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FINANCIAL SUPPORT


PCSAS's annual operating budget of about $300,000 is modest when compared to the budgets of other such agencies. Nevertheless, generating financial support for this new accreditation system presents a challenge.  Expenses that must be covered include administrative personnel; travel costs associated with Board of Directors' meetings and with the Review Committee's meetings to evaluate accreditation applications; the cost of site visits to applicant programs; and the basic overhead costs of operating the corporation.

During the initial start-up, PCSAS could not possibly generate enough revenue from its accreditation activities alone to cover these costs. To meet its budget goals, PCSAS initially depended on the generous underwriting support of educational institutions, individuals, corporations, and granting agencies who share PCSAS's values and support its mission:

1. Founders' Circle Fund: For Universities. PCSAS invites all universities sympathetic to the organization's mission of advancing public health through the promotion of science-centered education and training in clinical psychology to join the PCSAS Founders' Circle by contributing to the Founders' Fund.

The Founders' Fund represents a "pay forward" approach to building a financial foundation for PCSAS over the start-up period. To become a member of the Founders' Circle, a university is asked to pledge $15,000 per year for five years to the Founders' Fund.  To date, seventeen universities joined the Founders' Circle.  In addition, PCSAS has received financial support from the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science (PCSAS's parent organization), and from other generous donors. 

To date, these seventeen pioneering universities pledged financial underwriting support for PCSAS:

Duke University
Harvard University
Indiana University
Northwestern University
Purdue University
Stony Brook University
The Ohio State University
University of Arizona
University of California, Los Angeles
University of Delaware
University of Illinois--U/C
University of Kentucky 
University of Missouri
University of Pennsylvania
University of Southern California
University of Wisconsin
Washington University in St. Louis

Pledges to join the Founders' Circle provide critical support to the ultimate success of PCSAS.  As the number of accredited programs increases over time, PCSAS should become self-supporting through application fees and dues. Until then, however, science oriented universities are encouraged to step up and support PCSAS by joining the Founders' Circle.

FAQs ABOUT THE FOUNDERS' CIRCLE FUND: Here are some common questions about the Founders' Fund

Q. Why should a university care about PCSAS and why should it consider contributing?
A: PCSAS's accreditation criteria are focused primarily on "outcomes"--i.e., the production of high quality clinical scientists--rather than on "inputs"--i.e., specific course requirements, number of practicum hours, etc. PCSAS's focus is aimed at liberating universities from arbitrary requirements, with the intent of promoting innovation, improving scholarly quality, and enhancing public health. Moreover, PCSAS-accredited programs will be designated publicly as successful science-centered doctoral programs. As a result, these programs should benefit from being able to differentiate themselves from other types of doctoral programs in clinical psychology. This should help PCSAS-accredited programs attract the best science-oriented graduate students and faculty. Ultimately, the public at large should benefit from having improved access to top-quality mental and behavioral health care. (For an expanded summary of PCSAS's rationale and implications see Why Support PCSAS?.)

Q: How will the Founders' Fund be spent?
A: During the start-up phase, these funds will go directly toward meeting PCSAS's annual budget, even as PCSAS's operating revenues should grow. Meanwhile, PCSAS will be working to establish a more permanent funding base by seeking gifts from patrons, benefactors, and other sources. The long-term goal is to build an endowment, which not only should sustain PCSAS for the long haul, but should help ensure the integrity of PCSAS's accreditation decisions by isolating them from the pressure to accredit more programs simply in order to raise operating funds.

Q: What do Founders' Circle members receive in return for contributing to the Fund?
A: Doctoral programs in psychological clinical science at universities that have joined the Founders' Circle pay no application fees or site visitor expenses when they apply for PCSAS accreditation; and if accredited, they pay no annual dues for their first five years. Of course, these contributions do not influence the PCSAS Review Committee's evaluations, as all applicant programs are reviewed on the same basis. However, contributing universities may move to the head of the review queue when they apply for PCSAS accreditation, if they wish. In addition, institutions in the Founders' Circle will be recognized publicly by PCSAS in appreciation for their pioneering support. Above all, Founders' Circle members will be able to take pride in knowing that they were leaders in the effort to advance public health through the promotion of science-centered doctoral education and training in clinical psychology.

