As we’re in the heart of asking you to join or renew your GSA membership for 2016, you may be wondering where membership dues go.
Your dues do not subsidize the GSA journals or GSA conferences, which are self-sustaining.
Your membership dues do support programmatic activities that further the Society’s mission—including advocacy, communications, education, outreach, and awards. They also support Society investments back into the genetics community, such as GSA sponsorship of FlyBook, WormBook, and YeastBook; GSA pays the cost to publish these important resources in GENETICS.
For example, your membership dues support more than $400,000 annually in education, communications, and policy. They allow us to increase our efforts to promote the value of investment in basic research and model organisms. We also work closely with our advocacy partners—including FASEB and the Coalition for the Life Sciences—to expand funding for research agencies including NIH, NSF, USDA, and Department of Energy. And we continue to develop and implement career development activities and efforts to help our community become more effective educators.
Last year, GSA provided more than $100,000 in travel grants and awards to help our students and postdocs attend professional meetings and courses. The DeLill Nasser Award for Professional Development in Genetics and GSA Undergraduate Travel Awards depend not only on your charitable contributions, but also on funds allocated from the Society’s operating budget. Your dues help recognize top posters with GSA Poster Awards and deserving scholars with our annual Society awards.
Your membership dues enable the Society Board of Directors to launch new initiatives to serve the interests of our members. For example, last year, GSA began Trainee-Organized Symposia, whereby student and postdoc members receive support to hold events relevant to the GSA mission.
Finally, your dues are essential to run the Society as a whole. Although we run a lean and efficient operation, we do pay salaries for our staff, rent for our offices, phone and Internet costs, IT infrastructure and development, funds to convene our Board and committees, and more.
The budget is approved annually by the Board, which is elected by you each year.
So when we ask you to join or renew your membership, please understand the importance of your continued commitment to GSA: your dues are essential to furthering our mission, and we work hard to put every penny to good use on behalf of our community.