The ARRL Annual Report for 2011 – now available online — reviews the major events of the year and documents the renewed growth of both the ARRL and the activities of the Amateur Radio Service. For the fifth consecutive year, ARRL membership grew — totaling 157,813 members at year end.
According to ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, Amateur Radio is flourishing: “Despite challenges on many fronts, Amateur Radio and the ARRL were in better shape at the end of 2011 than at the beginning. In September, we reached a milestone in amateur licensing, with 700,000 individuals licensed by the FCC, and reached 702,056 at the end of December, up .86 percent for the year.”
Sumner noted that ARRL membership also grew at .86 percent, exactly the same rate as the licensing numbers. “While membership is still short of its all-time high, we have achieved five straight years of growth, straight through the recession,” he said. “This record of success is testimony to the professionalism of our membership staff as well as to the diligent efforts of everyone, volunteer and staff alike, who contributes every day to a positive image of the ARRL in the Amateur Radio community.”
According to Sumner, the ARRL had a very positive year financially. “It is best to regard this as a cushion against the fact that the next couple of years are unlikely to be as rosy,” he pointed out.
“Our major revenue sources are not increasing, and both advertising and publications sales revenues are vulnerable to the impact of digital publishing; we are doing remarkably well on both counts, but cannot expect this to continue indefinitely. Voluntary contributions from members who have the means and the motivation to provide financial support above and beyond the basic membership dues are an important part of our fiscal equation.”
Looking to 2012, Sumner noted that the ARRL “will continue to defend amateurs’ access to the radio spectrum in the face of growing pressure to expand the frequencies available for mobile broadband. We also will accelerate our planning for a memorable celebration of the ARRL’s Centennial in 2014, not only to honor the past but to set the stage for an equally exciting Second Century.”
“The good news for Amateur Radio is that because the wireless industry has exploded, Amateur Radio now makes sense to students in science, technology, engineering and math, drawing into Amateur Radio the technically oriented students who are aiming at careers in the wireless industry,” Craigie said. “The bad news for Amateur Radio is that because the wireless industry has exploded, the industry has a voracious appetite for spectrum above 30 MHz. The ARRL will face the continuing challenge of deciding how to apply finite resources to the defense of spectrum. The ARRL has never shrunk from a challenge and we aren’t going to start now as we stand on the doorstep of our Second Century.”