Around 50% of our local membership subscriptions fall due in January. Of those 396 pay by standing order and 676 by cheque. Our membership renewal letters went out in the second week of January, and I am grateful to the 416 members who replied and renewed their memberships over the last four weeks.
Today we are posting out a "first reminder" to the 260 members who did not respond to the original letter. Now I appreciate all the usual caveats; some people (particularly those on fixed incomes) are short of cash after Christmas, sometimes Royal Mail fail to deliver, letters "cross in the post" and often our more elderly members simply forgot to respond. Notwithstanding the above, sending reminder letters is an expensive business. There is the cost of printing the letter and renewal form, the outer envelope and the BRE and, of course, the postage. As well as a morning of a volunteer's time to pack them. In total we are probably looking at £1 per letter not including my time and Jon Botten's time in downloading the data and writing the letter.
It is one of those things we have to grin and bear, though it is particularly galling to go through the letters and find they include:
26 District / Borough Councillors
4 County Councillors
47 Members of our local Executive Councils
and 2 Members of Parliament!
It's one thing spending time and money for rank and file members who have forgotten to pay, but we really shouldn't have to waste resources on executive Members and elected representatives!