American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Dues Collection and Membership Record Maintenance

Dues are one of the primary sources of revenue that chapters rely on to support their programs and services so it is essential that there be an effective dues collection strategy in place.

Elements of a dues collection strategy include:

  1. Establishing a dues structure defining what each membership type pays annually in dues and what the dues billing cycle will be (i.e. calendar year). Consideration should also be given to proration rates for when members join at various points within the dues billing cycle. For example, if someone joins half way through the dues billing cycle they might only pay 50% of the full dues rate commensurate with receiving a half year of chapter benefits.

    Please visit the Become a Member webpages to learn more about each category of membership.
  2. Designing a user friendly dues statement. Whether collecting payment via a hard copy invoice or an online payment system, it is essential to include key elements such as:
    • Complete contact information for the chapter member with an option to make updates
    • The current dues amount and associated membership type
    • Due date for remitting payment, as well as any special instructions (i.e. where to make checks payable)
    • An address to send dues payments if paying via check
  3. Implementing a defined schedule for when dues notices will be distributed and through what means. Chapters should formalize how many dues notices are sent to chapter members and whether these notices are sent via mail or email. Dues notices should be accompanied by a brief letter from the chapter president, or other officer, detailing the benefits of the chapter’s programs and activities for chapter members. This process may also be supplemented by personal outreaches by chapter officers and councilors after a pre-determined number of dues notices have been sent without reply.
  4. Defining the threshold for suspending chapter membership due to non-payment of dues. As an example, if a chapter member has not responded to three dues notices they may be suspended as a member of the chapter. Their membership may be renewed pending payment of back dues, or a proration of back dues, as determined by the chapter council.
  5. To help support the dues collection process it is important that the chapter maintain current and accurate membership records. ACS assists chapters with this by providing an online roster of ACS members. These rosters can be downloaded by the chapter administrator, or other designated chapter officer, and include valuable contact and demographic data for all ACS members within the chapter territory.

This roster can be used in number of ways to help manage membership records:

  • In order to join an ACS chapter the applicant must be an active ACS member as a Fellow, Associate Fellow, Resident, Medical Student or Affiliate within the chapter’s territory. Accessing the roster will allow for quick confirmation of an applicant’s ACS membership status to determine eligibility to join the chapter.
  • Regular cross-checking of the ACS roster to the chapter membership roster allows the chapter to track any changes to member address/email information, membership type, etc. to maintain accurate records for communication and dues billing purposes. This cross check also allows the chapter to identify those ACS members that are not currently chapter members which provides the eligible pool that chapters can use to recruit new chapter members. It is advised that the ACS roster and chapter membership roster be cross-checked at least once per month.

The online roster of ACS members can be downloaded by following these instructions:

  1. Select the “Member Login” option in the upper right corner of the ACS homepage.
  2. Enter your username and password.
  3. You will be returned to the ACS homepage where a welcome button will appear in the upper right hand corner. Click this button and select the “my profile” option.
  4. From the blue menu at the top of the page select the “customer service” tab and choose “chapter administration.”
  5. From the table, click on the chapter name and the roster will appear on the webpage. This roster can be exported by selecting the “export to excel format” button at the bottom of the page.

    ** Please note that chapter administrators are given automatic access to the roster. Other chapter leader access can be requested by emailing Natalie Bell, Chapter Services Program Coordinator, at