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Author Topic: ARRL Membership Dues Increase  (Read 107857 times)
KB1WSY
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« Reply #15 on: July 25, 2015, 01:34:16 PM »

I would like to see a membership level without QST.

An interesting idea. However, I belong to all sorts of organizations and basically all of them "roll in" some kind of magazine or periodical as part of the membership (which doesn't mean your idea is a bad one, just that it would be fairly unusual).

I tried to figure out how much money is spent on producing QST but ARRL's latest annual report (the 2014 report, which contains the 2013 numbers) doesn't break it down.

Overall revenues of ARRL, including membership dues (about $5.7 million) and other income sources: $15 million.

Amount spent on producing "publications": about $4.1 million.

Revenues from selling publications: about $4.1 million.

However it's not clear whether QST is assigned to the "publications" account, or whether it would be rolled into a separate account called "programs and services" (which accounts for about $8 million of expenditures). After all, QST is (mostly) not sold, but provided as part of ARRL membership. It's a while since I've seen it on a newsstand....

My guess is that that ARRL's costs wouldn't change much even if there were an option for a "non-QST" membership. I assume that the marginal cost of an increase or decrease in the print run is not very large, in the context of the overall cost of putting out the magazine. Also, if it had a lower number of copies mailed, advertising revenues (nearly $2.6 million for ARRL overall) would presumably fall; the impact of this might even make a "non-QST" option a non-starter because it could cause a net deterioration in ARRL's finances.

The ARRL annual report is here:

http://www.arrl.org/files/file/About%20ARRL/Annual%20Reports/2014-AnnualReport-Web.pdf

73 de Martin, KB1WSY
« Last Edit: July 25, 2015, 01:40:37 PM by KB1WSY » Logged
K2DFC
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« Reply #16 on: July 25, 2015, 01:53:49 PM »

And they're never going to tell you how much it cost to produce QST since they offer a digital only copy with no savings in your membership.

There are many national organizations that offer membership and a magazine. But I haven't seen one yet that charges $49. Just sayin.
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KB1WSY
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« Reply #17 on: July 25, 2015, 02:37:55 PM »

There are many national organizations that offer membership and a magazine. But I haven't seen one yet that charges $49. Just sayin.

All of the other membership organizations I belong to charge much more (starting at around the $200/year level). That's an unfair comparison because they are professional organizations, not hobby groups.

But here is a direct comparison: the British RSGB, the more or less exact equivalent of ARRL, charges 51 pounds sterling per year -- that's nearly US$80.

The French REF (again, ARRL equivalent) charges 69.50 euros/year (US$76) with the association's magazine subscription in traditional paper version, and 45 euros without any magazine subscription.

Dues for American hobby organizations tend to be lower because the "market" is much larger and advertising and other revenues are often substantial.

Although I understand the concerns of hams who are on a fixed income, I consider ARRL a bargain even at $49/year, when you take into account the broad range of its activities.

A number of foreign hams belong to ARRL (as well as their home ham society), which is in part because it is quite a good deal.

73 de Martin, KB1WSY
« Last Edit: July 25, 2015, 02:46:28 PM by KB1WSY » Logged
W1BR
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« Reply #18 on: July 25, 2015, 04:53:26 PM »

The ARRL is a publishing house, and they rely on income from QST subs and ad sales, as well as other publications that they offer.  The publishing end of the ARRL is probably for profit. If they allowed membership without QST, then whatever costs in the  sub for magazine would be offset by lower ad revenues.

Pete
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KD8TUT
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« Reply #19 on: July 25, 2015, 08:54:19 PM »

The ARRL is a publishing house, and they rely on income from QST subs and ad sales, as well as other publications that they offer.  The publishing end of the ARRL is probably for profit. If they allowed membership without QST, then whatever costs in the  sub for magazine would be offset by lower ad revenues.

Pete

As a note- I'm a current director and former secretary of a 501(c)(4) which is why I'm familiar with this. And I'm not an attorney.

The publications the ARRL provide (sell) would most likely not not need to be part of a separate for-profit corp. As long as the publications fall within the mission of the 501(c)(3) corporation- no "unrelated income" taxation occurs.

If the ARRL suddenly started selling snowmobiles (an activity unrelated to it's mission) then that would be a taxable activity considered "unrelated business income".

The financial reports are available on the ARRL website.

As an aside, they are not flush with cash. It also looks like they are putting a good deal of revenue into investments to ensure the functioning of the organization beyond income limitations.

I looked into this pretty heavily when I looked into becoming a life member. The information is out there- I'd suggest every ham take a look and see what they are doing.

