At the June 24, 2018 SAPFM Board of Directors meeting, a very difficult decision was made to increase the annual membership dues for SAPFM members. A vigorous debate was held and all Board members were given an opportunity to voice their concerns – both the pros and cons – and for each to be able to provide evidence for the need to raise or not to raise these dues. SAPFM provides our members a tremendous value for the hard-earned dollars that you entrust to us, such as: the American Period Furniture yearly publication, the quarterly Pins & Tails publication, access to the members-only section of the sapfm.org website (with its amazing articles, gallery, access to the Price4Antiques Reference database, etc.), the ability to attend SAPFM conferences, privilege to attend Chapter meetings and events, and so on. We are also in the process of completely rebuilding the website in a more useful environment that will allow us to be able to provide even better services and information to our leaders and members. And as each of you know, there is a cost to providing these publications and services.
Unfortunately, the costs of the publications alone have caught up to us much quicker than we had anticipated. As of the end of the 2017 fiscal year, the costs of providing only the American Period Furniture yearly publication and the quarterly Pins & Tails publication almost completely consumed the entirety of the funds that were brought in from membership dues. Outside of this, SAPFM has needed to rely on any meager profits made from the Mid-year and Williamsburg’s conferences, revenues from American Period Furniture ad sales, and has required us to dip into the organizations reserves in order to do the website rebuild work to finish out the year. Continuing to operate in such a manner would not allow SAPFM to continue to provide such professional publications, much less to continue as an organization for very long. There are still on-going efforts to get out the SAPFM name via advertisements on websites, blogs, and within other publications in the effort to increase membership but, unfortunately, we have seen the membership increase only nominally in almost 5 years.
The following membership dues changes take effect on November 1, 2018:
- Single yearly membership is increasing from $60 to $75.
- Joint yearly membership is increasing from $75 to $95.
- Lifetime memberships will no longer be available for purchase.
November 1, 2018 was chosen as the most logical date to begin this change because October 31st is the last day that someone can be a member and still receive the 2018 copy of the American Period Furniture publication. The Lifetime membership option has become untenable because on average the amortized cost of servicing those memberships exceeds the income from the Lifetime memberships without an unreasonable increase in the fees. Any members who are currently on the Lifetime membership track will be allowed to continue that path toward a Lifetime membership. All current Lifetime memberships will continue to be honored. While the decision to raise membership dues was not taken lightly, and was seriously debated for many months, it is the right time to make this change. The additional funds will allow SAPFM to continue to provide the products and services that the membership has grown to depend upon.
As a reminder, we believe that it is important for you to understand that everyone who does any work for SAPFM, outside of the Journal and Pins and Tales editors, their respective hired services, and our webmaster, is a volunteer. All Board members are volunteers. All Chapter Leads are volunteers. All members who do side projects for the Board and Chapter Leads and those who work on setting up the Mid-Year and Williamsburg conferences and all of the woodworking trade shows are volunteers. All of the monies that are raised go to you, the member, via the services that are provided. It is these monies that provide the amazing American Period Furniture yearly publication, with its 100+ pages of museum quality content, and the quarterly Pins & Tails publication that is easily a direct competitor of the finest woodworking magazines in print today. Our new website will ultimately allow us to provide even more content to the membership and will be able to tie into social media for a broader reach. This is why it is so vitally important that we find ways to keep this increasingly important medium available from which we can all continue to learn.
This is also why it is so vitally important that each of us find even just one other person to join SAPFM. Increasing our membership is truly the only way to continue to grow our organization and doing so will not only help us financially but will increase our knowledge and the understanding of one of the most beautiful forms of self-expression – the amazing journey of creating and displaying beautiful period furniture.
SAPFM Board of Directors.