Lifetime membership in the Gold Prospectors Association of America and Lost Dutchman’s Mining Association is as much a responsibility as it is an honor. Lifetime members of both organizations are ambassadors for each of the associations, representing the mining industry in a substantial number of capacities from school events to legislative proceedings. It is a lifestyle for most of the members, often one that they have considered at length and chosen to fit them. I understand the commitment that each of our Lifetime members makes to our associations, and take very seriously the expectation they have for the future of our membership.
GPAA recently announced the discontinuation of Lifetime Membership sales at the end of November, and as an incentive bundled new sign ups with the highly desirable MineLab Gold Monster 1000. Not every Lifetime membership needs to be purchased with a detector, but most prospective members are choosing to take advantage of that offer while supplies last. This has prompted questions as to why the GPAA Lifetime Membership will no longer be available moving forward.
Right at this moment we have over 11,000 active GPAA Lifetime members. That number has grown substantially within the last few years as we have promoted the awareness of benefits, incentives, and initiatives to increase involvement among all GPAA members. For members that upgrade to GPAA Lifetime directly, there is a one-time cost as benefits last a lifetime. The cost of maintaining the benefits, on the other hand, will continue to rise each year with the rate of inflation. In order to offer Lifetime Membership, the price becomes a factor of projected costs moving forward and is based on historical increases.
What does that all boil down to? The GPAA will only take on so many Lifetime Membership commitments at the current price to ensure that we can continue to improve the benefits for Lifetime members moving forward. It is important to understand that we are focused on improvement of benefits and not on our ability to maintain benefits. The goal of the Gold Prospectors Association is to continue to offer more places for people to go to prospect, better places to find more gold, better publications, stronger local chapters and more outings and events to participate in. While supporting the organization as it is today is of vital importance to all of us, it is not the goal.
Members who sign up for the Lost Dutchman’s Mining Association will still receive Lifetime GPAA benefits with the Lifetime LDMA Memberships. The package items included for lifetime members will not go away, and all Lifetime members will be unaffected by this change. GPAA will likely resume Lifetime Membership offerings at some point in the future, but the cost of Lifetime Membership will adjust based on the increased cost to administer the benefits.
Every member of the organization, whether lifetime or not, plays an important role in promoting, preserving and protecting the heritage of the North American Prospector. The international members that we have, and the members who represent us during their travels to foreign countries spread the knowledge and appreciation for prospecting that we all share. I hope that all GPAA members consider themselves a part of our club for life, and it is my goal that all members who have made the Lifetime decision see it as one of the best investments they have ever made.
If you're interested in becoming a GPAA Lifetime member before 11/30/17, click here or call 1-800-551-9707