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Author Topic: Is ARRL Life Membership Worth It?  (Read 120325 times)
K5MF
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Posts: 441




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« Reply #60 on: March 05, 2011, 11:22:48 AM »

When you take the time and the patience to contact your section management or his staff about something, and all they do is either acknowledge your query and say they'll get back to you--and never do, or they just ignore you entirely, then there is a definite problem.  I have, more than once, been forced to contact Newington for questions and information that the section should have supplied--but didn't.  I've been asked whether I had contacted the section management--and I've had to tell them that those people were unresponsive to the point of ignoring ARRL members in their section.

Face it.  When you belong to an organization and are forced to jump through hoops because you can't get a decent answer from local representatives, why bother being a member at all?  THAT is my complaint--my ONLY complaint--and has been from the start of my holding a ham license and joining the ARRL.  I haven't been an ARRL member for the past two years now, and I really don't miss it either.

Hey Chris, don't take this wrong, I do understand your frustration.  Noting is more frustrating than no response.  As a matter of courtesy, you do deserve a response even if it is no. But lets face it, there are incompetent, lazy, ideological, busy people in every organization.  I don't know all of the details of your situation, but I would advise you to just be persistent.  Contact them again, and again, and again, until they either tell you to go away because your issue is not a priority in the big scheme of things or they give you an adequate response.  Don't feel that they owe you something.  If the issue is really that important to you, then take it by the horns and fight for it.

Borrowing some words from John F. Kenedy, "Ask not what your organization can do for you.  Ask what you can do for your organization."  It sounds like the situation you are in is a good opportunity to get involved and make some positive changes.  That section manager is only the section manager because he/she garners enough votes to stay in that position.  Apparently there are enough hams that approve of the priorities this section manager is setting...or at least are not unhappy enough to make a change. Or are at least involved enough to get enough votes for the guy/gal. More than likely it is because few people care enough to take the time to make a change.  We see the same thing with local, state, and federal government, although I will say that I am encouraged to see so many people in the silent majority standing up to be heard.

So don't run away from the fire, run into it.  Find a way to make the organization better.

I am not a big emcomm person myself, and personally I don't see that the value of ham emcomm is all that great.  But apparently some do and it at least provides a reasonable rationalization for our existence as we fight to keep our band share.  So if that is what it takes, I am OK with it.  I just kind of accept it as the way it is and go on about my business looking for what the league has to offer that does interest me.  Heck, if nothing else, they run a pretty good buro so that in itself should be worth supporting.  Yes hams can use it without being members, but someone has to pay for it.  And it isn't like they are asking for an arm and a leg.  Just $40 a year.  Heck, I spend more than that when we eat out or go to a movie.  Even if you get absolutely nothing out of it, which I doubt would happen, support the league simply to support ham radio and to give us a united voice in legislative matters.  If you look at it as expecting nothing in return, then you will surely come out ahead.

When we look for organizations to cater to our needs, we are sure to be disappointed.  If we look to them as a vehicle through which our hard work and involvement can effect some of the changes we would like to see, then we will begin to understand how organizations work.  Being a player at least allows you to influence the agenda.  Being out of the game provides no opportunity to change anything.

Good luck to you!  I hope you can find a club to which you can feel a belonging and can find a way to support the league and amateur radio as a whole in spite of the issues you are facing.

73!
AE5QB
Tom
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K1CJS
Member

Posts: 6231




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« Reply #61 on: March 05, 2011, 04:11:42 PM »

Tom, I WAS involved--on the staff of a past section manager no less.  Making a long story short, politics reared its ugly head one too many times.  I was told that I was not wanted around because of the support I showed the old section manager.  Now, tell me, how do you get involved when section management doesn't want you involved?

Politics is one thing that shouldn't affect things in section management, but most of us know that it does, whether it should or not.

