Thanks Kate

April 25, 2011 at 3:29 pm

| Gabriel |

Most of you who would care about this have already seen it, but I just wanted to say publicly that ASA Secretary Kate Berheide has done a great job of providing a breakdown of the ASA’s finances.

Her report is in several pieces so I’ll give links to each of them:

  • The cover letter
  • Revenues and expenses broken out as much as possible by program. [I am particularly impressed by this one as it both must have been the most challenging to write and it goes the furthest towards helping us imagine counterfactual sets of priorities. It’s still a hard issue to get a handle on, but I think Kate made it as clear as it possibly could be. Note that the fact that dues are only a minority of revenues means that any change up or down in expenses has an outsize impact on dues].
  • The ASA’s need for more revenues and an explanation of what services have been cut recently and which would be restored.
  • Comparison to AAA and APSA. [Note that Kate leaves out AEA but is candid about this right up front on the basis of AEA having a somewhat different model in several different ways and in particular being a quasi-publisher. FWIW, AEA makes about $3 million in licensing fees as compared to about $2 million for ASA. My back of the envelope calculations are that this explains about half the gap in dues.]

These reports go a long way towards illuminating the ASA’s finances and why the leadership has proposed a substantial aggregate increase in dues revenue. Different people may differ about the merits of the dues increase but thanks to Kate we now have a much clearer picture of what’s at issue. I particularly appreciate how quickly she put the reports together and how open and gracious she was about considering what kinds of information would be useful to the membership.

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