Membership Matters

N4RTG and I travel all over Canada and the USA, meeting people in all sorts of venues.  One of the questions we hear the most is, “is amateur radio shrinking?”  Let’s see, radios are miniaturizing, yes.  But the number of licensed amateur radio operators in the USA has never been higher.

ARRL reported recently the total number of licensed hams in the USA through end of 2012 reached over 709, 000, the highest total EVER.  AH0A has a nifty website showing FCC licensing numbers by month and shows a steady monthly increase since the beginning of the year.  Ham radio is not diminishing.  It appears amateur radio is becoming more popular.

In a similar vein, clubs all over the country have been bemoaning for the past two decades.  Their members are aging or losing interest, and the clubs aren’t successfully recruiting new members.  Three elements interplay here:  loss of interest, dying, and recruitment of new members.

How is WBCCI ARC doing?  Our club is off to a rousing start for this year — we have fifteen new members in 2013.  Overall our total membership number seems to be growing slowly.

It is not necessary to own an Airstream or any other type RV to join the ARC.  The requirements to join WBCCI ARC are the following:

  1. You must hold an amateur license (any class) and
  2. either own any kind of RV or have an interest in travel and camping.

That’s all there is to it — well, and a prospective member fills out an application for membership, submits it with their fee.  Membership application forms are available here.

What can we do to keep our club full of active, interested, engaged, friendly members?  Two things come to mind immediately:

  1. Have you invited a ham to join the friendliest amateur radio club in North America?
  2. Do you try to be an active, interested, engaged and friendly member of clubs to which you belong?

posted 20130411 by Jim n5rtg

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Below is a small representation of articles published over the past twenty years about membership declines:

http://pressrepublican.com/0100_news/x155063752/Civic-organizations-fight-national-declines-in-membership  how to attract and retain members despite nationally declining enrollments

http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=224  declining social capital caused by radical individualism

http://werussell.wordpress.com/2010/08/02/decline-of-americas-service-organizations/  caused by the disengagement of our nation’s young people?

http://www.kansas.com/2012/06/20/2381119/aging-members-lack-of-interest.html  decline of civic groups in Wichita

http://www.app.com/article/20130401/NJNEWS/304010094/Ageless-Membership- decline-may-spell-end-Beach-Haven-First-Aid-Squad  not enough joining, too many dying or leaving

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123923154717002917.html  country clubs not so clubby anymore, many closing or morphing to survive

http://w3lww.org/  ham radio clubs merging from three into one

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