commitments should be obtained in writing.
Only expenditures that have been previously authorized by the Board may be reimbursed to committees, sections and chapters.
Source: Budget and Finance Committee, March 1979
The Executive Director has the responsibility to approve reimbursements within the following limits:
- The Executive Director is authorized to approve individual unbudgeted expenditures, up to and including $5,000, not to exceed 1% of the total ACRL and CHOICE budget. The Executive Director will notify the ACRL President of such expenditures.
- Receipts or bills must be included in accordance with ALA Accounting Guidelines.
- Activities supported must be in accordance with the guidelines stated in the ACRL fiscal policies.
Source: Executive Committee, December 1981; Budget and Finance Committee, January 1982, June 1986; ACRL Board, January 1987, ACRL Executive Committee, October 23, 2004
- Expenses are approved only if previously authorized by the ACRL Board, and for activities in the current fiscal year. Source: Reiterated, ACRL Executive Committee, April 1992
- Funds may be used only for the purposes for which they have been approved.
- Requests made for payment must have the approval of the chair of the chapter, committee, or section to which the claim is to be charged.
- Original receipts, not copies, must be included with the request. Any requests for reimbursement of phone calls must be itemized. Reimbursement takes three to five weeks and is sent from ALA Accounting. Source: ACRL Executive Committee, April 1981
- The Executive Director is authorized to approve individual unbudgeted expenditures, up to and including $5,000, not to exceed 1% of the total ACRL and CHOICE budget. The Executive Director will notify the ACRL President of such expenditures. Source: ACRL Executive Committee, October 23, 2004
ACRL does not pay any costs associated with an ALA member's attending the ALA Annual or Midwinter Conferences. Travel funds for committee meetings at other times must be included in the budget request. Such meetings are not encouraged and requests for funding must include adequate justification.
Source: ACRL Board, July 1988
Reimbursement request forms are available from the ACRL Office or on the Web ( www.acrl.org, select About ACRL, forms). An itemized account of travel expenses may be submitted without using the form. It is required that all original receipts, not copies, be submitted with the expense statement.
Travel is paid at the rate of a coach fare for air travel or at the prevailing ALA reimbursement level for car travel, but not to exceed the cost of a coach air fare. If special saver air fares are used, reimbursement is for the actual cost incurred. The per diem for hotel and meals is at the prevailing ALA rate for staff travel.
The ACRL Board, committees, or sections may initiate recommendations of ACRL members as nominees for appointment by the ALA Executive Board to committees of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). Funding is solely the prerogative of the ACRL Board. Ability to attend meetings of the other organizations without cost to ALA, ACRL, or IFLA will be a criterion used to select the ACRL candidate.
A major thrust of ACRL’s Strategic Plan is to collaborate with other professional organizations and associations of higher education in order to promote mutual interests. The ACRL Board identified nine target organizations (National Forum on Information Literacy; American Association of Higher Education; American Council on Education; Association of American Colleges; American Association of Community Colleges; Independent Colleges; National University Continuing Education Association; American Association of University Professors) and established the Council of Liaisons to work with them. An ACRL member, staff member, or the Executive Director, is appointed as representative to each organization. The ACRL External Liaisons Committee (ELC), formerly the Liaisons Coordinating Committee (LCC), oversees and coordinates the ACRL liaison relationship activities with external, non-library organizations across all levels of the association. In particular, the ELC is charged with creating and managing processes for establishing liaison relationships and providing common guidelines for appointing liaisons to the ACRL units managing liaison relationships. Representatives are appointed to a five-year nonrenewable term.
Priority for funding should be given to general higher education and related organizations rather than those which are subject specific. Other subject specific liaisons should be added as funding permits, and where existing liaisons are “on the books” to such organizations they should be allowed to continue without ACRL funding. Other organizations with which ACRL liaison is desirable but which focus on library, technology, and/or information (e.g., ARL, CNI, EDUCAUSE) should not be considered part of the ACRL Liaisons Assembly Committee. It is recommended that up to $1,500 be budgeted annually for each liaison organization approved by the ACRL External Liaisons Committee, and upon presentation of receipts in keeping with ACRL procedures, liaisons be required to prepare a report to the membership to be published in C&R L News highlighting the activities of the organizations to which they have been designated. It is expected that liaisons will personally or through their institutions provide the balance of the funds needed and to cover their membership dues. In cases where the Executive Director is the official representative, the $1,500 should be put into the travel budget.
