The 2019 ARRL Annual Report is now available in print and online. The publication’s release was delayed as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic. Print copies for members who are interested will be available soon. ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, called 2019 “an exciting year for ARRL,” with several new initiatives moving through planning and development for rollout in 2020.
“Two of them — On the Air magazine and the ARRL Online Learning Center — signify steps taken toward the ‘new generation of hams’ that I’ve been talking about in the past few Annual Reports,” President Roderick said. “They’ve been asking ARRL for help finding their way in amateur radio for so long, wanting to know everything from how to serve their communities, how to integrate the ham radio hobby and service with all the demands that modern life makes upon them, and even simply how to determine which parts of ham radio interest them.”
President Roderick also cited the development in 2019 of the ARRL Online Learning Center — an array of online courses that will at first serve new hams and later expand to courses and materials for hams at all skill levels. The Online Learning Center is expected to launch in early 2021.
“2019 was more than busy for ARRL — it was productive and constructive,” President Roderick concluded. “We’re growing and changing, and we do it all for you, the members, with an eye on our mission: to advance the art, science, and enjoyment of amateur radio.”
ARRL membership was essentially flat from 2018 at 156,755 — likely a result of the membership dues increase in 2019 but still slightly above projections.
The ARRL Volunteer Monitor Program was developed in 2019, replacing the Official Observers program. The new VM Program is a formal agreement between the FCC and ARRL in which trained volunteers will monitor the bands and collect evidence that may be used both to correct misconduct and to recognize exemplary on-the-air operation.
The Report summarizes a raft of responses to emergencies and disasters by Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES®) volunteers. ARES membership grew by 3,130 in 2019, and a new ARES Comprehensive Plan was introduced.
Financially, ARRL had a particularly good year in 2019, producing a $596,000 gain from operations, along with strong investment markets resulting in an overall net asset gain of $3.75 million. The Report includes complete financials for 2019 compared with 2018, and the numbers show that total revenues and expenses were both slightly up from 2018. Dues revenues remain ARRL’s largest revenue source, at $6.77 million for the year.
“Members have continued their generous support of the organization through voluntary contributions — both with and without donor restrictions,” the Report recounted. “A total of $1.7 million was contributed in 2019, with almost $400,000 coming from bequests.” Total expenses were up by less than 1%. Total ARRL assets stood at $36.6 million at the end of 2019, up from $32.4 million at the end of 2018.
“In summary, ARRL’s financial condition continues to be good and provides a strong financial foundation for the organization,” the Report said. “This financial position will also provide the resources for ARRL to maintain its solid infrastructure while meeting the evolving needs, desires, and demands of today’s and tomorrow’s amateur radio community.”