June 2024 – History of SVPI Affiliate Dues 

Our SVPI leadership team has received multiple requests from affiliates to explain how dues are calculated and what it means in terms of equity across the network. 

As the interim leadership of SVPI, we can provide context and history for previous decisions that will hopefully increase transparency and clarity about how affiliate dues operated in the past. And, as part of our overall business model change and revitalization effort of the SVP network, we can commit to working with affiliate leaders to develop an affiliate dues assessment process that is a better match for our network’s shared purpose and that is transparent and equitable across the network moving forward.

We hope this additional history in how dues have been assessed adds to the shared understanding of how the network evolved and what’s needed next. 


Dues History: In the Beginning

When SVPI was founded in 2001, the founders of the network decided the best approach to funding SVPI was through a combination of a base payment per affiliate, plus a contribution per partner at each affiliate. This base + per partner contribution approach lasted through 2014. 

Each affiliate should have its own historical record of invoices that reflects this base + per partner contribution through 2014.  

2015 Dues Change: Base + Revenue

Under the leadership of former CEO Ruth Jones and through the leadership of CEO Tim Schottman, SVPI changed its affiliate dues, removing the “per partner” contribution and replacing it with a percentage of revenue, and excluded some revenue. This was explained in a brochure sent to affiliate leaders at the time as well as the Fee Policy.

The new fee structure for US-affiliates: A base fee of US $6,000 plus 1.5% of the prior fiscal year’s gross revenue (less excluded revenue), not to exceed a 15% increase from the previous year.  For affiliates outside the US: Fees are $5,000 USD per each “established” country chapter.  

Each affiliate should have its own historical record of submitting a Fee Calculator (a spreadsheet) to SVPI that SVPI then turned into an invoice for the affiliate. 

In 2020, under the leadership of CEO Sudha Nandagopal, there was an effort to help affiliates in a difficult pandemic year, so new discounts were offered to affiliates who paid in a lump sum and/or who paid early in the year. 

In 2021, there was an early effort from SVPI leadership to review and evaluate the affiliate fee process. This included a network wide survey that was sent to all affiliates about network dues. It was the last year that the Fee Calculator was used to determine affiliate fees. 

2022 Dues Change: “Simplified & Frozen”

In 2022, SVPI announced a new two-year dues structure process that let affiliates know their dues calculation would be simplified and frozen and would stay the same in 2022 and 2023.

From what we can see in the internal SVPI records, the SVPI staff at the time reviewed each affiliates’ 2021 fee and generated a new fee for 2022 that was considered “simplified.” For example, if an affiliate fee in 2021 was $6,719.27, the 2022 fee was $6,000; a $11,762.51 fee in 2021 was simplified to $11,000 in 2022. In practice, what this means is that most dues were rounded down to a flat number and discounts for early payment were offered. 

A “simplified” invoice (i.e., an invoice that was not tied to a fee calculator showing base + revenue amounts) was sent to affiliates that reflected this change. 

In 2023 SVPI announced dues would stay frozen through 2024 at 2022 levels. This decision was made to provide leadership with time amidst the business model change and the work with affiliates on an updated value proposition. The communication to the network did include a breakdown of what dues paid for as well as SVPI’s other sources of revenue, though it did not include the historical information about how the dues had been calculated up to this point.  

In summary, this means that each affiliate’s fees have stayed relatively flat since 2021, as 2022, 2023 and 2024 dues were frozen at 2021 levels; and without asking for financial information from affiliates to recalculate or evaluate dues. 

Differences across Affiliates & Requests for a Dues Review

Historically, affiliate dues have not been assessed by budget per se – dues have been assessed by revenue and there has been “excluded” revenue which is why the Fee Calculator was used to help affiliates and SVPI determine each affiliates dues transparently. Because each affiliate is unique in the way it raises revenue, and depending on which sources are excluded, there can be differences between what affiliates pay even though their budgets may be similar. 

Since the fee calculator has not been used since 2021, current leadership of SVPI has no way of knowing what the budget is of any affiliate, nor their revenue strategies – unless an affiliate leader is willing to share that information with SVPI. 

Given SVPI’s lack of visibility into affiliates’ budgets and revenues, our leadership team has repeatedly expressed our invitation for affiliate leaders to reach out and make a formal request for any review of affiliate dues. 

Next Steps & Moving Forward

SVPI’s leadership is working to increase transparency, accountability and collaboration throughout the network on many fronts, with the goal of increasing resources for the whole. 

SVPI, in collaboration with our affiliate leaders, needs to revamp the affiliate dues process so that it is a better match with the strong federation model we are developing together. 

Under the new CEO, Ciara Garcia, SVPI will continue to lead the work to finalize the SVP brand value proposition that SVPI can offer SVP affiliates and a network-wide affiliate alignment criteria and timeline; among our work to tell a collective story and raise new resources.

This Fall, SVP affiliates will expect to receive detailed, transparent information about: 

  • 2025 overview of the Benefits of Affiliation for SVP affiliates.
  • Information on SVPI’s 2025 budget, revenue and annual goals. 
  • Updated and transparent information on how dues will be assessed moving forward. 
  • An invoice for 2025 with payment plan options.
  • A signed annual agreement between SVPI & the SVP affiliate. 

We look forward to developing a dues structure that is mutually beneficial between SVP affiliates and SVPI so that we can grow our collective impact through the SVP brand.