A Creative Way to Solve a Membership Dues Riddle
Communities in crisis need untraditional methods of engagement and support
Making the decision to raise dues is an ongoing dilemma, exacerbated by financial uncertainty—and at times inequity. The American Sociological Association (ASA) found a way to help its members—and give them a chance to help one another—with an inspiring initiative that ended up increasing membership.
With the pandemic raging by mid-2020, it was clear to Margaret Vitullo, Ph.D., CAE, ASA's deputy director, that the group could not proceed with a business-as-usual approach to membership dues because its members were not impacted equally by the crisis.
Some members were facing extreme financial straits, including those at smaller institutions that were cutting staff, while others were able to continue their practices in home offices. Not only were those latter members able to maintain their salaries, they also lowered their expenses because they were not commuting or incurring any other in-office-related expenses. “It’s a very complicated situation,” Vitullo said.
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