State of the Association
Although ASHA's audited financial results will not be available for a few more months, the Association's preliminary (unaudited) financial information has been compiled and, because these results are unlikely to change substantially once they have been audited, I’m pleased to share them with you as soon as they became available. (The updated membership numbers for 2018 are now official, as detailed below.)
For the year ending December 31, 2018, ASHA's total operating fund revenues (unaudited) were $62,285,898. This figure includes all operating sources of revenue: dues, fees, and non-dues revenue (such as advertising, sponsorships, sales of products, Convention revenue, etc.). Revenue growth in 2018 is primarily associated with membership growth, convention location and attendance, and continued marketing to retain current users and recruit new users of continuing education. The chart shows ASHA's operating revenue for the past 5 years and shows increases through 2018, with a slight decrease in 2015.
ASHA's total operating fund expenses (unaudited) for the year ending December 31, 2018, were $61,047,608. This figure includes the operating expenses associated with all member services—such as academic affairs, accreditation, certification, communication, ethics, government relations, professional development, professional practices, public information, scholarly publications, science and research, staff salaries and benefits, and the work of committees, boards, and councils. This chart shows ASHA's operating fund expenses for the past 5 years.
And in addition to regular operating funds, should the need arise, ASHA has sufficient reserves available to enable the Association to respond to unanticipated opportunities and challenges.
Strong Member Growth
ASHA's total membership continues to show strong growth, and retention is stable and positive. Although new certificate holders, members, and affiliates join throughout the year, a decision was made many years ago to update membership and affiliation data effective December 31 of the previous year, and to use that number throughout the subsequent calendar year as the official count of members and affiliates. This avoids having a perpetually moving target and constantly changing numbers. As of December 31, 2018, ASHA's member and affiliate counts are as follows:
| Dual certification
| In process
| Non-certified member
| International affiliate
| NSSLHA member
| Grand Total
Associates (audiology and speech-language pathology support personnel) began affiliating with ASHA in the 2011 calendar year. Consistent with the NSSLHA–ASHA integration in 2012, NSSLHA members are now student members of ASHA and, as such, were included in ASHA counts that were reported starting in 2012. ASHA's certified member counts for audiologists and for speech-language pathologists for the past 7 years are presented in the following table.
| Dual CCC
One of the big factors contributing to ASHA's steady growth is a consistently high retention rate for both audiologists and speech-language pathologists. ASHA's retention rates held to their remarkably high rates in 2018. The overall retention rate was 98.2%: 98.5% for speech-language pathologists and 96.3% for audiologists. ASHA's overall retention rate has been above 98% for more than a decade.
Another strength for our professions and for the Association is the fairly equal distribution among age groups.
A further sign of the continuing health of our professions in 2018 is that only about 1% of ASHA-certified audiologists or speech-language pathologists reported that they are unemployed and seeking work. That number has stayed at about 1% for many years, holding steady over the past 10 years.
Value for Your ASHA Dues Dollar
As with all membership organizations, from time to time ASHA members ask, “What do I get for my dues dollars?” and the related question, “Where do my dues dollars go?” That is a great question! ASHA provides powerful advocacy on your behalf, unparalleled opportunities for professional engagement and development, a multitude of ways to connect with fellow professionals, and access to a wealth of scientific and professional resources to support evidence-based practice. In addition to the ongoing
member benefits provided year in and year out, below are just a few of the major initiatives ASHA has undertaken on behalf of members since 2010 (the year when dues were last increased):
- Practice Portal – Web portal on
www.ASHA.org that provides members with state of the art information for use in the day-to-day delivery of services.
- Value of the CCCs Campaign – Major awareness campaign promoting the value of ASHA members’ services to external audiences that refer to, hire, and/or pay for audiologists’ and speech-language pathologists’ services.
- Reimbursement of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Services – ASHA regularly engages lawmakers, policymakers, regulators, and other decision-makers to ensure that audiology and speech-language pathology services are appropriately valued and that audiologists and speech-language pathologists are equitably reimbursed for the services they provide.
- Interstate Licensing Compact – An agreement between states that would offer a pathway for licensure to qualified audiologists and speech-language pathologists who wish to practice in multiple states. An interstate compact would increase access to services for clients in underserved or rural areas and would allow practitioners to more easily connect with experts and clients through the use of technology in other states. This multiyear initiative is underway.
- Revised and Enhanced Journals/Publications Program – Research and innovation keep communication sciences relevant and moving forward, continually building our knowledge and the evidence base for provision of services to the public.
Additionally, when looking through the lens of value at what ASHA membership costs in relative terms, we can see several points of comparison and benchmarks:
- The cost of membership has actually DECREASED in real terms, when using an inflation-adjusted approach. Specifically, given that dues were set at $225 in 2010, if they had increased annually to keep up with inflation, they would now be $262.47 (according to Bureau of Labor and Statistics) in 2019. Keeping dues at the same level for the past 9 years has, if you will, afforded members a discount every year for the past 9 years!
- The ASHA value proposition compares favorably, when looking at the dues of related organizations:
|| $225 (includes cost of certification)
|| $295 (membership only)
|| $225 (membership only)
Finally, in terms of where dues dollars are actually spent, the pie chart below, which can also be found on the
Expenditures Per Dollar page of the ASHA website, shows the distribution of dues dollars. From the volunteer leaders through to the staff, stewardship and return on investment of finances are always points of discussion in all the initiatives that are considered. As my last
CEO Update on cost savings indicates, this vigilance translates into a high degree of efficiency, and we hope that members see they are getting good value for their dues dollars.
2019 Proposed Budget Expenditures per Dollar
Awards and Milestones
Better Hearing and Speech Month Wins Gold
The 2018 BHSM campaign has won the highest honor (Gold) for Best Advocacy Campaign in the
Association TRENDS’ All Media Contest. This marks the second award the 2018 Better Hearing and Speech Month campaign has won, including a previous Platinum
MarCom award. Administered by Association TRENDS, the All Media Contest recognizes the top communications and marketing pieces seen in the association and nonprofit communities each year.
National Office Staff Updates
New ASHA Staff Since February 2019
- James Gray, Podcast Editor
Staff Who Have Changed Positions
- D. Chad Caruso, Business Systems Analysis Manager
Individuals Who Have Left to Pursue Other Opportunities
- Phillip Emeritz, Associate Business Systems Analyst
- Susan Karr, Associate Director, School Services in Speech-Language Pathology (retired)
- Claudia Saad, Director, Multicultural Education