STC Board Approves New Community Funding Model

After reviewing the results of a knowledge-based governance survey sent to all Society members, the STC Board of Directors voted Tuesday to approve a new community-funding model described as a “Partial Pass-Through.” Under this model, STC communities will receive funding based strictly on the number of members in a chapter or SIG. During the budgeting process, all communities will receive a fixed amount of funding per member—$15 per chapter member and $4 per SIG member—regardless of projected expenses and income, or estimated reserves at year end. All funding under the newly adopted model will be contingent upon a budget submission by the 31 October deadline and will take effect for the 2013 membership year.

KBG Survey Summary

Society Treasurer Aiessa Moyna presented the results of the survey to the board members and senior staff assembled for the monthly Board of Directors teleconference. Moyna indicated that the survey results were consistent with what Society leadership has been hearing from community leaders and members in recent months. While more than 200 members based in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia responded, the overwhelming majority of responses (about 77%) were U.S.-based. Some individuals outside the United States had expressed a strong preference for one model and had asked the board to consider instituting separate models for United States vs. international chapters, if the survey results supported it. An analysis of the data shows that a majority of respondents from all regions prefer the Partial Pass-Through model.

Other highlights of the survey include:

  • Results for international respondents were directionally consistent with results for all respondents—there are no significant disparities.
  • Overall, there was a strong preference for Option 2, the Partial Pass-Through model. More than 50% of all respondents said they agree or strongly agree that this is an appropriate model for communities.
  • The next-most-popular alternative was Option 3, the Flat Funding model. About 45% of all respondents said they agree or strongly agree that this is an appropriate model.
  • Overall, there was strong opposition to Option 4, the Community-Managed model. Nearly 80% of all respondents said they disagree or strongly disagree that this is an appropriate model; more than 64% of non-U.S. respondents said they disagree or strongly disagree that this is an appropriate model.
  • There also was strong opposition to Option 1, the (current) Reserves Target model. About 57% of all respondents said they disagree or strongly disagree that this is an appropriate model; more than 64% of non-U.S. respondents said they disagree or strongly disagree.

The knowledge-based governance survey used to inform the Board decision was the latest in a series of efforts by Society leaders to engage and collaborate with STC members in identifying the best funding model for communities. Other outreach efforts included a community webinar, sessions at the 2012 STC Summit, one-on-one conversations with community leaders, LinkedIn and MySTC discussions, and review of the proposed models with the Community Affairs Committee.

37 thoughts on “STC Board Approves New Community Funding Model”

  1. So, in other words, the community funding model is back where it was a few years ago (except the numbers are a bit different). Right? If so, I agree that’s a good thing.

    Is there any chance the board might fine-tune this model? For example, several of us in the LinkedIn discussion supported Partial Pass-Thru combined with some limited additional help for chapters that have low reserves.

  2. Larry – When the Budget Review Committee convenes in November, I think it’s safe to say we would like to be able to help chapters that may be struggling to build or rebuild reserves. That said, the new partial pass-through model will give us a little less flexibility than the previous reserves-target model to do this.

    With the previous model, chapters at the reserves target were ineligible for funding, so funds earmarked for them remained in the funding pool and could be used to support chapters needing extra assistance.

    With the new model, all chapters that submit budgets will receive funding. We expect this will leave a smaller pool of unused funds for chapters needing extra assistance. To the extent that we have unused funds that we can reallocate, we will try to address all requests for additional funding. However, we do expect that this may be more challenging than in the past.

    We won’t know for sure until the budget review process begins in November. What we likely will have to do is address all standard funding requests first, and then see how our unused funds stack up against any additional requests. Does that make sense?

    1. Esa, that makes perfect sense. Thanks for taking the time to explain it so thoroughly and so well. I’m impressed with how well you and the other STC leaders have communicated with the members throughout the entire discussion of community funding models.

  3. Can I add my voice to the choir of positive responses?

    I truly appreciate how the society responded to the membership. Throughout this conflict, I really felt like the STC staff and leadership were listening and hearing. I never detected any hint of defensiveness or denial that might have shut down the flow of open communication.

    The decision, the decision makers, and the decision making process were all excellent throughout. I tip my hat to all of you and all of us!

  4. How does this impact SIGs? Those SIGs that had bank accounts were forced to close them. Will we be allowed to open bank accounts again, or we will need to continue to submit expenses for payment by STC and rely on STC reporting for managing our budget? I’m reading a lot about chapters, but see only one mention of SIGs–that we’ll receive $4 per person.

    1. Hi, Suzanne. SIGs will continue to to have most financial transactions handled by the STC office. As a result, the SIGs will receive an allocation of $4 per member and will continue to receive monthly reports from the office to help them track their revenues and expenses against that allocation.

  5. What Viqui said.
    It was a tough time with many tough decisions that had to be made. The current crew in charge obviously care (not that the previous ones didn’t) about regaining trust and rebuilding relationships. Sad thing about trust is it takes years to build and an instant to destroy. I say we draw a line in the sand and move on.
    Please add my voice to those who are clamouring for the return of a membership fee structure that automatically includes membership in one community – SIG OR Chapter. To keep with the theme of funding could we call it “partial a la carte pricing?”

    1. Hi, Melissa. A decision on the membership dues structure is being made separately from the community funding question. You’ll be hearing more about this as we approach the annual membership renewal period in October. In the meantime, thank you for sharing your opinions with us. We appreciate hearing from you!

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