Why, you ask? Good question. Our membership dues have been at the same level since the organization started offering memberships! That has been a long time. Fifteen years? It has been a topic of conversation at many of our yearly Face to Face board meetings and we have always just gone back to not making an increase after much debate. Well, this past Face to Face meeting we had a very frank discussion about our dues structure and how it might not possibly sustain the organization.
We had to make a couple really hard decisions regarding membership dues and conference fees. The bottom line is that we have to increase dues and conference fees because the expenses that we incur with processing the dues have increased. PayPal takes their cut with every transaction and rightly so as they offer us an easy way to collect the dues and fees. So we set a new dues schedule and we felt that it really wasn’t a significant hardship. We raised each membership level by $5.00. That means Senior dues will be $40, Individual will be $45 and Family will be $65, however we left Organization at $100.00.
What we also did was eliminate the Lifetime Membership due to the cost of making the plaques. There is a high cost to making those plaques but most importantly if we cannot keep money flowing in with membership dues then eventually we will not be able to turn out our newsletters or have an operating cushion. Many of our regular members have turned Lifetime – I am sure it is because of the beautiful work that Dan does on the plaques. So, as of July 1, 2017 the dues will be increased and the Lifetime Membership will be eliminated. The other change we made was to increase the conference fees for the same reason, processing fees, $5 per category. We felt it was a very minor increase but needed an explanation. If you have any questions or comments please email us at [email protected].