SIGCHI Reimbursement Guidelines for SIGCHI Sponsored Conferences

Effective Date:  January 1, 2015


Responsible SIGCHI Officer:  Vice-President for Conferences

Last updated: February 26, 2016


Volunteers provide value to the organisation without any compensation for their time, effort or expertise.  The organisation will have certain tasks performed by staff or outsourced: tasks that require specific expertise, labour, and time availability, against appropriate compensation. However, if a volunteer takes these tasks, this is by definition a volunteer activity. Volunteers who need to spend money related to travel in order to do their volunteer task may be reimbursed according to the volunteer travel guidelines below. Volunteers who need to spend money related to their volunteer tasks other than travel, may be reimbursed according to the non-travel expenses guidelines below. In case or, and as far as, the employer of a volunteer is willing to reimburse the abovementioned expenses, the volunteer is expected not to apply for ACM SIGCHI reimbursement.


All volunteers with financial authority or responsibility are governed by ACM Code of Ethics, including conflict of interest and professional behavior.  Exceptions to this policy must be approved by the SIGCHI VP Conferences or the SIGCHI President.


In the course of planning for a conference, it will often be necessary for volunteers to travel to locations for planning meetings, site visits, etc.  This travel may be covered by the conference (or SIG) budget if prior approval is received.  All volunteer travel is covered by ACM’s Volunteer Travel Policy.    As outlined in the policy, ACM/SIGCHI should be considered a funder of last resort, and if possible other sources of funding should be utilized.  Key points of the ACM policy are:

  1. Air travel should be economy class.
  2. Travel and subsistence should be at the lowest overall cost to ACM.
  3. If you need to stay an extra night to obtain a better airfare, and the total subsistence is less than the difference of the flight cost, do so, as long as it doesn't interfere with personal requirements.
  4. If you stay extra time for personal reasons, and the resulting airfare is lower, hotel and meal costs should not be charged to ACM.
  5. If you are combining an ACM trip with regular business, airfare and subsistence should be paid on a pro-rata basis.
  6. Use of your personal automobile is permitted where this is reasonable and convenient. Mileage will be reimbursed at the IRS allowable rate along with reasonable amounts for parking and tolls. Gasoline, oil, insurance, depreciation, etc., are included in this allowance.
  7. Transportation from airports and train stations should be by the lowest commercial carrier available except when it is more appropriate to take a taxi, as in the case of time constraints or number of people traveling.
  8. Reimbursement for meals are based on a maximum daily rate and are determined by geographical areas. The maximum subsistence is $50 Per day in the United States and $60 per day in outside the United States. Meal reimbursements will be for actual expenses up to these amounts, and would not apply if one is attending an ACM meeting or function where a meal is provided.
  9. Reasonable laundry and cleaning expenses will be reimbursed for travel over three (3) days.

ACM is preparing a new conference handbook that will include Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for conference organizers.  Some relevant FAQs for reimbursing volunteer travel include:

Frequent flyer miles are not an approved travel reimbursement expense.  Flights should be purchased as cash expenses.


It is against ACM policy for volunteer leaders to collect points or awards for any hotel expenditures that are paid for by ACM.   


Conference organizers are permitted to pay out of pocket for budgeted small expenses and submit paperwork to ACM for reimbursement. This course should only be taken in the event that ACM is unable to directly pay for those expenses.