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Society Operating Guidelines

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Our Society Operating Guidelines describe in detail the manner in which American Society of Safety Professionals is structured and governed. They are intended to accompany and be consistent with ASSP bylaws.

Section 6.5: Development Fund Process

I. Purpose and Scope

Development funds are board-designated funds from ASSP's reserves intended for research and development of new programs and initiatives that once completed will benefit ASSP as a whole. These funds are intended to provide short-term financial flexibility to fund unbudgeted opportunities.

Development funds are approved for specific projects and if required may extend over more than one fiscal year to ensure project completion.

Development funds approved for a specific project cannot be used for any other purpose.

II. Definitions

A. Research Projects

  • Acquire new knowledge; investigate and discover new information, products, services, technology, methods or markets;
  • Include but are not limited to: literature searches, databases, surveys and engaging other organizations, agencies and persons, including consultants;
  • Research results form the basis for decisions, action plans and development of new or revised Society programs and activities.

B. Development Projects

  • Produce new and revised programs or products; member or professional services;
  • Include but not limited to: grant proposal writing, curriculum development, delivery/distribution system development, product or media design, packaging and production;
  • Development results fulfill Society strategic goals and objectives; generate non-dues revenues.

III. Development Fund Availability

Requests for funds ideally are made during the annual budgeting process for approval by the board. All requests should be reviewed by the Finance Committee prior to board approval.

Funds allocated to a specific approved project will be available until the project is completed. Funds not allocated to a specific project will be returned to unrestricted reserves. There is no carryover of unallocated funds.

IV. Request and Approval Process

A member of the Board of Directors or appropriate staff liaison develops a written proposal for development funds.

The Board of Directors approves requests for funds. The Executive Committee is authorized to approve development requests of $25,000 or less.

Approved development fund expenses shall not be charged against income from budgetary operations. They will be reported in the financial statements as “board-designated expenditures," as a change in net assets.

Project submittal should include the following information:

  • Alignment to current business planning process
  • Council or staff responsible
  • Project description, purpose and scope that describes benefit to ASSP/members and how aligned with the strategic plan
  • Reason for requesting reserve funds
  • Detailed pro forma including key assumptions, projected revenues, and gross profits
  • Timeline to completion
  • Selection process for contracting vendors, if necessary
  • Purchase requests/contracts

The appropriate staff liaison reviews the request with the director of finance for completeness and forwards it to the vice president, finance, Board of Directors or Executive Committee as appropriate.

  • The vice president, finance, schedules a meeting with the Finance Committee to review the request on its financial considerations and makes a recommendation to the Board of Directors or Executive Committee.
  • The staff liaison and director of finance forward this recommendation with the request to the chief executive officer who places the request on the agenda for the next meeting of the Board of Directors or Executive Committee, or if it is an emergency, schedules a special meeting.
  • The Board or Directors or Executive Committee approves/disapproves all development fund projects including their timing and disbursement. Approval requires a simple majority vote.
  • The chief executive officer notifies the requestor of the final decision.
  • The director of finance disburses funds in accordance with current ASSP financial policies.

V. Accountability

The Project Manager or Staff Liaison provides updates to the Society Controller and/or Vice President, Finance who provides the Finance Committee and Board of Directors financial reports on the disbursement and balance of funds by project until completion.

The Finance Committee shall review Development Fund spending and may recommend to the Board or Executive Committee that funds be withheld or discontinued for projects not performing to expectations.

Staff shall update the Finance Committee and Board on the progress of significant, multi-year projects.  Completed projects are to be included in revenue and/or expense as part of the normal budgeting process as appropriate. 


Approved By | Date: Board of Directors | 12/2019
Replaces Edition Dated: 06/2014
Next Revision Due: 12/2022