[amsat-bb] Re: Life Members

Rocky Jones orbitjet at hotmail.com
Sat Jan 16 14:03:57 PST 2010

> Since we are going down that path, I just wanted you to know that when I 
> read "Life Member" I hear the words "cheap", "discount", "looking for a 
> deal", "old fart" in my head.

> Jeff, KE9V 
Jeff. I am sure you do and thanks for sharing.  It takes a bit of sophistication and some knowledge to get past that simplistic understanding.  

"perpetual memberships" if managed correctly (and with AMSAT I realize that is a big "IF") are not a "gift" soley for the member, ie give them cheap membership for life...they really are a gift for the organization and generally are a win win for both the member and the organization.

BOD who set up perpetual memberships (USNI, ARRL The TAMU Association of Former Students to name three varying groups) dont do it just to give people "cheap" membership.  They do it to allow the organization "base" money which when properly invested returns yearly far more then the membership cost (ie the magazine a percentage of member services etc).

Obviously if an 18 year old invest in a perpetual membership and then succumbs within a few years...there is some "money made"...but if done correctly the 18 year olds membership will still be paying for the member services (again the mag etc) when the 18 year old is many many years older (far older then just the life membership divided by the average yearly cost of membership over a period of years).  

The "block money" over a given year is invested in a basic block investment (meaning the preceeding years) and the interest alone, more then works out.  In addition done smartly the sum while drawing interest can be low interest borrowed against.

when I was President of The community association that our house in Clear Lake is a part of (and it is far larger then AMSAT NA)...we started "life memberships" to the various facilities which were also available on a year to year basis fee.  It wasnt hard to set it up...a major brokerage firm did it for us...and we make money on a "life membership" that last for 40 years (and that was only because the timelines couldnt be run out any farther) EVEN IF 50 percent of the residential property owners took advantage of the offer.  

A classmate  manages life membership for USNI (United States Naval Institute) and a few other groups... and  they make money on it...and that includes memberships that start at 22.  When I was investigating "perpetual memberships" for our association I was told by this person that USNI would make money if over 50 percent of those applying for membership at 22 took life membership.  

I know you need both an arguing point, and doubtless have not thought the issue of life membership through all that much.  Have fun with the arguing point, I am sure it makes you feel great...

 but like most "gut" feelings it is wrong.  If AMSAT is not making money off of a life membership then someone somewhere really fracked up.   And sadly it would not surprise me.

Sorry to burst your bubble.

I became a life member (and urge others to do the same) because it gives the organization a baseline of financing which to survive.  
Robert WB5MZO Life Member
Your E-mail and More On-the-Go. Get Windows Live Hotmail Free.

More information about the AMSAT-BB mailing list