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Orgs: ARRL etc.

The ARRL released its annual report and KB6NU provides an interesting commentary: ARRL annual report touts achievements, downplays membership

On a related topic, ARRL president, Rick Roderick, K5UR, in his message, tells the story of how his stump speech to a group of high school students about ham radio fell on deaf ears. He writes, “I realized that I had to change my approach to the presentation if I was going to keep the attention of these young people.”

It’s not just kids that aren’t interested in traditional amateur radio pursuits. There are lots of licensed radio amateurs out there who the ARRL is not serving. That’s why the membership numbers are so low.

Too much emphasis on giving drives away members, not attract them. If you do the right things to attract members, the giving part will take care of itself. The members will be engaged and supportive of the ARRL’s programs and will give generously without any arm twisting or pats on the back.

Now, consider what’s going on with SNARS and why it is doing so well (except for its Noon Net). Or consider WBCCI and why it is in the same conundrum as the ARRL.

RV sales are hitting new highs with millennials disproportionate and Airstream selling trailers like never before. But the WBCCI membership can’t even match the attendance at one of its earlier International Rallies. It has severe management and governance problems but that is only incidental (and contributory) to the problems being measured by membership statistics.

The ARRL is reasonably competent in management and governance yet it struggles to maintain membership representation in the amateur radio community. SNARS, the Sierra Nevada Amateur Radio Society, does quite well as its monthly breakfast meetings shows but it has problems getting people to step forward to serve as NCS for its Noon Net,

Social structures are changing. Communications and technology interests impact the fundamental purposes of ‘birds of a feather’ social organizations. Increased wealth, both in terms of disposable income and in availability of products and services, also hit organizations in the knees as the need for group strength is lessened.

we do live in interesting times.