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Hey Guys and Gals,
Mark PM'd me with an ISAP question and I think it might be a good idea to post it for all of you. Those of you closest to me know what a drumming the board has taken over the past two years as we attempted to bring ISAP forward and turn it into an organization that actually benefits it's membership in terms of amenities, education and opportunities. Here is my reply to Marks' valid question about dues going to $75. Also keep in mind that it has been widely publicized, since a year ago, that the dues were going up and could be renewed prior to that at the $35 rate.
Sorry, I've been so slammed that I haven't had time to address much other than my immediate challenges. Here's my take on it. The 35 dollar dues for ISAP over the years has been a joke. Given what ISAP offered it's members for a decade, maybe 35 bucks was too much. When we took over there were a number of things that needed to be revamped, ISnAP, we needed a real website, not that mess we had for a decade. We needed IT help and insight. The association lost between $1,500 and $7,000 each and every year, and provided very little in the way of exposure, education, a web presence it's members could point to proudly.
When you boil it down, ISAP needed to offer value and be run like a business. We undertook that responsibility. Much research was done into similar organizations and we found that many of them had dues in the $250 to $350 range. We raised ours to $75 because we felt like that would begin to give us the resources to bring more amenities and opportunities to our membership. As of last week, ISAP members receive a free membership to NAPP, a $99 dollar value, if you don't take advantage of all the discounts offered to members. There will be more and more perks like that as the organization grows. Under the previous leadership members paid $35 and basically got a website that a creative person would be ashamed to tell someone about, and the opportunity to attend a mediocre symposium.
Obviously we realized that there would be some attrition when renewal time rolled around, but that is just a fact of life. The organization could not survive, much less grow the way it was being handled prior to our assuming the board responsibilities. We certainly don't want to drive members away, but we do want to provide an organization that offers opportunity to it's members. Honestly, the past two years has been a real pounding for all the board members, I don't know why most of us didn't throw in the towel in the first six months, but we didn't want to do that to our membership.
I hope this clarifies our decision to raise the dues, and I'm sorry that your questions were overlooked.
Thank you for your inquiry.