Membership subscriptions 2023

What are we proposing?

We are proposing increasing our membership annual subscription fees in 2023 and are inviting members to vote on this proposal at the AGM, which will be held online at 7pm on Thursday 17th November.

All members will be able to vote on the proposal to increase the membership annual subscription rates as follows:

Category 2020-22 annual rates proposed rates from 2023
Individual £35/€40 £39/€45
Student (under the age of 25 or a registered student in possession of a student card) £15/€18 £17/€20
Longstanding (on application, if over-65, member for  10+ years and not in full-time employment) £25/€28 £28/€31
Family/Joint (includes up to three additional members added to an above membership - no separate mailings) £40/€45 £45/€52

Should members vote to adopt this proposal, the subscription rate for new and renewing members will increase for the membership year starting 1st January 2023.

Why are we proposing to raise subscription rates?

The decision to propose an increase to membership subscription rates has not been taken lightly. Trustees are aware of the impact of cost of living pressures on our members, and have instigated the BSBI Hardship Fund as an initial response to this. At the same time, the Society is not immune from economic pressures, and trustees have taken into account that:

a) unavoidable inflationary pressures are being incurred by BSBI, e.g. BSBI's Finance Manager Julie Etherington has pointed out that the cost of producing the refreshed, full-colour BSBI News for 3,500 members has risen by 25% in the past three years, due to increased costs of editorial and design input, and paper, printing and delivery costs for the print version;

b)  the importance of membership subscriptions to supporting BSBI's charitable and scientific aims and objectives; income from members funds around 30% of BSBI activity each year, supporting our research, training and outreach programmes;

c) subscription rates have been stable since 2020 and the proposed increases are lower than inflation and are comparable with similar organisations;

d) we continue to offer grants for training, plant study and research - and in recent years we have moved towards prioritising members in the grant application process; every year we see an increased number of applications for grants;

e) since the last price review, the range of services, resources and benefits available to our members has increased, and we will continue to add membership services going forwards - one example in the near future is the publication of the print version of the third BSBI Plant Distribution Atlas, which will be published in Spring 2023, with a substantial discount being offered to all BSBI members.

Note from Sarah Woods, BSBI Membership Team

"We would encourage any member who finds themselves in unforeseen financial difficulty, or is considering allowing their membership to lapse because of pressures on their finances, to consider applying to the BSBI Hardship Fund. This avenue of support for botanists emerged from constructive challenges made through last summer's Members' Survey, and from conversations with affected members and the Finance Manager. The Fund is designed to provide a bridging grant to members who find themselves in circumstances where they can no longer afford their membership renewal, so that they may remain part of the BSBI community".

For more information on criteria, how to apply, and how the Fund has been financed, please visit www.bsbi.org/hardship-fund.

Note from Ian Denholm, BSBI trustee and Editor-in-Chief of British & Irish Botany

"British & Irish Botany, our Open Access scientific journal launched in 2019, is now freely available to read and also to publish in. Thanks to our adoption of OJS software, we are able to publish the journal at a fraction of the cost of its predecessor, New Journal of Botany.

"We are always looking at the best ways to harness new technologies to deliver what our members and supporters want, in the most efficient and cost-effective way".