The SHARE Finance and Policy Committee hosted three town hall meetings to discuss proposed SHARE member fee scale increases. A recording of the Sept. 12, 2023, meeting is now available.
The committee has been discussing this issue for many months now, and two proposals have been selected as the best options for member review and comment. Current projections from the IHLS Finance department indicate that SHARE will be running on a deficit this fiscal year, which will deplete our cash reserves in the next few years if we do not make this change. Membership fees must be increased to continue providing service and support to members.
For the last four years, SHARE has been able to keep member fee scales the same. Unfortunately, we have reached the point where our revenues are not keeping pace with our expenses. We expect to go into a deficit this fiscal year and need to raise fees to continue providing the same quality of service our members expect.
After a detailed financial analysis, we need to generate about $240K per year over the next three years. We want to ensure that we are not raising fees every year but instead are planning more long-term.
Here are some insights to help our members understand this decision.
- This increase is necessary for member fees and our overall program. This is not because we are adding Aspen, though we are considering how that might impact membership long-term.
- SHARE has not significantly increased staff in the last four years (and many years before that). This means that we run very lean. Our most significant expense is staffing, just like many of you, and with that, any cuts mean a loss of service to our members.
- We have analyzed our budget to trim anywhere we could. We looked at each line item to make sure that they are reasonable and not overinflated.
- SHARE staff are employed by IHLS. This means that benefit packages are evaluated on a yearly basis, and salaries are also vetted through HR Source to make sure that they are in line with other nonprofit organizations in southern and central Illinois. As SHARE employees and the fiscal agent of our consortia, this is a decision made by IHLS as a whole, and the SHARE Finance & Policy Committee is not involved in salary or benefits decisions that are made for IHLS. This means that SHARE staff have a very competitive salary and benefits package, which aids in recruitment and retention. SHARE also benefits from this partnership through the close work we do with other IHLS staff and departments, like Finance, HR, and IT. They provide an in-kind contribution of well over $500,000 per year.
- The committee and SHARE staff want to make sure that we are not pricing out libraries with the smallest revenues. You will notice that we have tried very hard to balance the scales so that libraries with revenue under $100K aren’t seeing increases that could make them close or lose access to our community.
The SHARE Finance & Policy Committee has had long, thoughtful discussions about what a fee increase might look like. This is a great time to consider our overall fee structure and potentially make changes.
Visit the SHARE Governance page to listen to the recordings of each town hall meeting.