By Bill Finley, NSP Finance and Operations Director
At NSP, our vision calls us to be the premier provider of outdoor rescue education, increase recruitment and retention, expand our reach into other sports and events, be financially self-sustaining, and provide all members with successful patrolling experiences. With this backdrop, in April the NSP board of directors approved a dues alignment and increase starting with the 2020 membership year.
The primary reason behind the dues increase is to ensure that NSP keeps up with inflation and continues to operate as a strong organization that delivers valuable member benefits, including high-quality education programs, pro deals, the NSP Online Store, Ski Patrol Magazine, monthly e-newsletters, and more. This also ensures that we can better support patrols’ recruitment efforts, retain existing patrollers, develop host units, and provide paths for alumni members to maintain membership and medical certifications.
Another key aspect of the dues realignment is to ensure that regions and divisions can provide the needed support for associate and host units. In this new model, the dues are the same for all members in a region except alumni. As the number of mountain host units increases, strong divisions and regions will ensure that our education programs, including Outdoor Emergency Care and Outdoor First Care, remain the gold standard and are affordable for members.
Another goal of this dues increase was to shrink the dues gap between the professional and geographic divisions. Previously, Professional Division national dues were 75 percent of the national dues of a geographic division member. We have changed that to 80 percent to better equalize the benefits that all members receive from their NSP membership.
By keeping up with inflation, this dues realignment and increase allows NSP to remain a financially viable organization, which in turn allows us to maintain our properties and other capital investments, operate with a balanced budget, and continue to attract and retain highly qualified and skilled staff who assist our membership on a daily basis.
We consistently work to diversify our revenue streams and ensure that we are not solely reliant on member dues to fund NSP programs and operations. However, member dues still account for over half of all NSP income and are the primary source of revenue for most divisions and regions. While we have explored various options to keep our dues current with inflation, the model that seems to have the most support is one that imposes similar dues increases every three to four years.
If you have questions about the dues increase or where your money goes, contact your division director, explore the NSP page on Guidestar, view NSP’s annual report , or email NSP Finance and Operations Director Bill Finley at firstname.lastname@example.org.