April 2011 Issue • Volume 39 • Issue 4

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ASA Revenues and Expenses:
A Report from the ASA Secretary

Catherine White Berheide, ASA Secretary

Where do ASA Revenues Come From?


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Chart 1 to the right shows the distribution of sources for ASA’s total revenues (see graph below) in 2009 based on ASA’s internal operating budget for the last audited year (see the audit at www.asanet.org/images/asa/
). ASA is currently undergoing its 2010 audit; those data will be available this summer after Council review.

Revenue from membership is the largest source of ASA income (35 %) followed by revenue from the sale of our journals (34%). An additional 6 percent of revenues comes from the sale of other publications, 17 percent from the Annual Meeting, and the final 8 percent from “other revenues” that includes rental income from ASA office space. More detail about these categories follows.

In 2009, ASA received total revenues of $5,791,687. What is labeled “Membership Revenues” combines the two sources of revenue required for ASA membership (dues and member-required journals) plus the amount of revenue received from members for section dues.  (Unlike regular dues, section dues have not been increased by ASA since 1997, even by cost of living). Member revenues defined in this way were 35 percent of ASA’s total revenues or $2,003,695.

The most significant portion of “Journal Revenues” is that obtained from annual institutional subscriptions to ASA’s self-published journals, which were just over one and half million dollars in 2009 (prior to ASA’s partnership with Sage). A second piece of journal revenue comes from ASA’s partnership with Wiley-Blackwell for annual sales of Sociological Theory and Sociological Methodology and from contributions to the editorial office. The third piece of journal revenue comes from annual sales of back issues and advertising, processing fees and reprint permissions (these are shared with authors). The last source of income from the journals is the sale of prior ASA journal content online and in JSTOR. These sources of income from the journals amount to $1,980,001 or 34 percent of ASA’s 2009 revenue.

The ASA also receives “Other Publications Revenue.”  The sources are varied and not related to the journals. They include the income from listing fees in the Job Bank and ASA Guide to Graduate Departments, advertising in Footnotes, ASA career, teaching and policy publication sales. These revenues represent 6 percent of ASA’s 2009 income or $353,654.

The revenues from the “Annual Meeting” in 2009 in San Francisco were $982,853 or 17 percent of total revenues. 

The “Other” category of income is $471,484 or 8 percent of total income. It includes many smaller and some larger sources of revenue, such as space rental in the ASA executive office (just over $100,000) and department affiliates (just over $90,000), interest income, ASA fees under research grants, and mailing list rentals.

How Does ASA Use these Resources?


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Chart 2 shows the distribution of ASA’s total expenses for 2009 ($5,894,828).

The largest expense for the ASA was the staff of the ASA Executive Office (“Personnel”), including salaries, group medical, retirement, professional development, unemployment taxes, and temporary help ($2,261,175) or 38 percent of total expenses. Because the expenses reported below for all programmatic areas of ASA activities including journals, publications, and the Annual Meeting, are expenses net of ASA staff time and costs, Chart 3 will show the approximate distribution of staffing costs across broad areas of ASA activities.

Facilities” was the second largest category at $1,143,752 (19 percent) in 2009. The largest part of these costs cover the annual depreciation, bond cost amortization, interest, real estate taxes on the headquarters space (not-for-profits are not exempt from real estate taxes in DC whether they rent or own) as well as operating costs such as utilities, fees, repairs, and maintenance. These “facilities costs” also include the annual depreciation on all the other things ASA has purchased over the last four-to-five years for which the costs are amortized over these years. These include IT (network and desktop) purchases, other technology such as that for TRAILS, the Annual Meeting paper submission system, the ASA website, the Job Bank and the Employment Service, as well as office equipment and furniture. Finally, it includes the rent for two of ASA’s off-site storage facilities.

Journal expenses in 2009 were $839,036 (14 percent), which includes printing and mailing (5 percent) and editorial offices (9 percent). Recall ASA was still self-publishing all but two of our journals in 2009. We will report on changes in our journal expense categories that result from our partnership with Sage after we complete the 2010 auditš.

Other publication” expenses were $133,820 (2 percent) for publishing Footnotes (ASA was stillprinting and mailing it in 2009), ASA Guide to Graduate Departments in Sociology, ASA Directory of Members, ASA Style Guide; teaching, education and other ASA publications.

Annual Meeting expenses were $569,346 (10 percent of total expenses in 2009). They included large items such as credit card merchant fees ($5,000), internet access ($18,000), freight ($18,000), child care subsidy ($12,500), employment center ($24,000), exhibits ($20,000), call for papers ($28,000), final program ($52,000), honorary receptions with food and open bar ($77,000), audiovisual equipment for sessions ($120,000), program committee meetings ($36,000), invited program expenses, such as travel etc. for non-sociologist and international speakers invited to present ($28,255). There are other costs for seminars and workshops, the Department Chairs and Directors of Graduate Programs conferences, tours, DAN, accessibility services, media and publicity, phones, and the travel, room and board for the ASA staff who run the meeting which was $36,000 in 2009.

