New Dues Regime Coming in Stages
One more annual meeting is “in the books,” and before we can get into a too contemplative mood we are starting to work on the charges, recommendations and ideas from the meeting.
First, I want to say that Long Beach was a great meeting and thank all of those who put their hearts and hands into making sure it was successful. Each meeting has its own “mood,” and from the comments of attendees this meeting had a very, very positive mood.
One of the first charges to emerge from the meeting is the implementation of the new graduated dues structure that was approved overwhelmingly by the House of Delegates.
The plan for implementing the graduated dues is in three steps.
The first step is education of the membership on the plan and process. The goals of the leadership and staff in developing this new structure were:
- To respond to member needs.
- To build a fair dues structure for all members.
- To avoid any significant financial loss in making this change.
- To grow and increase the quality of our great association.
There are three key items that every member should know about the new system:
Graduated dues are based on a member’s ability-to-pay, i.e., their personal gross income (GPI), rather than where they live.
This is a key point and difference from other societies.
In other words, a member who is unemployed can pay graduated dues; a member who is retired can pay graduated dues; and a member who is working at a job or region where their income is low can pay graduated dues.
The reverse is also true in that a member who has good personal income in a country with low per-capita income would be expected to pay full dues.
Also the graduated dues program is for individuals only and does not apply to memberships paid by corporations.
This new model is not automatic or mandatory; a member must elect to pay their dues based on the criteria set for graduated dues, e.g. greater than US$50k PGI -- full dues; US$25-50k PGI -- one-half dues (and no hardcopy BULLETIN option); and less than US$25k -- one-quarter dues (digital only).
There is no proof required of any member’s PGI. This new system is an honor-based program and is defined by our standards of professional conduct. It has been used without problem by other societies.
The new dues program is designed so a member gets essentially what they pay for. If a member qualifies and elects to pay the lowest level of the graduated dues, $20 (US), then they only receive digital services -- no hardcopy; however, at any time the member can order hardcopy of the BULLETIN and/or EXPLORER for an additional fee for printing and postage.
As a result of this last item this model does not result in a significant loss for the association because AAPG will not incur printing and postage costs for that member unless they elect to pay for it.
The second step is the actual process of applying or implementing the new dues system.
The new dues structure will be implemented in two stages -- we will start accepting new members under the new structure on July 1, and existing qualified members may apply at the start of the new dues cycle in 2008.
The primary reason for staging the implementation is the timing of our current dues cycle and the new dues structure requires significant modifications of our accounting procedures and electronic in-house and on-line systems.
The third and final step will be the continued yearly monitoring of the program to ensure it is achieving the goals set by the AAPG leadership. An annual review will be conducted by the staff, with interim updates to the Executive Committee, House of Delegates and Advisory Council.
If you have additional questions about the graduated dues structure, please note we prepared and updated a Q&A sheet for your convenience. You can find it on our Web page at www.aapg.org/member/faq_graduateddues.cfm.
We appreciate the vision of the AAPG leadership in developing and approving this program, and look forward to providing this new service.