After much consideration, the board of directors voted to increase NPPA annual membership dues. We raised the dues only after long and serious discussion. I want to say that right up front so there is no misunderstanding. A dues increase was on the agenda at the annual board meeting in June in Chicago and it was voted down. But after looking at our financial options it came up again. The last dues increase came in the mid-1990's. Just the cost of living increase from then until now would have put the dues at a little over $95.00. We've kept it below that, raising it to $90.00. That said, NPPA membership is still a bargain.
Over the past few months many board members have talked with you about the possible dues increase, and most people seem to understand the need for it. Part of the need is evident in the changes in News Photographer magazine, which is undergoing a series of changes designed not only to enhance it visually but also to improve the content. The NPPA Web site is also undergoing a major overhaul.
The truth of the matter is that it's costing more than ever to provide the services we do, and in today's business climate finding and keeping sponsorship dollars isn't easy. The "Best of Photojournalism" book costs $85,000, the "TV Best of Photojournalism" DVD is more than $20,000, and the magazine's annual budget is approximately $400,000. These costs don't include our educational events, the mentoring program, portfolio critiques, and other events and services that NPPA provides.
Each of these items is important to you. It's important to us to provide them to you. The board of directors consists of working people like you; we all understand what it costs in work hours to earn every dollar. Increasing dues is never an easy decision to make, and we hope that you will understand and see the value in NPPA.
The dues increase does not go into effect until January 1, 2004. Knowing this, you can still renew early and pay the current rate of $75.00. It's never easy to raise dues, but we hope you understand it's necessary to do this now so that we can continue to provide the services that you expect and deserve.