Source: ACRL Board, June 1995; revised August 2018
ACRL has a rich history of working with its membership to establish and cultivate relationships beyond ALA. The ACRL Liaisons Assembly Committee (formerly the ACRL Council of Liaisons established in 1995) allowed ACRL to systematically identify, develop, and maintain productive channels for formal and informal dialogue as well as partnerships for research, exchange of ideas, discussion of common standards and practices, joint publication and pursuing common goals.
Liaisons are not to promote libraries per se, nor are they there to get organizations to focus on library issues. Rather liaisons are to help people understand the value-added asset libraries can be to whatever it is the organization wants to accomplish. Liaisons are also to model effective partnerships between them as librarians and other professionals within the liaison organization.
The following outlines the structure, functions and responsibilities of the ACRL Liaisons Assembly.
Liaison Organizations: Principles and Practice
- Priority will be given to establishing liaison relationships with those organizations where a commonality of concerns with ACRL exists and where there is a potential to develop a productive impact.
- Because funding is limited, the ACRL Board will first focus on liaison organizations that have a potential to impact a large segment of academic and research libraries.
- However, a longer-range goal is to foster liaison activities with subject-discipline organizations through the ACRL Sections. The ACRL External Liaisons Committee (formerly Council of Liaisons) worked with sections (formerly Sections Council) to develop criteria that would allow for an equitable development of ACRL support for subject-focused liaisons.
- The ACRL External Liaisons Committee, as part of the strategic planning process, will review existing liaison organizations and recommend a list of liaison organizations based on:
- The elements of the strategic plan
- Input form sections and other appointing authorities (formerly the Sections Council)
- Recommendations from the ACRL Board
- The ACRL Board and the ACRL External Liaisons Committee should monitor developments in higher education and remain alert and responsive to the need to add or remove liaison organizations.
- Liaison relationships with organizations may also be established beyond those that are funded by ACRL or beyond those that are organized through the ACRL External Liaisons Committee, e.g., the National Forum on Information Literacy, so that work can continue in numerous venues.
ACRL Liaisons Assembly Committee Structure, Responsibilities and Funding:
- Funding for the ACRL Liaisons Assembly Committee program may be increased to up to $30,000 per year. The maximum that is available for reimbursing any one liaison is $1,500 per year, to be used for membership, meeting registration, travel, or incidental participation costs for programs, publications, etc.
- The ACRL Vice-President/President-elect appoints the members of the ACRL External Liaisons Committee and ACRL Liaisons Assembly Committee per ACRL appointments guidelines.
- Liaison Appointments:
- An individual may serve as a liaison to no more than one organization at a time.
- The list of responsibilities will be shared with prospective new ACRL Liaisons Assembly Committee liaisons. Agreement to fulfill these responsibilities should be secured before being appointed.
- Liaisons are appointed by their appointing authority (i.e., section, interest group, or the ACRL Board) for a three year term with the option for reappointment for a second three year term. Normally, the maximum period an individual may serve as a liaison is six years, but exceptions may occur where extraordinary progress is being made.
- Liaisons will be formally reviewed near the end of their second year of each three year term by the ACRL External Liaisons Committee Chair and the ACRL Executive Director using established performance criteria for liaisons. If needed, appropriate mentoring or other action, in consultation with the ACRL Board, will ensue.
- The ACRL Board will make reappointments upon written recommendation from the ACRL External Liaisons Committee Chair and ACRL Executive Director. Their recommendation will be based on upon a review of the liaison’s effectiveness using the performance criteria.
- Reimbursement for liaison expenses will conform to ALA/ACRL expense and reimbursement guidelines as appropriate and will be tied to liaison submission of reports suitable for distribution to the ACRL Board and for possible publication.
