Complete Story


A Real-time Dues Increase and New Membership Model Success Story

Two membership dilemmas ended up working out well for this association

The Alpaca Owners Association (AOA) restructured its membership with a significant dues increase this year. The best part? Members understood the reasoning for the change and voted for it overwhelmingly. Here’s a closer look at how it happened.

A Transparent Process
AOA came together as the result of a merger in 2014. At the time, dues was set at two levels—$15 and $115—with nothing in between. Even then, the benefits available at the $15 level resulted in a loss. AOA’s board and the previous executive director had tried to raise dues and failed. A main obstacle was that AOA’s bylaws required that any membership fee changes of more than 10 percent must go before a membership vote. Not surprisingly, members were opposed to any changes.

When AOA Executive Director Robin Gifford came on board in 2019, one of the first things she did was conduct a membership audit. It was clear the current fees could not sustain the organization. She knew it could do better, however the previous board and other members kept telling her, “We’ve tried this before. You will never be able to change it.”

Please select this link to read the complete article from Associations Now.

Printer-Friendly Version