The following article by AMA CFO Keith Sessions will appear in the September 2022 Model Aviation.
DURING THE June 2022 AMA Executive Council (EC) meeting, the board approved a dues increase. This decision is never taken lightly. Increasing dues is done after we have explored other options, including ways to increase non-dues revenue, cutting costs, and reducing member benefits. The AMA has a long history of keeping dues consistent.
AMA’s last dues increase was voted on in 2015—seven years ago. The previous dues increase was in 2002, marking a 20-year period with only one increase.
Recent inflation has certainly impacted everyone, and the AMA has felt this as well. As of this writing, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was up 9.1%, the largest increase since 1981. We have felt the impact of inflation throughout the past two years.
During the pandemic, supply chain disruptions caused paper prices to increase substantially. We were advised late last year to expect increases in the insurance premiums because of a hard market, and inflation will only exacerbate the insurance markets. Labor costs have also increased across the country.
For members who are feeling the crunch of higher costs everywhere, there are ways to delay the dues increase. The EC voted on a plan that allows discounts for two-year and three-year memberships. If you sign up for the three-year membership, the rate is still the equivalent of the current membership price, although you would pay the entire cost up front.
The cost of Life Memberships has not increased for many years. The new rate is $1,936, which is still a great value. The price was selected because 1936 was the year in which the AMA was founded. A Life Membership gives you all of the benefits that you currently have, while eliminating the concern for future dues increases.
A dues increase does not show up on the balance sheet right away. There is an expected decrease in membership after any increase in costs. This has proven to be temporary in the past.
With the membership plans available, members can delay the increase in cost, which in turn delays the revenue increase. A revenue increase typically is not felt for a couple of years. Next year, 2023, will be a year with higher expenses.
On top of inflation factors, the FAA reauthorization bill is up for changes in 2023. This will mean more travel expenses to Washington, D.C., lobbying expenses, and member communications.
AMA Chief Financial Officer
During the June 26, 2022, Executive Council meeting, it was decided to increase the price of membership. Since the last dues were established in 2015, there has been a 23.32% rise in inflation. The Executive Council was unanimous in its decision to increase dues but worked to keep the increase to roughly half the rate of inflation. Effective September 1, 2022, Adult memberships will be $85 and Senior membership will be $75. AMA will offer two-year discounts and new, significant three-year discounts. We will share more details about these discounts and rates as we approach September 1. In the meantime, we encourage you to renew before the rates go up. Even if you are not up for renewal in the immediate future, you can renew early at the current rate by calling (765) 287-1256, ext. 129, or visiting https://www.modelaircraft.org/membership/renew.