NBFAA annual dues increase fails on first go around

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Monday, November 1, 2004

SILVER SPRING, Md.- The National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association’s effort to increase membership dues for the first time since 2001 was narrowly defeated by the association’s board of directors at its meeting in late September.
The association failed to get a two-thirds vote from its board of directors to approve the measure, as required by its bylaws, even though a simple majority of the 51-member board voted in favor of it.

Though the proposed dues increase may appear incremental- the association proposed increasing membership for companies with one to five employees from $175 to $300 a year- it is a big deal for some NBFAA members, especially smaller companies.

“To our membership, they feel it’s a pretty substantial dues increase compared to what they were paying,” said Merlin Guilbeau, executive director of the NBFAA.

Guilbeau said the money would provide additional revenue for the association and help support marketing for new members, lobby activities on Capital Hill and updating NBFAA’s educational courses.

The association estimated that the dues increase would bring in an additional $270,765 annually. The last increase in 2001 added $50 to a membership category.

As of press time in mid-October, the NBFAA was scheduled to hold another meeting with its board of directors to propose an incremental increase. Officials from the organization planned to propose half of the increase happen in 2005, with the rest coming later in 2006. The idea, said Scot Colby, president of the NBFAA, is “so the large increase doesn’t hit at once.”

Despite a dues increase failing to garner enough support, the association’s annual budget of $1.7 million was approved by the board.