Chapter annual reports due May 24

The SPJ national office has been sending out email reminders that annual reports for all SPJ pro and student chapters are due May 24.

You can access the annual report form on the SPJ website:

Some chapter presidents and treasurers have asked about the new SPJ financial regulations that were approved last year and why additional reporting is required.

Unfortunately, there have been several cases – including one involving a region director and others involving pro chapters – of unauthorized fund withdrawals from SPJ accounts and/or admitted embezzling.

These cases of misappropriation of funds prompted the national board to adopt the new rules for regional accounts to “further enhance the organization’s accountability measures.” That’s the reason for the additional financial reporting.

I’ve received emails from some chapter treasurers about the required list of income and expenses. This doesn’t have to be tediously detailed since chapter checking account statements will show a lot of this information. A simple format for income might include membership dues, fundraiser proceeds, donations and a total; expenses might include office supplies, catering fees for dinner meetings, printing costs, etc. and a total.

We journalists sometimes procrastinate, but this isn’t a report that can be done at the last minute. So please don’t wait until the day before the deadline to review the form. You also may not be aware that SPJ now requires three members to do a financial audit. That will take some time. So if you haven’t started the annual report, start now.

Advisers to student chapters, please make sure someone in the chapter knows about the report deadline since it’s coming after the end of most spring semesters.

These reports can be a pain, but preparing them can be helpful because you can see what your chapter accomplished during the year and any areas you want to strengthen. It also can help you plan for the year ahead.

If you have questions or concerns, please let me know at or call or text me at 254/974-0326. If I don’t know the answer — and I may not since I’m new — I’ll find someone who can answer it for you. Thanks!

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