JLT FAQs: Where Do Our Dues Go?

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Each year, members of the Junior League of Tulsa (JLT) pay dues to serve in the organization. Presently, provisional and active members pay $175 per year and sustainers under the age of 65 pay $100 per year. Have you ever wondered what JLT does with these dues?

Of these dues, JLT pays $43 per member to The Association of Junior Leagues International (AJLI). This is a required payment that is assessed by AJLI to each of the 291 Junior Leagues worldwide. According to AJLI, the $43 per member is used for organizational development and branding, as well as community and civic leadership development.

JLT utilizes the remainder of member dues for community projects and administrative costs. JLT fundraisers, such as Holiday Market, Spring Gala, and Mentorship Luncheon, are expected to be self-sustaining, meaning that member dues are rarely, if ever, used for the primary expenses of the fundraisers. These expenses are expected to be covered by donations, sponsorships, and the funds raised by the event.

“Ideally, we’re building events to maintain a three to one ratio of revenue to expenses year to year,” said JLT treasurer Mary Beth Nesser.

Per the 2015–16 JLT budget, total dues amount to approximately 33% of budgeted revenue. The remainder of the budgeted revenue is made up primarily of grants, headquarter rental income, and fundraising income.

Revenue is allocated between administrative costs and community projects. Administrative expenses include the cost associated with running and maintaining JLT headquarters, as well as expenses associated with membership training, donor development, recruitment, and marketing, among others. Community projects include, but are not limited to Harvest Market/Kids in the Kitchen, Hawthorne Elementary, The Pencil Box, Philbrook MyMuseum Mobile, Resonance Center for Women, Street School, the Tulsa City-County Library After-School Homework Club, and scholarships awarded by JLT.

JLT has a goal to grow its endowment fund to reach $3 million. Once the fund reaches that level, the earnings it generates can pay for administrative expenses, and member dues will be spent entirely on community projects.

“This would free up money from member dues to be poured into brick and mortar campaigns, as well enlarging our community programs,” Nesser said. “Fully funding the endowment would have a huge impact on JLT.”

Note: If you have a question about JLT you’d like Gusher to answer, email your question to gusher@jltulsa.org.