The Dues Debate

Time to renew your STC membership:  Here we are in December, and I have not yet renewed my STC membership.  Don’t get me wrong — I don’t intend for one moment to let it lapse.  I consider STC the key player in the development of our profession, and I’m in this for the long haul.  The only thing that has kept me from renewing is that I’m still debating: do I go for the less expensive, no-frills membership, or do I pay a bit more and get a lot more with a Gold membership?  The truth is, I function at a different economic scale than many of my North American colleagues.  I make a lot less, and my expenses can be a lot more.  We pay higher taxes.  Durable goods are waaaay more expensive.  Gas?  Last time I crunched the numbers and converted liters to gallons and shekels to dollars, it came out to about $6.80 a gallon.  (But don’t feel too sorry for me — we have medical care!)  And while I dearly wish that I could echo Hedke’s “I’ve made a million through STC” claim, I can’t.  But I have made substantial business contacts and can directly attribute at least 20% of my annual income to STC-related activities. And that certainly makes the difference between a basic “no frills” membership and the Gold membership seem like chicken feed.  STC members now get so much information and enjoy so much input compared to the “old” STC; go back even six years ago and you’ll see an astonishing difference.  The current office had inherited a real mess; they’ve spent the last few years overhalling infrastructure, getting us kosher with legal issues, and generally, well, running things like a real NPO.  Unfortunately, the economic crisis has many members blindsided, and they don’t understand why they can’t get the same stuff at the same price.  To them, I say:

  • This office and this board have done everything possible to cut expenses to the bone, while still providing quality services.
  • The Society is now being run at a more professional level (issues of legal compliance, necessary computer systems and software, and quality of staff).
  • The webinars and certificate courses are new. 
  • STC Notebook is new.
  • The diverse use of social media is new.
  • The complete overhaul of the conference is new.

The decisions about dues were made with much thought and research.  Splitting chapter dues out made sense based on the number of members who are not able to participate in a geographical chapter.  We knew we would get backlash, but we knew that this was the right thing to do.  It boils down to this: are you serious enough about your profession to invest?  To support the single most significant organization that is working to educate the world about the role and value of TC, while helping define our profession and train the next generation?  To take advantage of top-notch publications, webinars, courses, conferences? 

And, Hedke, from your mouth to God’s ears, make a million bucks?

OK.  Gold it is.

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