Today at Virtual NARCON, the National Association of Rocketry held an open Town Hall Meeting led by NAR president John Hochheimer, to discuss the State of the NAR.
Briefly, here are a few items of note.
Current NAR memberships are at about 7,450 total members. About half of these are high power certified.
Of course, over the course of the last year, memberships have decreased slightly, after a year of increases, due to the COVID crisis.
The NAR has been operating somewhat in the red the past few years, though it is important to note that they are not in debt. They still have a healthy amount of cash on hand. However, this trend can't continue inevitably.
Therefore, beginning March 1, annual dues for membership will increase. This is the first increase since 2003, and the increase is small.
For Senior members, dues will increase from $62 to $70 per year, and for Junior members, the price will go from $25 to $30 per year.
This increase is still less than inflation since the last increase in 2003.
One notable cost-saving measure is that the Member Guidebook will be released as an electronic only publication, as opposed to being a hard copy.
As requested by some members, Sport Rocketry Magazine will be available as an electronic-only option, but it is important to note that the paper version is not going away! (This caused a bit of confusion and concern from some meeting attendees who like getting the paper magazine.) So, you can get an electronic only version if you want to (like if you don't like clutter and don't need a stack of old rocketry magazines), but you can continue to receive your paper version if you wish.
The price increase is small, and the dues are still lower than what the NAR spends on member benefits per member, which is in the upper 80's. This small fee is totally worth it, in my opinion. I still imagine there will be occasional complaints in the online forums.
It's important to remember, things are not free. But this is pretty darn cheap.