The basic NABO annual subscription rate will increase by £10 making the full membership rate £25 per annum. The rates for the other classes of membership will also increase accordingly and in these uncertain times, we have decided to abolish life membership.
Existing life memberships will, of course, be honoured. We hope you will consider the new rates to be good value when compared with the fees levied by other similar boating organisations.The new subscription rates will be effective from 1st April 2013.
The last edition of NABO News included a personal appeal from our Chairman setting out the difficult decisions that the Council will need to take to ensure the continued viability of the Association. The accounts for the year ended 30th April 2012, which were presented to last year’s AGM, indicate that our expenditure has exceeded income by nearly £7,000 and if that situation were to continue we would deplete our reserves within two years. The Council was therefore charged with consulting the wider membership with a view to increasing the annual membership subscription by either £5 or £10 per annum.
Thank you to those of you who took the trouble to contact us with your views on both the acceptability of a subscription rate increase and your observations and comments on the future of NABO. We have taken these on board and they provide valuable guidance for the future.
This is the first increase for very many years and although we do not foresee another increase being necessary for some time, we shall monitor the situation over the next 12 months with a view to possibly introducing smaller inflation-linked rises in future years to ease the strain on our finances.
We know from past experience that changes in membership rates will create a short-term additional administrative burden and we would urge you to make sure that you amend your Standing Orders with your bank when you receive our official notification. We can almost guarantee that some banks will continue to pay the old amount and others will pay the new amount every month!
It is impossible to accurately predict the impact these new rates will have on existing membership numbers but evidence from other organisations suggests that we will lose some members who are unwilling to pay extra. We need to counter this by recruiting more new members. If each of you could enlist just one new member our financial position would improve considerably. Please remember that we continue to pay a New Member Bonus of £5 if you introduce someone and this will help to soften the impact on your own finances too.
The future now looks brighter and we have been gratified by your offers to assist where possible and by the recent influx of new Council members to ease the strain and give a new perspective to our activities. We hope you will see the benefits of continued NABO membership in the months and years ahead.