In a LinkedIn discussion about grant writing for amateur radio clubs, I learned about a membership survey done by the ARRL’s Delta Division. There’s a big section on clubs and club activities. Here are a few bullet points from the executive summary:
- Clubs and the experiences that League members have in them constitute important elements shaping both amateur’s behavior and assessments of membership. Almost two-thirds (65%) say they are a member of at least one local club. The median distance to their nearest club is 9 miles, irregardless of their membership status. By comparison, the average commute to work in the US is almost one hour. Comparing ARRL Affiliated Club locations with those of the survey respondents using GIS methods, the objective distance to a club does not appear to have an important relationship to membership even though it was the second highest reason given for non-membership.
- What does affect membership appears to be the availability of time to participate and the quality of club leadership. Life cycle demands involving work and family obligations are tied to age and marital/parental status. These periods reduce the potential for many to seek membership in clubs. Leadership which allows or even fosters a hostile political environment and which does not plan and conduct interesting educational activities sponsored by the club are the most reported signs of poorly-evaluated leadership in the Delta Division.
- Club leadership is rated very positively by many Division club members. There appears to be a segment of clubs, however, who have lost members due to poor leadership and perhaps a lack of leadership training for succession in club leadership roles.
For the full report, go to http://www.arrldelta.org/2013final.pdf.