Increase In Membership
In the July Bulletin it was stated that the net gain for the American Rhododendron Society membership as a whole, as of July 1, was 4%. Between that time and September 12, a number of Chapters had sent in additional lists of new members and reports that a number of old members had renewed. Gains and losses for each Chapter were calculated at this time for the A.R.S. Directors' meeting. By September 12 the total net gain for the Society stood at 9.0% rather than 4.4% as previously reported.
One of the sad things about the Membership Report was that there were 253 members for 1964 who did not renew their membership for 1965. In a few cases the member had passed away, but probably most dropouts were due to simple negligence in forgetting, or at least neglecting, to write a check. This represents a sizable loss to the Society, about 10% of the membership. Not only do we lose their membership for 1965 but each one was sent Bulletins for January and April, so that the Society actually paid out a considerable amount of money on their behalf.
It is inevitable, of course, that there will be a number who do not renew each year, because of illness, or moving to a new home where rhododendrons are not easily grown, or to an apartment where there is no garden available. Quite a few of those who did not renew are probably people who joined in the first place because urged by some friend. Without urging at renewal time they become dropouts.
Our Chapter Secretaries of course send these members, or former members, two or three statements during the winter and spring. Sometimes a personal word, or a telephone call, would be a big help in keeping the member active in the Society. Every member who has an opportunity to aid in this contact work should do so. Most of us feel that working with rhododendrons is a very worthwhile hobby and we could wish nothing better for our gardening friends than that they also pursue the same hobby. If they do, then membership in the American Rhododendron Society becomes almost a matter of course.