AIS: Membership Data
In a message dated 2/14/2006 11:06:02 AM Eastern Standard Time,
<<<<<<<<<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.
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
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
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