A Message from ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR
Dear ARRL members,
Yesterday, the ARRL Board of Directors completed their second annual
meeting. I’m writing to let you know that they made the tough, but
necessary, decision to increase the regular membership dues rate to $59
a year starting January 1, 2024 (see 2024 Dues Rates). Additionally, we
have chosen to separate the printed, mailed magazine from regular
membership. Members will be able to choose whether they want to add-on a
print subscription to any of our magazines including QST, On the Air,
QEX, and NCJ. All members will continue to have online, digital access
to each of these four magazines and the digital archive as part of their
regular membership benefits.
This is only the second time in 22 years that ARRL has raised our dues.
It is a necessary part of ensuring ARRL is supported so we can continue
to promote and fight hard for our Amateur Radio Service, while providing
benefits and services for our members that increase your knowledge and
enjoyment of ham radio.
To help us make this decision, we invited every ARRL member to
participate in a survey in May. Over 20,000 members responded (you can
view the survey results here). We know from the survey results that most
of you will find the new rate reasonable, or even ask why we didn’t set
it higher. We also know that some may find the rate is too high. As I’ve
shared with many of you during my visits at hamfests and conventions,
each of us has a responsibility to be active participants, and to
support ARRL if we want to increase our ranks and ensure a lasting
legacy for amateur radio’s future.
You told us that you value ARRL’s advocacy efforts, including spectrum
defense, standing up to regulators and policymakers, and our work in
other areas that defend, promote, and grow amateur radio – including
STEM outreach to schools, teachers, and youth. There is no other
organization that is working harder to advance a vision that allows any
citizen to explore, develop, and practice radio communications and radio
Your feedback showed us the many benefits, services, and programs you
use – from Logbook of The World, to the work done by the ARRL Lab to
test equipment for product reviews. While our magazines topped the list
of benefits, many of you also shared that your reading preferences have
changed. Some of you prefer print, and increasingly members prefer
digital. As a result, for those who prefer print, you will be able to
subscribe to QST and/or On the Air magazine. Again, all members will
continue to have access to the digital editions of all four ARRL
Have you ever heard a Life Member say, “I got a good deal when I signed
up for Life Membership 25 (or 30, or 40…) years ago.” They’re right!
They got a good deal, but continuing to serve Life members is not
sustainable without making some changes. So, we’re going to freeze new
applications for the program, not adding any new Life Memberships until
we can price the offering to be revenue neutral over its term. And,
again, as more members prefer digital, we’ll be asking current Life
Members to opt-in if they want to continue to receive QST by mail.
The cost of doing business goes up every year. During the last couple of
years, the costs associated with printing and postage have increased
significantly. We’ve cut and delayed hiring for some positions on our
professional staff – one of the smallest teams we’ve had staffing our
headquarters in Newington, Connecticut, in years. We are also continuing
to examine other cost-saving measures, but we cannot go further without
reducing or eliminating benefits and programs which our members have
told us are important to them.
I can assure you that the ARRL Board exercises due diligence and
oversight in making sure your association is a good steward of your
membership dollars. The reality is that ARRL does a lot – in fact much
more than dues cover.
ARRL shares your passion for amateur radio. We are committed to
strengthening and growing our community, and protecting our rights to
use and experiment on our amateur radio spectrum. We have a 109-year
track record that includes YOU as part of that ongoing legacy of support
for amateur radio and ARRL.
Rick Roderick, K5UR