In reviewing the past membership reports, there were two entries that are often confusing concerning active membership numbers. I noted the following question in the LNC Discuss List:
There are five columns on page 2 of the report.
1. Total “MEM” – this is the total number of constituents in state that have signed the pledge – whether they have paid dues or not. It includes inactive folks who are not reflected on this chart.
2. Active “MEM”- Current Dues Payer or Lifetime Donor with a signed pledge
3. Active “SUB” – Current due payer or lifetime donors who have not signed the Pledge
4. Total Active – that is just adding numbers 2 and numbers 3.
5. Total BSM- By-Law Definition of “Sustaining Member” and number used for delegate count with a parenthetical comment of Art 5-3 that a Sustaining member is any Party member who has given at least $25 to the party in the prior twelve months, or who is a life member. By that definition, a Pledge signer.
What is the different between Numbers 2 and Number 5? Dues payers? Check. Lifetime donors? Check. Signed Pledge? Check. That is true for both of those categories, so what is the difference?
And the different between those numbers in the states is only a few people, and in some states (such as Hawaii, Nebraska, Rhode Island, South Carolina), they are exactly the same [for the month I was reviewing].
Wes Benedict provided this concise answer:
If John signed the pledge and paid dues on 1/1/2015, then, at that point, their “Active Membership” and “Sustaining Membership” both expire on 1/1/2016.
We start sending renewal letters and renewal emails before people’s memberships expire.
If John renews his dues on 11/1/2015 (2 months before his expiration date), then his “Active Membership” is extended to 1/1/2017 (per the policy manual), but his “Sustaining Membership” will expire 11/1/2016 (per the bylaws).
The above kind of thing is one example of how the two sets of numbers can vary–sometimes records aren’t 100% complete updated right when a report is run as well. And sometimes errors are made.
The relevant Bylaw is:
ARTICLE 4: MEMBERSHIP
3. “Sustaining member” is any Party member who has given at least $25 to the Party in the prior twelve months, or who is a life member.
The relevant Policy Manual portion is:
Section 2.05 MEMBERSHIP POLICIES
5) Benefits Lapse Date
An individual’s benefits lapse date is independent of the sustaining membership lapse date defined by the Party’s Bylaws.48
Individuals making a first contribution shall have a benefits lapse date established one year from the date of receipt.
Individuals who remit the required amount of dues in response to a membership renewal request shall have the benefits lapse date extended by one year from the existing lapse date or one year from the date of receipt, whichever is later.
Individuals who remit the required amount other than dues during the Renewal Period shall have the benefits lapse date extended by one year from the existing lapse date or one year from the date of receipt, whichever is later.
Individuals pledging at least $10 per month using an automated recurring payment method, such as a valid credit card or ACH debit, shall have their benefits lapse dates extended to the last day of the following December.
Other contributions in response to other than a membership renewal appeal shall not as a policy extend the benefits lapse date, however Staff shall have the discretion on a case-by-case basis to extend a contributor’s benefits lapse date up to one year from the last contribution date, if failure to do so would damage donor relations.