Q: How will PCSAS support itself at the end of the start-up period?
A: In addition to fees and dues, PCSAS will rely on gifts, grants, and foundation support. In addition, it is seeking to build an endowment to ensure its long-term viability.

Q: What if fundraising efforts fall short, either initially or in the long term?
A: PCSAS represents the best opportunity in our lifetime to create a new, science-centered accreditation system in clinical psychology aimed at reforming doctoral education and advancing public health. It cannot be allowed to fail. If necessary, PCSAS will continue to operate on the available funds until it succeeds.

Q: Will doctoral programs be forced to choose between APA and PCSAS accreditation?
A: Many programs are likely to choose to be dually accredited for some time--at least until PCSAS is well established. The two accreditation systems serve very different purposes, so they should be construed as complementary, rather than competitive.

Q: How does an institution pledge its support and join the Founders' Circle?
A: Typically, the process begins with the faculty of the clinical science program meeting to discuss its readiness to request support. The next step is for the program's leadership to ask for the department's backing. Finally, the program and departmental leaders would meet with the appropriate university administrator(s), present their case, and ask the university to pledge its support. If the university agrees, its pledge is documented in writing to avoid future misunderstandings, and the university transfers its pledged funds to PCSAS annually for five years.

2. The Patrons' Fund: For Private Individuals and Personal Estates. Individual donors who share the values and goals of PCSAS and wish to offer financial support may contribute at whatever level their personal circumstances permit. Personal donations to PCSAS are tax deductible, within the limits of the current tax code. Donors who express a wish to remain anonymous may do so. Otherwise, PCSAS will publish an annual report in which it acknowledges donors and expresses its gratitude. The annual report recognizes five levels of contributions to the Patrons' Fund:

Crystal=donations up to $999.
Silver=donations from $1,000 to $2,499.
Gold=donations from $2,500 to $4,999.
Platinum=donations from $5,000 to $9,999.
Diamond=donations of $10,000 or more

Larger contributions to PCSAS would receive a distinctive recognition beyond these categories. All donations from private contributors or personal estates may be designated for use either to help underwrite PCSAS's annual operating expenses or to help build PCSAS's Endowment Fund. Potential patrons also are encouraged to consider making future donations by including PCSAS in their estate plan.

Contributions should be sent to:

c/o Alan G. Kraut, Executive Director
Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS)
1800 Massachusetts Ave NW, Suite 402
Washington, DC  20036-1218  USA

PCSAS is grateful for all past contributions to the Patrons' Fund (2009 to 2016; * donates contributions in multiple years). PCSAS especially acknowledges and appreciates the generous contributions it received in 2015 in remembrance of Richard Bootzin: 

            Crystal:           David Barlow; K. Berkowsky; Peter Herman & Janet Polivy; Greg Miller
Levine; John McSweeny; Henry Roediger; Rosen; J. R. & M. Vipperman

            Silver:            Sarah Brookhart*; Don Fowles*; S. Weinstein

            Gold:              Richard M. & Kathleen J. McFall*

            Platinum:       Alan G. Kraut & Jane A. Steinberg*

  Diamond: Academy of Psychological Clinical Science*; Robert Simons & Mary Graham

3. Benefactors' Fund: For Corporations and Institutions. PCSAS also is eager to tell its story to the business community and other entities that may have an interest in contributing funds to the improvement of public health and to promoting science-centered education.  These gifts may be eligible to be treated as tax deductible, within the applicable tax code and individual circumstances.

4. Grant Funds: Finally, PCSAS is interested in possible grant support from federal agencies, from private foundations, and from other sources of grant support.

Summary: PCSAS must rely on a patchwork of funding sources for the resources it needs to cover its operating costs. Although it will generate increased revenue over time through its accreditation activities, it is unlikely that these funds alone will be sufficient to cover PCSAS's operating costs for some time yet. Thus, the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science has pledged to provide supplemental financial support. In addition, universities and individuals already have begun to step forward with pledges of  financial and "in kind" support. However, it would ensure the organization's long-term survival if it built an endowment of sufficient size to yield a return that will sustain the enterprise indefinitely. Financial support from institutions and individuals is critical to PCSAS's future success.

For additional information about PCSAS's finances, please contact Alan G. Kraut, PCSAS Executive Director (akraut@pcsas.org).

 

© 2011, Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System, All Rights Reserved.
Last update: 05/17/2017