March 2, 2017 at 9:38 PM #41069
Has any thought been given to reinstating a local chapter membership as part of the membership fee, even if the fees need to be raised a small amount (say $5)? Many members are unwilling to pay the extra $25 (which is about $35 Canadian) to be listed as a member of their local chapter. When I joined STC many years ago, and during my many years of membership, I have always heard that local chapters are the backbone of STC. Have not most STC international executive members gained experience through their local chapters? Where do members go for experience in the greater STC if they are not members of a local chapter? Where do they make their contacts? How can they hear great things about Summit if no one locally is around to promote it? We are desperately trying to retain members and enlist new members. However, this is very difficult with the extra fee for a chapter membership.
March 3, 2017 at 10:47 PM #41076
Hello Jeanne—thanks for your interesting questions! (And I share your pain about the USD/CAD exchange rate.)
For the record, Student memberships include a free chapter membership and a free SIG membership. The same is true at the popular Gold membership level. I think you’re referring to Classic memberships.
I don’t speak for the current or past Boards; I can only give you my thoughts. Implementing local chapter membership as a separate fee gives members the option of saving some money if they so choose, rather than forcing everyone to join a local chapter even if it doesn’t make sense to them individually. I don’t have data for how many members have chosen that.
To prevent revenue from suffering, a local chapter included with STC Classic membership would probably require a fee increase of more than $5. I’m thinking of the dollars paid by Classic members as local chapter fees divided by the total Classic membership count. Maintaining revenue with a $5 increase implies that only 1/5 of these members belong to a local chapter. I expect the actual figure is quite a bit higher.
I too see communities (local chapters or SIGs) as fundamental. The global STC organization produces the Summit, the publications Intercom and Technical Communication, online courses, and other great benefits. And by supporting the STC, you also support your profession with the CPTC certification program and the salary survey. Communities organize more frequent education events, opportunities for valuable face-to-face networking, and, in some cases, regional conferences. You make some other great points about the benefits of local chapter membership.
Thanks for starting this discussion. In the meantime, to secure your local chapter membership levels, may I suggest taking a look at the guidelines in the Membership Committee Resource Guide, the New Member Recruitment Guide, and other resources available from the STC website: https://www.stc.org/leadership-resources/
Thanks for your interest in the election, and for supporting the STC!
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