Harold Koopowitz, California


November 5, 2014

Category: General

Download PDF

The American Daffodil Society (ADS) faces some very serious problems that we need to address now. Unless we confront these issues today the long term health and continuance of our society will be in jeopardy. If we cannot repair the damage, within five years, we may no longer be able to afford to publish the journal or maintain our wonderful internet presence.

Membership is dropping more rapidly than we have been able to replace by recruiting new members. Membership has dropped 50% since the late 1990s. Over the last several years we have lost approximately 10% of the remaining membership per year.

Despite the fact that we have raised dues from $20 to $30 dollars per year and we have reduced printing costs for the journal from $25,000 per year down to $14,000 per year, our budget still exceeds our income by about $20,000 per year. This is because we no longer have sufficient membership numbers to cover our operating costs.

What can you do to help?

First we need to stabilize membership numbers. There are two things you can do today.

Give a Christmas gift membership to the ADS to a gardening friend. They don’t have to be growing daffodils and it might get them interested in trying them. If twenty percent of the ADS members gave only one membership gift it would staunch the hemorrhaging that we are experiencing and help balance the books. If you gave more than one gift it would be even better for us. For USA residents, one might even be able to argue that such gifts are tax deductible. Your name will be listed as having made a donation to ADS in the pages of the journal.

ADS membership is only $30 and it is a gift that appears four times a year. But we need our committed ADS members to do the gifting. We can no longer rely on someone else to fix our problems. It takes all of us to make the society function. I ask you to do your share.

There are membership brochures you can get from your Regional VP,  or you can also buy gift memberships on line at  daffodilusa.org or contact our Executive Director Phyllis Hess at  title=

Another thing you can do is approach members of your local societies and persuade them to buy their own memberships. There are many members of local daffodil groups that do not support the ADS. We need to become missionaries and get these people to join with us.

End of year donations.

Again for USA residents, the ADS is a 501(c)3 organization and this means that donations to it are tax deductible.  Like many other organizations with similar status I am appealing to you to make an end of the year gift to the ADS. All donations will be acknowledged in the pages of the ADS journal. You will also get an official thank you letter that can be used when you file your taxes the next year.

These are only two of many ways to help the society but they are the most important at the moment.  I will address the problem again and point out other ways to help in the future. Now the well being of the society depends on you. Will you do your bit?


Thank you,

Harold Koopowitz, President American Daffodil Society





  1. Loyce McKenzie, Mississippi
    Loyce McKenzie, Mississippi
    November 5, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    The late Jack Romine, of California, in his presidential inaugural address at Callaway Gardens in 1990, had the most insightful comment I’ve ever heard on the topic of membership:

    Every member of the American Daffodil Society is a member of the membership committee.

    All of us who care deeply about our own membership in the Society ought to find, recruit, and mentor one new member each year.  A gift membership without following up is only a short-term fix.

    Why did we join?  Why have we stayed?  If we can focus on that, and recruit one person, think of the great results.  Rod Armstrong’s mother Frances, who was Membership chair in the 1980s when we hit our peak of 1,800 always said, “If you can keep a new member for three years, you can keep them for life.”

    We need to nurture our local societies. Texas is doing a superb job here–how are they doing it? I know when Dottie Sable was active, she didn’t just invite people to TDS meetings—she said, “I’ll come by and pick you up.”

    And if the local societies would recruit just two or three new ADS members each year, that  would be a real plus.  And get two new local people to a convention…..I personally believe two conventions and they’re likely fixed for many years for the ADS.

    We can promise newcomers a wonderful convention in Williamsburg in April-interesting speakers, great gardens, beautiful show…..and then tell them they can be part of a World Convention the next year!

    If you are an exhibitor, find a potential exhibitor and mentor them. If you just love growing garden daffodils, find and encourage someone who  focuses there. Photographers, hybridizers–whatever your special interests, clone yourself!!!!  Teach them to use our website!!!

    As Rod Armstrong said, “It’s not the money–it’s the members.”

    Loyce McKenzie

  2. November 5, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    I agree with Loyce about playing into a person’s strengths and about cloning ourselves. Maybe the lure to a gardening friend would the deer resistance attribute of daffodils. To another, mention the travel opportunities afforded by convention attendance and the states that you have visited. Another friend might simply love the garden tours. ADS really does provide something for every plant lover.

    All traditional groups, including plant societies, seem to be in decline as American culture has shifted. Younger plant lovers are more interested in wild edibles than in formal flower shows. Let us remember to promote daffodils first, then ADS; the flower show aspect will naturally follow. Annette