 
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K5MF
Member

Posts: 441




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« Reply #62 on: March 05, 2011, 07:53:39 PM »

Chris, politics is a part of every organization it happens and won't go away.  Even if you decide to become a part of the system.  Obviously, your ideas are contrary to those of the current regime so they are not supportive of you...sound familiar?  That pretty much describes what is going on at the national level today.  The answer is not an easy one.  They will not accept you with open arms.  You will need to take charge and organize with those with similar mindset.  If your ideas are sound, find someone who wants to run for office and hit the pavement and convince those in your area that a change is needed.  I know that is easier said than done, but that is exactly why I ran and became a member of my HOA.  I know the very thought turns people off, but I can do more good inside than out. I am working hard to change things, but change comes slowly. Don't give up. Good luck to you!  In the meantime, please find it in your heart to support the ARRL as a whole.  It really is a good organization.
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KM3W
Member

Posts: 10




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« Reply #63 on: September 28, 2011, 05:04:52 AM »

I have been a ham since 1982, 29 years. I am now 59. About a year ago, I became a life member. Why? Well, number one, because I believe in Amateur Radio. Two, I have always wanted to do it...even when I first started out. I have been fairly active since I got my license, owning and building several repeaters over the years. My wife also is a ham, as is my oldest son. The two younger kids have even expressed interest when they saw my plaque. while I don't agree with the league, on everything, I DO believe they have our best interests at heart, and lets face it, we are sitting on very valuable frequency space. Space I'm sure the powers that be would love to sell off to the highest bidder, ala UPS and 220. Without the league, we would be in much worse trouble. To me, it wasn't an issue of economics...it was pride in our public service, and the organization that enables us to do it.


Paul Dallard, jr
KM3W
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KL0S
Member

Posts: 133




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« Reply #64 on: September 28, 2011, 06:41:24 AM »

BTW, if your better half is a ham you can purchase a life membership for them as well at a very reduced rate....no second issue of QST but I thought it was worth it to support the League.  Think it was just over $200 a couple of years ago when I found out about the program.  Been a life member since the early 1980's so I'm pretty sure I've gotten my $$ worth.

Dino KL0S
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W7HBP
Member

Posts: 176




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« Reply #65 on: July 05, 2015, 06:51:10 PM »

For those who may have considered an ARRL Life Membership, and wonder if it's worth it, this was my experience:

Sometime in the 60's, a year after ARRL started Life Membership, our Division Director was bugging me at a hamfest to get a life membership. I told him I wasn't a millionaire and couldn't afford to shell out 20 years' dues. At the time membership was $6, so Life Membership would be a whopping $120!! No way I would do that!

He prevailed, and I finally signed the paper just to get him off my back.

Now, 40+ years later, I can brag about the great investment that I made.

However, I have noticed that my QST subscription will expire in 2099. I knew there was a trick to it!!!!

73,
Jim W4YA

Wow, killer deal. Especially if you were much younger. I did it, but at a cost of $995. Its a good deal if you are young and/or you like supporting ARRL. Without the ARRL, I bet we would have a lot less of the bands we have now.
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ARRL Life Member|QRZ Life Member
KD8MJR
Member

Posts: 4737




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« Reply #66 on: August 10, 2015, 11:33:12 AM »

Hmmm a reply to a 7 year old post  Huh Huh

Anyway if 20 years is what it takes for payback then your probably still on the losing side.
In even 5-10 years time I doubt their will be any print publications left in the USA. So unless the ARRL plans to buy their own printing press you are SOL on a print edition later down the road.  Secondly the question of will Ham Radio even exist in 20 years is an unknown and if it does, will the ARRL be the leading Ham Radio organization?  They are so  far behind the times right now, that it's hard to imagine them being the leaders in Ham Radio info years from now. Without they lose money and without money there ability to influence legislation dies.

I come to eHam, QRZ , DXWorld and Clublog about 100 times more than I go to the ARRL website.  I read 10 times more ham related articles on the web than what I read in QST or CQ.

If the ARRL was heading with technology your investment would be worth it, but the ARRL is clinging to what they have always been doing and that is now becoming a dead end for them.

