During 98th annual DAV National Convention in Orlando, Fla., the convention body voted to approve a change to the organization’s bylaws that increases membership dues for the first time in nearly two decades.

Effective Jan.1, a full life DAV membership will cost a flat $300 for any eligible individual who is under the age of 80. Membership will remain free for anyone who is over the age of 80.

“The rationale behind the increase is pretty straightforward,” said National Headquarters Executive Director Barry Jesinoski. “DAV’s Life Membership Fund provides millions of dollars in distributions to our departments and chapters to support our grassroots service programs throughout the country. Its sole source of revenue comes from membership dues.”

While the fund remains in good health, Jesinoski said there were indicators that changes were necessary to ensure it remains strong and continues the ability to support local programs and services for veterans and their families well into the future.

“Because it is so important to maintain DAV’s programs and services on the local level, the fund distributed more than it collected in 2018,” said Jesinoski. “This is not sustainable long-term without some tweaks.”

“For many, if not most chapters, these allocations are the primary or lone source of revenue,” said National Adjutant Marc Burgess. “Not only are new members contributing to our important mission and adding their voice to our cause, there are significant advantages to being a member.”

Some of those advantages come through agreements with companies who recognize the sacrifices of DAV members and their families. For instance, according to Jesinoski, X-Plan pricing through Ford Motor Co. can more than offset the cost of a fully paid life membership. In addition to X-Plan pricing, participating veterans receive a $1,000 bonus cash offer on the purchase of new Ford vehicles.

Any membership application postmarked or received at national headquarters prior to Jan. 1, 2020, will be eligible for the current membership rates and honored as such.

To learn more about how DAV utilizes membership dues to support veterans and their families, watch our video, “How are DAV membership dues used?” at http://dav.la/xh. To learn more about member advantages, visit http://dav.la/12w.