At the end of 2016, the Hudson Valley Writers Guild had 133 “active” members, people who had paid their membership dues within the past two years. Of those, 98 (74%) paid their 2016 dues and 35 (26%) did not. Therefore, we start 2017 with 98 “active” members, the first time in three years the Guild’s membership has dipped below 100. The 98 dues payers were composed of 21 new members (7 fewer than last year) and 77 renewing members, contributing a total of $3,450, a decrease of $365 from 2015.
Generally speaking, it was a challenging year for membership at the Writers Guild after we’d enjoyed three years of growth. But in 2016 we saw a slight contraction that was reflected broadly throughout the membership. For example, this year five people renewed for two years, half of last year’s number. Similarly, this year’s Writing Contest contributed one-third the number of people who joined or renewed their membership compared to last year. Hopefully, this modest contraction will be short-lived, a one-year “correction” that will turn back around in 2017.
The Guild’s membership effort was carried out in 2016 through 190 mailings, composed of 92 Renewal Requests, 77 Thank You letters, and 21 New Member Welcome Letters. The direct cost of the 2016 membership effort was $219. Therefore, when compared to the $3,450 in revenues, we can say that the 2016 administrative expense for membership was 6.3%, well below average for similarly-sized non-profit organizations.
The Hudson Valley Writers Guild had an Honor Role of six members who made extra contributions in 2016 in addition to their membership dues. The following people are called out for special recognition:
- Lann Bell
- Anne Decker
- Phyllis Hillinger
- Bernadette Moran
- Kathleen O’Brien
- Dan Wilcox
The Guild’s Board is most grateful for the confidence expressed by the ongoing support of new and renewing members for the Hudson Valley Writers Guild and the work it does on behalf of writers living in New York’s Hudson River Valley. Thank you!