1972 Dues Discussed
R. L. Ticknor
In President Phetteplace's report to the membership at the annual meeting in Philadelphia, which appears in the July bulletin, he announced the dues for 1972 would be 12 dollars per year. This had been passed by the board twice, both in the west and at Philadelphia, but the opponents to a raise of this magnitude (60%) felt society membership would be reduced if this went into effect. Polls of the membership of some chapters indicated this would happen if the dues were raised to $12.00.
At this point, a ballot was sent out to the 53 officers, board members, and chapter presidents, who constitute the total board of directors and who have the responsibility of setting the dues rate. There were two questions on the ballot. One was whether the price of "Rhododendron Information" should be reduced from $6.95 to $5.00 to reduce inventory and to release funds for productive uses. This passed 43 yes to 3 no. The second question was whether the dues should be $7.50, $10.00, or $12.00. The vote was $7.50-10, $10.00-26, and $12.00-10. Thus the dues for 1972 will be $10.00.
The main stated purpose for the increased dues was to accumulate funds so that a permanent headquarters with a full time staff can be established. This is a very worthy goal, but because of the expense involved, $10,000 for an executive secretary-editor, $5,000 for office help, and $2,000 for office rental, it is one that needs a larger membership base than 3200 for support.
Thus it seems our first goal should be to increase membership by holding dues as low as possible and still offer high quality bulletins and service to our membership. In the meantime, we can hope and encourage people to mention the ARS in their wills. This has been the source for the headquarters and endowment funds of most of the plant societies which have these facilities.
Since auxiliary publications such as "Rhododendron Information" and our cultural leaflet are more than self supporting, the society's publication program will not suffer if the dues are not raised to $12.00. We would welcome any suggestions on what the membership desires to appear in our Quarterly Bulletin as well as in auxiliary publications.
Income from the seed exchange is now designated for the research fund. We would encourage any member to make his own personal contribution to this fund. It is hoped that the society will soon be able to make small grants to support research or expeditions to collect seed or plant materials in the wild.
To make our society better requires the efforts of all of us; so when your chapter or national officers or committee chairmen ask for help, please reply promptly. This will help another problem mentioned by Dr. Phetteplace -the heavy correspondence load. At present, two or more mailings are usually necessary to get response from requests for help.