Monday, 17 April 2017

Genealogy Society Dependence on Membership Fees

The bar graph, based Schedule 6 annual reports to Revenue Canada, are the per cent dependence of various Canadian genealogical and family history societies on membership fees.
At 40 per cent the Ontario Genealogical Society is in the middle of the pack. But it's not steady, over the previous four years varying between 38 and 49 per cent.
The two Prairie province societies show much less dependence on membership fees. That hasn't always been the case. In 2011 the AGS was 39 per cent membership fee dependent.
The Quebec Family History Society is at the other end of the range, 75 per cent membership fee dependent.
If "he who pays the piper calls the tune" what is the message from your society?

4 comments:

Susan said...

Definitely some good food for thought for both the members and the societies to take notice. That's my tune!

Barbara said...

It would be interesting to know what the other sources of income are for societies at the lower end of membership fee dependence.

Gail B said...

How these societies function without paid memberships amazes me. They do help us so much. Many positions are volunteer. An article in February's Municipal World magazine (annual heritage issue) highlights the problems organizations who rely on volunteers face. It is often overwhelming. I hope our societies can continue to grow, with funding and support from various levels of government, but it is risky to depend on governments to help. Politicians do not place much store in Heritage, let alone Genealogy.

M. Diane Rogers said...

One message would be that government and other kinds of ongoing financial support for history and heritage varies across Canada. In British Columbia, we genealogists and history workers in general are very used to managing on our own.
This means we can be independent but does sometimes limit our goals and activities.
On the other hand, mostly perhaps due to lack of ongoing grants, the BC Genealogical Society is - like some others across Canada - all volunteer. That likely limits us too but we are not spending time and effort raising money for salaries as some groups do.
And some groups who do or have in in past depended on ongoing government grants have suffered when those have been cut.
But I don't think your sample is broad enough or detailed enough to draw any conclusions. Which societies are getting significant (and ongoing) grants, for example, and what's happening in other provinces (including Quebec)?