No one likes to pay more for something today than they paid yesterday, last month or even last year. Associations often face push-back when dues are increased, and, many lose members in the fray. Joe Rominiecki recently wrote an article titled, “ The Case for Incremental Dues Changes”, found on the website associationsnow.com to offer a solution or two to this problem.
Rominiecki cites multiple statistics, from a study conducted by Marketing General, Inc, concerning the number of associations that raise dues annually and those that do not. Associations, by nature, look to care for their members and thusly feel the responsibility to justify each dues increase. The most common justification is inflation, but associations also note a main cause for a dues increase is tied to an increase in provided services. Once dues are raised, the justification, or excuse, is issued in hopes to curb complaints and membership runoff.
As the title of Rominiecki’s article suggests, incremental changes may be the best solution. Increasing dues in small increments year-to-year, without any fanfare, leads members to “expect” the increase. Some associations require membership to vote on a dues increase. Either solution will harmonize relations between the administration and membership and help retain members.
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