Source: ACRL Board, January 2003; revised August 2018
ACRL will maintain a mandated Reserve Fund equal to at least 25 percent of the average annual expenditures excluding CHOICE over the four most recently completed years. The operating budget contains an expense line for the mandated reserve, and it is appropriately budgeted as part of the annual budget preparation. The Reserve Fund does not accrue interest to ACRL.
Source: ACRL Board, July 1986, January 1991, revised June 1997
Each section receives a base allocation of $1,000.00 with an additional $0.75 per section member over 400 (as of August 31). Budget memos confirming the basic service allocation are delivered in October. (Source: ACRL Board, January 2013.)
Section membership levels attained at the close of FY14, i.e., August 2014, will be used to budget and allocate section funding for FY15-FY17. (Source: ACRL Board, January 2014.)
Sections may spend Basic Services funds on any items or activities that support the advancement of ACRL’s core purpose, to lead academic and research librarians and libraries in advancing learning and scholarship, and that is within ALA/ACRL policies. See 4.2.1 Section basic services allocation for full details. (Source: ACRL Board, June 2004, October 2004, Executive Committee, May 2011; ACRL Board, June 2023)
Per 4.9 Section Special Events, Section Basic Services Funds or solicitation of donations may not be used for external social events, but can be used to support professional development events/workshops. (Source: ACRL Board, October 24, 2023)
ACRL staff produce business cards for each section that can be distributed onsite at conferences, including events such as ACRL 101. These business cards contain the section logo, Web site, and contact information including any applicable social media presence. Sections are encouraged to maintain a "Welcome" page on their Web site for interested potential members. Sections may use basic services funding allocations to support production and distribution of additional section business cards. All business card edit requests must be sent to ACRL staff.
Sections may appoint liaisons to other groups of related interest. It is understood that such appointment is for informational purposes and does not constitute official representation of ALA, ACRL, or the section, and that no financial support is implied in such an appointment.
Sections sponsoring Preconferences to the ALA Annual Conference may participate in the ACRL net revenue sharing project. ACRL will provide 50% of the net revenues from such preconferences. Sections may use these proceeds in a manner that supports its goals and activities, supports the ACRL strategic plan, and complies with ACRL and ALA fiscal policies and procedures.
No ALA staff may attend any ACRL preconference without paying the established registration fee.
Source: ACRL Executive Committee, April 1982
In the initial fiscal year budget, all general administrative and staff salaries, as well as related costs, are recorded on a separate line. During the year, ACRL staff maintain records of their daily use of time. The resulting percentages are used to allocate salaries, benefits, and general expenses such as telephone, postage, reprographics, etc. At the end of the year, these costs are distributed to each individual project.
Source: Budget and Finance Committee, general comments, Midwinter 1997
Fees for consulting by staff members are returned to ACRL.
Source: ACRL Financial Plan
Salaries/benefits must be no more than 45 percent, and total administrative costs no more than 60 percent of the total operating budget, not including Choice.
Source: ACRL Financial Plan, April 1989
When undertaking projects and activities, consideration must be given to the respective roles of members and staff in carrying out those projects. There are financial implications in using staff.
The ACRL Board of Directors opposes any proposal to meet ALA fiscal crises through staff salary or benefit reduction. Appropriate staff salary increases are to be budgeted annually. Source: ACRL Board, July 1982
All final versions of approved standards and guidelines are printed in C&RL News and are available free-of-charge from our Web site. Source: ACRL Board, June 1994
When an ACRL unit (with the exception of Choice) undertakes activities, such as fundraising and preconference registrations, any revenue in excess of expenses will revert to the ACRL net asset balance. Only those multi-year projects approved in advance by the ACRL Board, e.g., the ACRL National Conference, may fundraise for or save unused funds toward an event that takes place in a different fiscal year.
Source: ACRL Board, June 1989; revised, Executive Committee, 1992; revised Executive Committee, 2009
SECTION I – ALA ORGANIZATIONAL TERMS
Endowment Fund – An established fund of cash, securities, or other assets to provide income for the maintenance of a not-for-profit organization. The use of the assets of the fund may be permanently restricted, temporarily restricted, or unrestricted. Endowment funds generally are established to provide a permanent endowment, which is to provide a permanent source of income. The principal of a permanent endowment must be maintained permanently i.e., not used up, expended, or otherwise exhausted – and is classified as permanently restricted net assets.