73s
Rob
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“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”  (Mark Twain)
WA2ISE
Member

Posts: 847




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« Reply #67 on: September 22, 2015, 10:04:34 AM »

I know someone who's life membership just expired.  He's a silent key now.   Sad
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K4KAI
Member

Posts: 3




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« Reply #68 on: September 22, 2015, 07:47:01 PM »

I got my first "tickets" on the same day in July 1956 (both the Novice and Technician) and was granted the call signs KN4KAI and K4KAI, respectively. In the mid 60's, I was a Chief Radioman in the Navy and stationed in Japan with the call sign KA2AI.  I opted for life membership then (forgot the $$$ I paid, but think it was around $120.  That  gives me about 50 years of continuous ARRL membership, costing about $2.40 for each year...and at 75 years "young", I may have another 25 years to keep enjoying my investment :-)

Looking back, here it is 2015, have been continuously licensed for more than 59 years, and still love the hobby. I kind of regret swapping my K4KAI call for my present call sign, NV7SY this past year.....but it now reflects my initials and the state where I have chosen to retire. 

Living on my military retirement and social security, I think I would have second thoughts if I had waited until now, but purely for economical reasons.
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KB4QAA
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Posts: 3119




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« Reply #69 on: September 26, 2015, 01:30:16 PM »

I know someone who's life membership just expired.  He's a silent key now.   Sad
Do Buddhist hams get a renewal notice when they are reincarnated?
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WB2PKR
Member

Posts: 7




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« Reply #70 on: September 29, 2015, 03:50:56 AM »

Last time (2012?) I looked, their payroll expenses were about $9M on revenue of $14M. The top five execs total compensation was about $900K. The balance of the other payroll expenses are for staff.

None of the directors get paid. Only CEO @ $185k, CDO@ $157k, CFO @ $144K, COO @ $142K, CTO@ $140K.

All "non profits" must disclose their  tax returns. You can view them at guidestar.org.
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AC7CW
Member

Posts: 642




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« Reply #71 on: September 29, 2015, 11:28:16 AM »

Last time (2012?) I looked, their payroll expenses were about $9M on revenue of $14M. The top five execs total compensation was about $900K. The balance of the other payroll expenses are for staff.

None of the directors get paid. Only CEO @ $185k, CDO@ $157k, CFO @ $144K, COO @ $142K, CTO@ $140K.

All "non profits" must disclose their  tax returns. You can view them at guidestar.org.

I don't know if those figures are so offputting. They deal with government and legal issues, likely they would get paid similarly in the private for-profit sector. They probably are instrumental in getting the current bill passed but possibly that could be done with a change.org petition.
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KD8TUT
Member

Posts: 357




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« Reply #72 on: September 29, 2015, 12:29:30 PM »

Last time (2012?) I looked, their payroll expenses were about $9M on revenue of $14M. The top five execs total compensation was about $900K. The balance of the other payroll expenses are for staff.

None of the directors get paid. Only CEO @ $185k, CDO@ $157k, CFO @ $144K, COO @ $142K, CTO@ $140K.

All "non profits" must disclose their  tax returns. You can view them at guidestar.org.

I don't know if those figures are so offputting. They deal with government and legal issues, likely they would get paid similarly in the private for-profit sector. They probably are instrumental in getting the current bill passed but possibly that could be done with a change.org petition.

A mid sized company with roughly 6% of gross to key employee salaries. I can live with that.
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K6BRN
Member

Posts: 147




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« Reply #73 on: December 07, 2015, 07:18:14 AM »

After renewing for three years, for minimal savings (about $6), right at ARRLHQ in Newington, I realized that I would no longer have the opportunity to receive a "free" publication each year with my renewal.  Silly me.  After discussing it with a very sour young lady over the phone, she grudgingly agreed to send me the compact ARRL repeater handbook "this year only as, a courtesy" and proceeded to lecture me on ARRL expenses.  This attitude is very unusual at ARRL - they are normally very friendly.  After that, I promised myself never to renew again for more than a year, and to take every advantage of their incentive offeres to do so.  Lifetime membership seems to have no benefits other than a wall plaque and bragging rights.  The financial advantage, as someone pointed out, is about zero if NPV is calculated using the index of inflation.
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NJ0RD
Member

Posts: 1




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« Reply #74 on: January 05, 2016, 02:31:56 PM »

Even ignoring the free books and other renewal bonuses, a lifetime membership is pretty much never worth it as a financial decision, since you'll do better putting that same money in a DOW fund and renewing every year or 3.  That doesn't mean that you shouldn't do it, to demonstrate your support for the hobby and what you feel that the ARRL does for it, or for the convenience if the money doesn't matter to you, but it isn't a "bargain" by any means.
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