Information technology expenses were $284,213 (about 5 percent). They included support for the ASA network including multiple-site backup for all Association permanent records and fiscal transactions, Internet access, repair and maintenance of equipment.

General & Administrative expenses were 3 percent ($175,219) of total expenses including all the many types of insurance ASA must carry including policies that protect officers and editors. G & A expenses also include ASA’s income taxes, telephone costs, and fees for such things as banking, the audit and tax returns, legal expenses for reviewing major contracts and advising on publishing issues, investment, and payroll fees. 

ASA Governance and Section expenses include support of all ASA committees (except the Annual Meeting Program Committees), the annual election (which is among the largest in the non-profit world because of the section elections), and awards. These were $128,783 or 2 percent in 2009ASA also transferred about 2 percent ($95,369) of the total 2009 revenues (those from section dues) to the individual Sections.

Membership expenses were 2 percent of 2009 ASA expenses, including credit card merchant fees of $77,000 for ASA financial transactions with members. Additional costs were for renewals, outreach, and the benefits package for a total of $118,035.

Inter-organizational expenses were also a little over one percent ($72,888) in 2009. They include the costs of ASA participation in organizations in which ASA is an institutional member. These include the American Association for the Advancement of Science, International Sociological Association, American Council of Learned Societies, Consortium of Social Science Association, and the National Humanities Alliance. These organizations have ASA member representatives appointed by the ASA President, and ASA works collaboratively with them on many types of activities that benefit the profession (including advocacy with congressional and science agencies on research allocations for sociology grants well as science policy issues, such as human subjects regulations or agency research priorities.) It also included dues and expenses for sending a staff sociologist to regional and allied sociological associations both to learn about issues of importance to sociologists across the country and to share the products of ASA programs.

Programmatic expenses in 2009 were $73,192 or one percent of total expenses. These reflect the non-personnel costs of the Academic and Professional Affairs Program, non-grant funded Research on the Discipline and Profession, and the Minority Affairs and Student Programs (about $73,000). 

The 2009 budget had a deficit of $103,141. The ASA has invested reserves from years in which there are operating surpluses that are used as needed to cover operating deficits.

How Are ASA Staff Costs Distributed across these Activities?


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As indicated above, all the activities of the Association on which we spend revenue as shown in Chart 2 are net of the ASA staff costs needed to carry them out. As with most disciplinary associations that are like the ASA, staff costs are about 38 percent of ASA’s annual expenses. Chart 3 provides an approximate idea of how these personnel resources are distributed across ASA activities.

The ASA has had approximately the same number of full-time-equivalent staff (FTE) for at least two decades. The number goes up or down a little from year-to-year, but it has generally remained between 27 and 30 FTEs. We have three staff who have been with the association for more than 25 years and 8 who have been with the association for about a decade (or more). The nature of the positions and the qualifications have changed over time as programs have evolved and as managing technology development has become a major factor in all of ASA’s activities from office services, membership and section support, publications, the Job Bank and Employment Services to program activities such as TRAILS.

In 2010, just under one fifth of ASA’s personnel expenses (18.4 percent) covered the cost of four staff whose work includes running the association overall as well as the headquarters; this includes the full cost of the Executive Officer, partial cost of the Deputy Executive Officer, and two FTE office services staff. The cost calculations are based on timesheets so they are approximate, but they do reflect staff costs spent on various activities regardless of whether the person was in that program area or another.  For example, the Annual Meeting took approximately 12.5 percent of the ASA staff costs in 2010. This includes not only the full-year costs of a three FTE Meeting Services staff, but also that portion of the costs of other staff who are required to produce and run the Annual Meeting (except those of the Executive Officer whose time is fully allocated to the “general services” category).


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Publications (excluding Editorial Office staff) are 7.7 percent of total personnel costs.  ASA’s Business Office is 7.5 percent and Information Technology activities are 7.2 percent of total personnel costs. Membership services are 6.1 percent and Governance & Section services are 5.2 percent of personnel costs.  Research activities (excluding grant support) are 6.4 percent while grants cover another 7.6 percent of the ASA’s personnel costs. Academic & Professional Affairs is 6.5 percent and Minority & Student Affairs is 6.1 percent.  Public Information (media etc.) is 5.5 percent and Public Affairs is 3.2 percent.


  1. The ASA contract with Sage to publish ASA’s self-published journals was the result of a request for proposal issued by the ASA in 2007 with the assistance of a professional publishing consultant and an ASA subcommittee including the Chair of the Publications Committee and the Secretary (representing EOB and Council).  In 2008 the Publications Committee reviewed all final proposals at its meeting and agreed with the recommendation of the subcommittee to select Sage. This recommendation and the proposals were reviewed by the EOB in early 2009 which forwarded the selection of Sage to Council in Winter 2009. The contract was distributed and discussed further at the July 2009 EOB meeting and at the August meetings of the Publications Committee and Council.
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