Declining membership is a serious problem for AAPG. One of the largest causes for most of the declining membership is simple: members forget to pay their dues by June 30. They then unknowingly let their membership expire.
The House of Delegates is conducting a membership renewal drive. So if you, dear reader, get a phone call, an email or a note on social media about renewing your dues, that notice is meant for you – not “the other guy.”
Most members assume that a dues notice is part of a mass mailing to every AAPG member which they “just happened to get,” so it must be for other people.
No. That dues renewal message has been tailored especially for you and your suspended status.
This tardiness in paying dues is not the result of sloth on the part our good members. The problem is that AAPG’s deadline is June 30, just before the Fourth of July holiday -- which everyone uses to anchor two or three weeks of travel. By early August, when everyone gets back to being focused again on work, invoices and picking up the thread of business life, they have hundreds of emails that piled up over the summer. Many get deleted along with dues notices that arrived a month ago. (I cannot speak to the problems for Europe or Asia.)
My team has called more than 1,000 suspended members in AAPG and the Houston Geological Society (HGS has the same deadline and same problem). Every person to whom we speak says that same thing: “I did not know I was suspended” or “I thought I paid” or “I thought the dues notice was a mass-mailing meant for other people.” Every member with whom we speak is grateful and says, “Thank you.”
The Numbers are Staggering
Readers might ask, “But how many of these suspended members are there? 100? 750?”
There are thousands. Shown in the accompanying table, as of July 1 – the day after the annual dues deadline – AAPG had 11,139 members who had not paid their dues. That is out of AAPG’s 17,184 members.
That means two-thirds of AAPG’s members are at risk of becoming expired. Ouch!
I ask every reader to go to AAPG.org – right now – and check their membership status. If it says “suspended,” that means you are in peril of becoming an expired member. “Suspended” status is the gateway drug to “expired” status.
Bylaws and Time Left to Renew Before You Become Expired
According to AAPG bylaws, two months after the June 30 deadline, members with unpaid dues become suspended. After 10 more months, suspended members are dropped from AAPG’s membership roll.
This is the most pernicious way AAPG is losing members – by just passively falling off the membership roll.