CHALLENGES FOR NAHB AND ITS MEMBERS
Some of the local HBAs have a decent-sized professional staff but many are staffed only by a part-time executive officer (EO) or are run completely by volunteers. Their database technology runs the gamut from sophisticated association management systems (AMS) to a bunch of index cards in a box. Seriously.
As you can imagine, NAHB membership rosters don’t always match the local or state rosters. For example, if NAHB pulls a list of members for a specific local, it might show 560 members. But if you ask the local for their list, it might show 590 members.
DUES & DATA
Dues and data reconciliation is challenging to say the least. Each month, some local HBAs upload data for new, renewing, and non-renewing members to NAHB through NAHB’s Web Membership System (WMS). They also use WMS to update member data, pull membership reports, and pay NAHB their share of the dues with an electronic check (ACH).
But some locals still receive membership reports from NAHB by mail, make changes to those reports by hand, and mail back the reports and paper checks for NAHB’s share of the dues. And that means, you guessed it, staff at NAHB (and the state HBA) are entering that member data manually into the database.
Local HBAs are paying the credit card and ACH processing fees for the entire dues payment—local, state, and national—and are, therefore, paying more than their fair share of those fees.
Members get short-changed too. Let’s say a member joins the local HBA on November 2 and pays dues that same day. NAHB won’t get those dues until they receive the HBA’s batch or report in early December. The member’s national membership won’t be active until around December 5. If the member wants to access members-only content on the NAHB website in November, they’re out of luck.
Members don’t have the payment flexibility they need and expect. Small businesses and younger professionals can’t always afford to make a high annual dues payment, they would prefer to pay in installments, but that hasn’t been possible. “Many of our local HBAs don’t even offer online payments or payment by credit card or ACH,” said Joe.