A Message from ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5URhttp://www.arrl.org/member-bulletin?issue=2023-07-23
Dear ARRL members,
Yesterday, the ARRL Board of Directors completed their second annual meeting. I’m writing to let you know that they made the tough, but necessary, decision to increase the regular membership dues rate to $59 a year starting January 1, 2024 (see 2024 Dues Rates). Additionally, we have chosen to separate the printed, mailed magazine from regular membership. Members will be able to choose whether they want to add-on a print subscription to any of our magazines including QST, On the Air, QEX, and NCJ. All members will continue to have online, digital access to each of these four magazines and the digital archive as part of their regular membership benefits.
This is only the second time in 22 years that ARRL has raised our dues. It is a necessary part of ensuring ARRL is supported so we can continue to promote and fight hard for our Amateur Radio Service, while providing benefits and services for our members that increase your knowledge and enjoyment of ham radio.
To help us make this decision, we invited every ARRL member to participate in a survey in May. Over 20,000 members responded (you can view the survey results here). We know from the survey results that most of you will find the new rate reasonable, or even ask why we didn’t set it higher. We also know that some may find the rate is too high. As I’ve shared with many of you during my visits at hamfests and conventions, each of us has a responsibility to be active participants, and to support ARRL if we want to increase our ranks and ensure a lasting legacy for amateur radio’s future.
You told us that you value ARRL’s advocacy efforts, including spectrum defense, standing up to regulators and policymakers, and our work in other areas that defend, promote, and grow amateur radio – including STEM outreach to schools, teachers, and youth. There is no other organization that is working harder to advance a vision that allows any citizen to explore, develop, and practice radio communications and radio technology.
Your feedback showed us the many benefits, services, and programs you use – from Logbook of The World, to the work done by the ARRL Lab to test equipment for product reviews. While our magazines topped the list of benefits, many of you also shared that your reading preferences have changed. Some of you prefer print, and increasingly members prefer digital. As a result, for those who prefer print, you will be able to subscribe to QST and/or On the Air magazine. Again, all members will continue to have access to the digital editions of all four ARRL magazines.
Have you ever heard a Life Member say, “I got a good deal when I signed up for Life Membership 25 (or 30, or 40…) years ago.” They’re right! They got a good deal, but continuing to serve Life members is not sustainable without making some changes. So, we’re going to freeze new applications for the program, not adding any new Life Memberships until we can price the offering to be revenue neutral over its term. And, again, as more members prefer digital, we’ll be asking current Life Members to opt-in if they want to continue to receive QST by mail.
The cost of doing business goes up every year. During the last couple of years, the costs associated with printing and postage have increased significantly. We’ve cut and delayed hiring for some positions on our professional staff – one of the smallest teams we’ve had staffing our headquarters in Newington, Connecticut, in years. We are also continuing to examine other cost-saving measures, but we cannot go further without reducing or eliminating benefits and programs which our members have told us are important to them.
I can assure you that the ARRL Board exercises due diligence and oversight in making sure your association is a good steward of your membership dollars. The reality is that ARRL does a lot – in fact much more than dues cover.
ARRL shares your passion for amateur radio. We are committed to strengthening and growing our community, and protecting our rights to use and experiment on our amateur radio spectrum. We have a 109-year track record that includes YOU as part of that ongoing legacy of support for amateur radio and ARRL.
Rick Roderick, K5UR