APS membership trends improving, finances strong
By Michael Baadke
Despite a year of challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Philatelic Society is seeing positive signs in both its membership numbers and in its finances.
That is the news conveyed by APS executive director Scott D. English to an Aug. 11 combined meeting of the society’s board of directors and trustees of the American Philatelic Research Library.
The meeting was held in the Walden Room at the Embassy Suites Chicago in Rosemont, Ill. The hotel is connected to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, where the APS, along with the American Topical Association and the American First Day Cover Society, was preparing to host the Aug. 12-15 Great American Stamp Show.
Seven months into 2021, English pointed out, the society has 26,648 members, and over the past 12 months has seen a membership decline of just 99.
The society has struggled with significantly larger declines in the past. So far this year, the society has received 1,117 new applications.
Regarding applications, English said, “We are well ahead of where we were at this time last year,” when the APS had received 897 applications, the second-best year for membership applications since 2008.
Business reply cards are the top source for new applications, English said, followed by recruitments by existing APS members and social media.
English noted that former APS vice president Alex Haimann was responsible for recruiting “well over 100 members this year.”
With regard to the APS finances, English said, “The organization is very healthy, financially.”
Through June 30, the contribution to net assets is $491,000, described by English as $498,000 better than budget. That total includes forgiveness of the $334,000 Paycheck Protection Program loan received in 2020 from the federal government.
APS treasurer Bruce Marsden noted earlier in the meeting that the society saw a nearly $1 million increase in unrestricted net assets and a nearly $1.2 million increase in total net assets.
The American Philatelic Center in Bellefonte, Pa., remains open to visitors at this time, but member and public access remains limited to the member service areas: the American Philatelic Research Library, the circuit sales division, expertizing, the stamp and cover shop, and the Headsville post office.
Staff members are reporting to work regularly, but with the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, a mask requirement for all staff, members and visitors to the facility was expected to be instituted effective Aug. 16.
For additional information about the APS and the APRL, visit online.
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