The Jewish Genealogy Association 

The cost of membership and subscriptions to associations

Micheline GUTMANN
Translation into English : David Presburger-Hauser and Gaby Laws

Some charge high subscription / membership rates but do not offer more services, and sometimes they offer less than other more affordable associations. Why?

These associations may want you to believe "you get what you pay for. " However this reasoning is wrong for both commercial organizations and non-profit making groups.

The main reason? The cost of overheads such as renting conference rooms, meeting rooms, library space, administrative offices... GenAmi has already rented space and we know that the costs are very high, especially in Paris. Another reason is the cost of paying authors for frequently unprofitable publications. The creation of a paper or magazine is generally entrusted to publishing professionals, who also provide the distribution of them. Sometimes speakers at lectures charge fees. Are all these expenses really beneficial to members? One may wonder.

So what? All associations want more members and some even require two memberships from spouses doing their genealogy. In some groups there are members who only contribute out of goodwill, but do nothing to contribute to the actual work of the associations (see the comparison of members / subscribers).

Sometimes arguments are used by associations such as - "we are the oldest, " as if they were selling an antique ... - while more recent groups, who know how to use the ideas and techniques of their time, and keep up to date with everything in this so rapidly changing world. How to reduce the costs?

Lowering costs means having sound management. This was GenAmi’s idea from the beginning. Obviously, this concept involves motivation, but not only that. You also need to know about management, and be willing and able to count.

How does GenAmi do it?

  • For the magazine
    The price of paper, there is the choice of which weight to use, the number of pages and how to best use all the available space. All this is calculated as accurately as possible while also not ruining the presentation.

  • The use of new technology
    Large savings were made possible by the online distribution of our bimonthly magazine. This allowed GenAmi to improve it by adding color for no extra cost.

          Further savings were made by switching from paper editions of brochures to electronic files made available online.

  • General expenses
    Costs are reduced by using space provided free of charge, or provided by private owners.

  • Life of our association
    By appealing to people who volunteer out of good will and are competent in their field (be it technical, artistic, historical, literary, etc.), the vitality of our association has strengthened and the quality of our service to our members has been enriched.

GenAmi has managed to do all this and is a champion in the support of genealogy.