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AIS: Membership Data

In a message dated 2/14/2006 11:06:02 AM Eastern Standard Time,  
jbruce1@cinci.rr.com writes:

<<<<<<<<<I do not know how many new members  we have each year. I also do not 
know how many fail to renew. It can't be a  huge amount...10% of gross 
membership new each year, 75% of those not  renewing?  What would that be? 800 x 75% 
=600 people? I would guess that  at the extreme end of things, probably 
The last time someone raised the question about AIS  membership 
trends/statistics in this forum I did not comment,  although I, as a former membership 
secretary had some vestigial knowledge  of the matter. No one is obliged to 
respond here, of course.
Later, however, in another forum, I was appalled to find my silence  
characterized by someone to support his point, which I  consider dirty pool. 
I resolved then that should statistical questions arise again  which I, 
drawing on reports previously published by me to the AIS Board  and membership, 
could illumine, I would mention the above incident, and  offer data from my 
reports. There are no secrets.
All disclaimers apply, notably that I am not a trained statistician. Some  of 
this data had not been tracked by AIS before I sought to expand  my own 
understanding of trends, but all of it is extracted from the AIS  databases in use 
at the time.
Please note that there is a difference between memberships and  members. A 
membership may be dual, so that it actually involves two  members, Many 
confusions involving AIS membership statistics arise from  failure to appreciate and 
remember this very simple distinction. If you have  ten memberships, of which 
five are dual memberships, then you have fifteen  members. Remember, too, when 
speaking of members, we are speaking of  people, individuals, all of whom have 
lives much more  complex than simply the decision of whether or not to renew. 
In the past the AIS Membership lists were purged of non-renewals once a  year 
on March 31. Accordingly, the March 31 figure represented a stable figure  in 
which all memberships were in good standing, but it was also the numerical  
low point of the membership year. Gradually in subsequent months the figure  
built back up as people were reinstated and Affiliates were approved,  or new 
members were enrolled-- with some losses along the way due to  deaths. 
Amazingly, some members do not renew because they have died. If a  member lapsed and 
did not get his ducks in a row during the grace  period, thus was dropped, but 
then was reenrolled,  whether a day later, or five years later, that member 
received  a new membership origination date. 
I do not know how the membership year is defined at this time for  
statistical purposes, nor have I followed any recent membership policy changes  or 
discussions. Requests for official comment on AIS  membership statistics, policies, 
or trends should be directed to the AIS  Membership Office.  
So then: 
I) My records indicate that in the AIS Membership Year ending  31 March, 2001 
of the 1038 memberships which were dropped for  non-renewal, 202 or 19% were 
enrolled in 2000. 340 or 33% were enrolled 1999.  141 or 14% were enrolled in 
1998. 53 or 5% were enrolled in  1997. Lapsed Affiliates are also included 
In the AIS Membership Year ending March 31, 2002 of the 1042 memberships  
dropped, 193 or 19% had been initiated in 2001. 304 or 29% in 2000.  100 or 10% 
in 1999. 95, or 9% in 1998. 38 or 4% in 1997. 
2) In Fall 2000 3386 memberships were up for renewal. 2348 were  renewed, or 
close to 70%. 1135 total members were lost on March 2001. In March  of 2000 
the loss had been 1158 total members. 
In March  2002 the loss was 1042 memberships, or 1160 total members,  
including Youth in the Classroom Iris Project, and Affiliates not yet approved  for 
the calendar year. 3083 renewal notices impacting 3687 total members  had been 
sent in November of 2001, which figure does not include CIP Youth or  
3) In the March 31, 2001 drop, 639 memberships were SA, 185 were ST,  71 were 
DA, 28 were DT, 51 were YWB, 49 were YNB. 
In the March 31, 2002 drop, 586 were SA, 199 were ST, 70 were DA, 48 were  
DT, 24 were YWB, 96 were YNB.
4) In my Decade in Review report dated 31 March, 2002, we find the  Adjusted 
Total Members in the Society--that is individual AIS  members -- as of that 
date of each year listed, thus: 
1992/ 8408; 1993/ 8353; 1994/ 8178; 1995/ 8173; 1996/ 8262;  1997/ 7452; 
1998/ 7340; 1999/ 7140; 2000/ 7137; 2001/ 6870; 2002/  6572.
The preponderance of members who returned their renewal forms with a note  
that they were not continuing cited age and/or infirmity as the reason  for 
their decision.
A good deal of AIS statistical material and comment finds its way into  the 
minutes of the annual and fall business meetings of the  Board, or used to. 
Until recently these were published in the  Bulletin, to which interested parties 
are referred.
Anner Whitehead 

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