An endowment may also be in the form of a term endowment, which is to provide income for a specified period. The principal of a term endowment must be maintained for a specified term and is classified as temporarily restricted net assets.
An organization’s governing board may earmark a portion of its unrestricted net assets as a board-designated endowment (sometimes called funds functioning as endowment or quasi-endowment funds) to be invested to provide income for a long but unspecified period. The principal of a board-designated endowment, which results from an internal designation, is not donor restricted and is classified as unrestricted net assets.
Long Term Investments – Assets (investments) held for an extended period of time – usually 5 years and longer – in order to meet the needs of an established or anticipated long developing goal.
Not-For-Profit (Tax Exempt) Organization (501 C (3)) – An entity that possesses the following characteristics that distinguish it from a business enterprise: (A) contributions of significant amounts of resources from resource providers who do not expect commensurate of proportionate pecuniary return (B) operating purposes other than to provide goods or services at a profit, and (C) absence of ownership interests like those of business enterprises. Not-for-profit organizations have those characteristics in varying degrees.
SECTION II – FINANCIAL MEASURES
Capital Gain - Refers to any profit realized upon the sale of an asset such as a security, mutual fund, portfolio, etc.
Principal – A base amount of funds used to invest for the purpose of generating income in the form of interest, dividends, value, etc.
Realized Gain/Loss – Refers to the gain/loss in the value of a security, fund portfolio, etc., after the sale/liquidation of all or a portion of the same.
Spending/Operating Account – An account set up to capture and settle the operating expenses generated by individual Scholarships, Awards and Divisions within the Endowment Fund.
Total Return – Refers to the combination of all interest, dividends, capital gains and losses of a fund over the fund’s beginning price or value.
Unrealized Gain/Loss – Refers to the gain/loss in the value of a security, fund, portfolio, etc., prior to the sale/liquidation of all or a portion of the same.
Yield – Refers to the interest generated for a given period of time of a fund over the current price or value of a fund.
SECTION III – ACCOUNTING TERMINOLOGY
Contribution – An unconditional transfer of cash or other assets to an entity or a settlement or cancellation of its liabilities in a voluntary nonreciprocal transfer by another entity acting other than as an owner.
Permanent Restriction – A donor-imposed restriction that stipulates that resources be maintained permanently but permits the organization to use up or expend part or all of the income (or other economic benefits) derived from the donated assets.
Permanently Restricted Net Assets – The part of the net assets of a not-for profit organization resulting (A) from contributions and other inflows of assets whose use by the organization is limited by donor-imposed stipulations that neither expire by passage of time nor can be fulfilled or otherwise removed by actions of the organization, (B) from other asset enhancements and diminishments subject to the same kinds of stipulations, and (C) from reclassifications from (or to) other classes of net assets as a consequence of donor-imposed stipulations.
Promise to Give – A written or oral agreement to contribute cash or other assets to another entity. A promise to give may be either conditional or unconditional.
Restricted Support – Donor-restricted revenues or gains from contributions that increase either temporarily restricted net assets or permanently restricted net assets.
Temporarily Restricted – A donor-imposed restriction that permits the donee organization to use up or expend the donated assets as specified and is satisfied either by the passage of time or by actions of the organization.
Temporarily Restricted Net Assets – The part of the net assets of a not-for-profit organization resulting (A) from contributions and other inflows of assets whose use by the organization is limited by donor-imposed stipulations that either expire by passage of time or can be fulfilled and removed by actions of the organization pursuant to those stipulations, (B) from other asset enhancements and diminishments subject to the same kinds of stipulations, and (C) from reclassifications to (or from) other classes of net assets as a consequence of donor-imposed stipulations, their expiration by passage of time, or their fulfillment and removal by actions of the organization pursuant to those stipulations.
Unrestricted Net Assets – The part of net assets of a not-for-profit organization that is neither permanently restricted nor temporarily restricted by donor-imposed stipulations.
Unrestricted Support – Revenues or gains from contributions that are not restricted by donors. Also refer to Restricted Support.
Back to Policies & Procedures Index