The president’s job has evolved, in reality, to at least a half time position in terms of time requirements to fulfill the role. The president’s job includes attending three weekend meetings per year, making other trips representing the association, preparing for Board and association meetings, and generally handling Board and association business whenever issues come up 7 days a week/365 days a year. The first year of the two-year president-elect term is considered to entail a quarter of that work, and the second year of the president-elect term is considered to entail half of that work.
The idea of stipends for the president and president-elect originated in the late 1980s, with the acknowledgment of the amount of work required to do the job and with the recognition that no private practitioner would ever be president of AAMFT if they had to suffer the income loss because of time commitment. Academics have historically been given release time to contribute to professional organizational activities (although that in itself has also changed over the years). However, even today, for private practitioners, association service means only a loss of income with no corresponding "vitae building" return.
The original amount of the president’s stipend was based on the practitioner income survey done by Psychotherapy Finances. The Board of Directors took the amount quoted as the average MFT salary, divided that amount in half (half time job) and decided to establish that amount as the stipend. The assumption, which has proven generally accurate, is that by the time an individual runs for and wins an election as president of AAMFT, she or he is usually making more than the "average" MFT. Therefore, even the stipend represents less than the normal income loss for those who serve as president of AAMFT.
The basis of the AAMFT president’s $48,750 stipend, then, is one half of the average income of a full time MFT practitioner. The president-elect’s stipend is one quarter of that amount the first year of the p-e term, and one half of that amount the second year of the p-e term. Therefore, the p-e stipend is $18,281 the first year of the term, and $36,563 the second year of the term. The full AAMFT Board reviews and approves stipend amounts every two years when a new president takes office.