Section chairs and others wishing to give the gift of membership in their section can now purchase them directly using the new section gift order system. Visit http://asa.enoah.com/Home/My-ASA/Gift-Section and log in using your ASA ID and password. Once in the system, you can choose a section, then search the member database by name. Only current ASA members (and those who are not already members of the selected section) are eligible to receive a gift section membership. You may purchase several memberships at one time, with an easy checkout and payment process within the secure ASA database. Section memberships will be activated immediately; recipients will receive an e-mail notifying them of the gift.
This is the best time of the year for signing up gift members. By late March many people have already renewed their ASA memberships for the year. Members who join sections early in the year receive far more benefit from their memberships than those who are added later in the year. These members have more of an opportunity to engaged with the section’s activities during the year and participate at the Annual Meeting. Consequently they are more likely to stay active after the current membership year.
Many sections engage in late September membership drives. While this practice can be handy to when a section is a few members short of an additional session it can be detrimental if done on a large scale. There is little evidence that this practice benefits sections in the long term. Many sections have come to rely on September membership drives just to maintain their current membership levels. Even sections that launch exceptionally large recruiting efforts in September, recruiting 50 members or more, don’t tend to see lasting progress but instead are more likely to have booms and busts.