Saturday, 15 January 2011

More on OGS fee increase

Following on the blog post here of 4 January OGS President Nancy Trimble has issued the following notice to members, dated January 13, 2011. My comments follow.
Erroneous Publication of an OGS Fee Increase

Just after the holidays, there was an erroneous statement published on a private blog that is causing concern. It was claimed that there is discussion within the Society of a further fee increase and that there was a notion to require OGS members to also be a member of their local branch.

On behalf of the Board and the Executive, I would like to inform our members that neither of these ideas has been discussed at this time.

As one of the Board's responsibilities, fees are discussed at least once a year. Any fee increase recommended must then be approved by the membership. The Board is not recommending a change to the fee structure for 2011. The fee will remain the same as in 2010.

As to requiring members to be a member of their local branch, this has not been recommended nor discussed.

I hope that this explanation clarifies all concerns. If there are any further questions regarding this matter, please feel free to contact me ( or the Executive Director (, Ontario Genealogical Society.

I remain confident in the source used for the original post.

That post did not state that discussions on fee increases, or on requiring a branch membership, had taken place at a Board or Executive meeting. Such discussion between senior society members can and do take place outside such meetings, the case here. By the time the issue gets to the official meeting the conclusion may essentially be fait accompli.

The statement that "The Board is not recommending a change to the fee structure for 2011" is self-evident as collection of 2011 fees is well underway. The OGS statement makes no such undertaking for 2012 fees. Would OGS members prefer efficiencies be found in operations rather than a fee increase?  Time will tell.


Paul Jones said...

John, I have not had any discussions with OGS directors, staff or otherwise about this. That said, I believe an OGS regulation requiring that a member join at least one branch would be a good thing and completely justifiable. For all the active members who make the organization what it is, it might even result in a fee decrease if branch revenues were to grow significantly. Currently revenues are tilted toward the parent organization, in which membership is mandatory. But there is no offsetting requirement of membership in at least one branch. I can't name a single person whose participation in OGS I value who is not a member of a single branch. Yet I suspect there may be hundreds in total. Any organization has the right to define the kind of participation it expects from members. And signing on for at least one branch strikes me as a reasonable obligation. My two cents./Paul

Anonymous said...

Hi John. You haven't indicated in either post whether or not you are a member of the OGS. Is that something you'd be willing to tell us?

JDR said...

I was a member of OGS and let my membership lapse when the fees increased. I do donate to OGS Ottawa Branch as I see no reason why the local branch should suffer because I disagree with the way the Society is operated provincially.

Linda Reid said...

Requiring an OGS member to be a member of a branch seems a good idea and one worth exploring. It is unfortunate that discussion of this suggestion was stopped before it reached an OGS board agenda. I know that Toronto Branch membership declined after the fee increase in 2010. I presume that other branches took a hit too, but I haven't seen recent statistics for OGS memberships or for branch memberships (individually or collectively). Many branches deliver excellent services for $10-$15 per year but it is hard to explain to people where the $60 value is in the OGS membership. Providing more membership dollars for the branches would be one way the provincial organization could support the work that is done in the branches.