« Last Edit: July 26, 2015, 07:59:20 AM by KD8TUT » Logged

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NK7Z
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« Reply #20 on: July 25, 2015, 08:56:21 PM »

This week the ARRL announced it will increase the annual membership dues by $10. Beginning 2016 a yearly membership will cost $49. Will this cause you to leave the ARRL?

No...  The ARRL does enough good for Ham radio I have no issues with an additional ten bucks a year.
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Dave
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W9IQ
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« Reply #21 on: July 26, 2015, 04:52:33 AM »

The link that was posted for the audited financial statements of the the ARRL is incorrect as that is a link for the foundation financials. The 2014 annual report can be found here:

http://www.arrl.org/files/file/About%20ARRL/Annual%20Reports/2014-AnnualReport-Web.pdf

Beyond the financials in the report, it is a very nice summary of all of the activities that the ARRL supports. The audit also confirms that there is no unrelated business tax income.

- Glenn W9IQ
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- Glenn W9IQ

I never make a mistake. I thought I did once but I was wrong.
W2UIS
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« Reply #22 on: July 26, 2015, 07:51:46 AM »

Everybody is getting off topic.

The question is: This week the ARRL announced it will increase the annual membership dues by $10. Beginning 2016 a yearly membership will cost $49. Will this cause you to leave the ARRL?
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NK7Z
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« Reply #23 on: July 26, 2015, 08:14:48 AM »

Everybody is getting off topic.

The question is: This week the ARRL announced it will increase the annual membership dues by $10. Beginning 2016 a yearly membership will cost $49. Will this cause you to leave the ARRL?

Not everybody...  Smiley  Look up three posts, not including this one...
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Dave
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W5DAJ
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Posts: 37




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« Reply #24 on: July 26, 2015, 01:18:26 PM »

My last 3 year stint expired a month or two ago. I haven't renewed as it's a lot of money. Life membership is a fortune. I wish they would do like the NRA and once in a while have a life membership half off sale. At 58 I don't necessarily anticipate 25 more years to make a life membership pay off. If I could get a one time life offer at maybe $495 or less it would be tempting.
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W9IQ
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« Reply #25 on: July 26, 2015, 03:21:48 PM »

No, it will not cause me to leave the ARRL. In fact, it caused me to submit my life membership application. By applying in 2015, the payback is less than 20 years. It gets even shorter if when they raise the dues again during that period.

- Glenn W9IQ
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- Glenn W9IQ

I never make a mistake. I thought I did once but I was wrong.
KB1WSY
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Posts: 1307




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« Reply #26 on: July 27, 2015, 11:22:34 AM »

The link that was posted for the audited financial statements of the the ARRL is incorrect as that is a link for the foundation financials. The 2014 annual report can be found here:

http://www.arrl.org/files/file/About%20ARRL/Annual%20Reports/2014-AnnualReport-Web.pdf


Glenn -- the link that you posted is identical to the link that I posted. Or is there something I don't understand?

73 de Martin, KB1WSY
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N2EY
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Posts: 5042




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« Reply #27 on: July 27, 2015, 11:27:53 AM »

Everybody is getting off topic.

The question is: This week the ARRL announced it will increase the annual membership dues by $10. Beginning 2016 a yearly membership will cost $49. Will this cause you to leave the ARRL?


No, it won't.

It WILL cause me to renew early, to save a few bucks.

Fun fact: The dues have been at the present level since 2001. Adjusted for inflation, the dues should be $52 and change.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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AA1PR
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« Reply #28 on: July 27, 2015, 07:24:08 PM »

one can only imagine how much they would save & be able to reduce costs if they limited the mass mailings begging for $$$

so I'm confused as to why members basically fund these mass mailings & now need to pay another $10

I for one could care less about QST, I'd rather see a reduced membership fee for less (&) that only allows for one to be able to use the outgoing QSL buro for example

seems there is so much conflict in ARRl, since it supports contesting that is individualistic (individualism) yet wants to preserve group activities that is collectivistic in nature

these two dont really go hand in hand
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W6BP
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« Reply #29 on: July 27, 2015, 08:49:03 PM »

one can only imagine how much they would save & be able to reduce costs if they limited the mass mailings begging for $$$

Yes, I find the donation pitches somewhat annoying, but not because it's costing me anything.  If the ARRL spends X dollars to solicit and process donations (including printing, postage, salaries,etc.), and they get X or more dollars in return, it costs the members nothing.  I assume the ARRL is astute enough to watch both sides of that equation carefully.

And just to stay on topic: I renewed my membership just before the dues-hike announcement, and plan to renew again next year. 
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