The Importance of a Dues Increase

By Bea Gabany, National Treasurer

December 11, 2019

I’ve heard it said that you cannot make progress without making decisions. That holds very true in my personal life, as well as my volunteer life serving as your National Sertoma Treasurer.  

We are at a pivotal point in Sertoma with new leadership, new ideas and a Board who is actively working together to help grow Sertoma. The need for a dues increase has come up again for recommendation. These recommendations do not come easily to your National Board as there is always much discussion. Do we need a dues increase? How much for members? How much for clubs?

Currently, we are proposing an increase for members. Our recommendation is to increase dues $25 per member effective July 1, 2020, bringing the national dues to $105 per year.

There are many reasons that we see the need for a dues increase:

  • The last dues increase was almost eight years ago in 2012.
  • The cost of living has increased an average of 2.9% since our last increase. Therefore, Sertoma’s operational costs have also increased including: the upkeep on our office, utilities, office expenses, taxes, insurances and other costs of doing business. 
  • To cover our expenses, we have used approximately $135,000 in each of the last three years from our reserve account.  This of course is not sustainable, and unfortunately, we do not have unlimited funds.
  • The Board and staff have been listening to our members. They are diligently working on new and exciting programs, but these programs take time and money.

Of course, staff and the Board continue to look for ways to cut costs and save money, but we need your help. Please vote for the dues increase! 

Bea Gabany


  • Al Shomaker says:

    Utica Sertoma built one of the last new Clubs in Bladensburg, Ohio. They were penalized with a ruling that if they fall below 20 members they must pay for 20. Bladensburg is a village of about 600 people. This Club is doing great things for their area. It would be great to see this penalty removed. They are great at helping people in need with gas and food cards for people who have family members in hospitals. If they drop below 20 members Sertoma is taking money they could use in their community.

    • Aaron Ensminger says:

      Hi Al!

      Your comment made me want to check this out, being still less than a year in at Sertoma!

      I’ve found that this has never been enforced to this point for Utica or any club.

      Thanks for bringing this to my attention!

  • Nancy Humphries says:

    Our club officers need to address this issue and start asking the general membership to consider this request. We adjusted our overall dues downward last year when we no longer paid any district dues. Since this national increase proposal is close to the former district dues amount maybe we can use that as a selling point for supporting the increase.

    • Aaron Ensminger says:

      Nancy –

      Great points!

  • Edward Taylor says:


    Your rationale for the increase is very, very valid and, hopefully, the clubs will see the big picture and accept.

    Tally HO!

    • Aaron Ensminger says:

      Edward –

      Thank you for your support!

  • Ronald J Bochenek says:

    I agree and will support a dues increase for members but remember that it has taken many years to get to this point. Will this increase pm;y get us out of the red? Maybe instead of $25 per year go to $28 per year. It is also very important to try to keep the club dies static or very little increase. Some of our great Sertoma Club have smaller membership. While they grow in the next few year lets try to heep their costs with little or no increase.

    • Aaron Ensminger says:

      Ron –

      At our current operating levels, this increase takes care of nearly all of the operating deficit, and should do so for 3-5 years.

  • Mitzi Henry Jones says:

    Makes sense! thanks Bea!

  • Renee Ward says:

    My hometown club and the clubs I have been speaking with across the US are all in favor of the dues increase and understand the importance of it. With new leadership and new staff, for the first time I feel hopeful and confident. However, staff cannot get Sertoma back on track by themselves, it will take each and every club and its members to grow Sertoma! Let’s take the first step and pass this dues increase . . . we cannot afford not to!! Merry Christmas to all!
    Renee Ward

  • Harvey Rhinehart says:

    I would suggest member dues is voted separately from club dues. When done the way it was last time we voted they were tied together. Club dues is paid from club dues collected from members for club operating expenses. Small clubs are unable to pay more than they already pay.

    • Aaron Ensminger says:

      Harvey –

      To be clear, there is no club dues increase proposed this year.

  • Debby Larsen says:

    Bea, your comments are right on. Thank you for sharing. My hope is that our fellow Sertomans will vote in favor of a dues increase.

  • Gretchen says:

    Well said Bea. Let’s support the organization we chose to belong to.

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