2016 Membership Changes

Last year we conducted a survey of GUE students, members, instructors, and anyone else we could reach to learn more about what you want from GUE. We are in a unique position as both a training agency and a global nonprofit organization working for the betterment of our underwater world, so we want to make sure we are serving both of those causes as best we can. Based on your responses, a reevaluation of the practical realities of our goals, and thorough financial analysis of how those goals are realized, we are introducing some changes to our membership structure beginning February 1, 2016.

The Conservation Membership level will remain the same: $39 per year, totally dedicated to Project Baseline, with free access to the online repository of Quest issues and a number of other online benefits. Due to increases in our costs, specifically for creating and shipping the much-beloved print version of Quest magazine, Silver and Gold Membership levels are increasing by $25 to $150 and $300 per year, respectively. Silver member benefits won’t change, but your contribution will go a lot further with some of those Quest costs offset! Gold members will now get access to one of our most popular Scholar level benefits in addition to the current gifts: 10 free gear stickers!

Since it’s a big jump between $39 and $150, we are introducing a new membership level in the interest of serving those who want something in between. The GUE Bronze Membership level will be $100 per year and include all of the benefits of the Conservation level, plus the annual GUE exclusive member t-shirt and access to one free GUE Course Presentation of your choice. Deciding which GUE course to take next? A free course material download could be just the thing you need!

Scholar and Platinum Membership levels will remain the same in terms of costs and benefits. As always, $39 of every membership will be allocated directly to Project Baseline. If you have a recurring membership subscription for Silver or Gold, the $25 increase will be reflected on your next scheduled charge that occurs after February 1, 2016. If you are a member at any level and you’d like to change to a different membership at your next renewal or plan to upgrade before your membership expires, you can cancel your existing subscription via the Recurring Fees option on your My Account page.

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As you know, GUE membership is different from GUE certification. It’s a way to financially support GUE’s mission of education, conservation, and exploration, and to demonstrate that you are a part of advancing that mission.

We hope you understand that we have two goals with these changes: to continue to provide the member benefits you enjoy, and to have enough remaining from your generous membership donations to advance our mission more effectively. We had some big goals in 2015, and ensuring that we use your contributions as efficiently as possible is chief among those. We operate with a streamlined staff of polymaths who do whatever needs doing, a volunteer Board of Directors, and with the talent, energy, passion, and support of our global diving community. We truly cannot operate without you – over a quarter of our operations budget comes from GUE Members.

If you have questions or specific, constructive feedback about these changes, please email us and we will be happy to discuss them with you. Thank you so much for your support of GUE and our shared mission. We wish you all the best in 2016!

- The Global Underwater Explorers Operations Staff


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