From the Grand Treasurer …
THE PER CAPITA ASSESSMENT AND OUR DECLINING MEMBERSHIP.
Our active membership on December 31, 2020 was at the 33,000 level.
Status of our membership:
Over age 70 - 52% or 17,000 members including 2,000 over the age of 90.
The average annual change in our membership for the last 9 years approximates:
Initiations 1,100 per year
Deaths 1,200 per year
Demits 1,100 per year
Suspensions 900 per year
The deaths are beyond our control and are offset by the number of initiations. The present rate of decline is about 2,000 annually. This is a cause for concern when we look at the age of our members and the projection for membership to a level of about 23,000 by the year 2025.
New and or expanded programs for mentorship, lodge speakers and other areas of interest to encourage participation in our virtual meetings during the pandemic has improved attendance at these meetings by about 50% or more over the number we were experiencing before COVID-19.
Keeping our members interested and participating leads to retention.
This begs the question about the post pandemic period when we return to lodge. Despite the best forecasts, we cannot accurately gage the impact on retention at this time.
While virtual meetings are interesting and could possibly be continued, they are not a substitute for the personal and social aspect of our lodge meetings. If we could hold our membership at the 30,000 level, the proposed increase of $20.00 per year would balance our budget, pay for the upgrades in technology and the improvements to our building.
I trust that this message will awaken each of us to the need to revisit or prepare our long-range plans and financial forecasts for the continuing longevity of our lodges.
We can succeed if we all work together with success as our common goal.
H. Edward Standish, Grand Treasurer
James C. Sutherland, Chairman of Audit & Finance
Sidney T. Schatzker, Chairman of Lodge Finance Advisory