Referendum on Member Dues Increase


The SAA Council, which bears fiduciary responsibility for the organization, believes that implementation of a modest dues increase effective July 2016 is critical to SAA’s ongoing financial stability. See the Council’s recommendation below. For more specific details about this proposal, see the Briefing Paper.

SAA’s constitution requires that dues changes be voted on by the membership via referendum. 
Vote here.
(Voting closes December 11, 2015, at midnight CST.)

Having considered at length SAA’s strategic goals and financial resources, the SAA Council voted at its May 2015 meeting to propose to the membership a dues increase to take effect beginning July 1, 2016. A proposed dues schedule was issued for member comment during and after the Annual Business (Membership) Meeting conducted in Cleveland, Ohio, on August 22, and was modified based on member comments. The increase would apply to most member categories and would be implemented over a three-year period. The proposal is based on the Council’s unanimous support for maintaining a growth strategy for SAA as measured by the quality of its member services and the Society’s leadership role on behalf of archivists and the archives profession. The Council proposes to the membership the following motion for approval.

MOTION: THAT an increase in SAA member dues be implemented over a three-year period, beginning July 1, 2016, according to the following schedule:


Membership Category




























ID1 (part-time)





ID2 ($20-$29k/yr)





ID3 ($30-$39k/yr)





ID4 ($40-$49k/yr)





ID5 ($50-$59k/yr)





ID6 ($60-$74k/yr)





ID7 ($75-$89,999/yr)





ID8 (>$90k/yr)*















Associate Domestic





Associate International






* Currently there is no ID8 category. Presumably individuals who would be in this category are currently in the ID7 category. 

PROPOSED BY:  The SAA Council.

SUPPORT STATEMENT:  SAA has set itself on a growth-oriented path with an ambitious five-year Strategic Plan, healthy but leveling membership numbers, a high-demand education program, a publications program that is working toward a successful e-publishing business model, and nascent advocacy and public awareness efforts. This growth strategy can be sustained only if SAA maintains an appropriate balance of revenues from both member dues and non-dues sources (i.e., product and service sales). The table lays out the proposed dues schedule, which would be implemented over a three-year period. In response to member comments, the schedule includes a new ID8 category for members earning $90,000 or more per year and moves toward a more progressive dues schedule (based on the percentage of her/his income a member would pay in dues) by freezing dues in the ID1 and ID2 categories for the implementation period and adjusting the dues rates for other categories. The Council believes that the proposal is consistent with SAA’s core organizational values and is necessary to achieve SAA’s mission.

FISCAL IMPACT:  Assuming no decline in membership, the proposed three-year increase would yield an additional $42,870 in dues revenue by the end of FY 2017, an additional $69,184 by the end of FY 2018, and an additional $97,525 by the end of FY 2019. This proposal not only provides support for the Society’s routine operations but also will generate a modest yearly contribution to reserves (in the range of 3% to 6%) to support continued advances in technology and communication and future member services. It is not possible to estimate at this time how many members may drop their memberships as a result of a dues increase.

For more specific details about this referendum, please see the Briefing Paper.

This referendum will be open from Wednesday, November 18, through Friday, December 11.

Please note the following: All full individual membersstudent members, and primary contacts of institutional members who are in good standing on November 10, 2015, will be eligible to vote in the 2015 Referendum.