Friday, 4 June 2010

Fabian membership hits all time high

Membership of the Fabian Society has reached an all time high, as 440 new members joined in May following the General Election, a record for any single month.

As a result, the Society had 6606 national members at the end of May: a record in the Society's 126 year history. (The previous national membership peaks were 6474 in June 2009, and before that 6332 in 1972).

There were 5093 members when Labour came to power in 1997, which means that the last 13 years appear to have been the first period with Labour in office when Fabian Society membership rose rather than fell. For example, the Fabian Society annual report shows 4425 members on 31st March 1945, which rose to 5089 by the end of March 1946, but this had fallen to 3018 by 1951 (falling further to 2645 by 1956).

Members under 31 are also members of the Young Fabians: Young Fabian membership is now at its highest ever level, at 1569 members at the end of May, in their 50th anniversary year.

Thank you to all of our members for their support and engagement with the Society.

You can join the Fabian Society here. Members receive our quarterly Fabian Review and four Fabian pamphlets a year, as well as invitations to special members events, and can also participate in our network of 70 Local Societies around the UK.

New members who would like to attend our leadership hustings event on June 14th can receive a ticket as part of their introductory package.


Lewis said...

I'm a young person on a tight budget, and as much as I would like to join, I'm unsure that the Young Fabian price is particularly appropriate? Perhaps it should be amended to encourage more young people to get involved. Obviously the full price for adults is fine for those on a full wage (although how does the Society propose to engage with the intelligent-but-low-waged?)

Sunder Katwala said...


Thanks for your message. I appreciate the points that you make. We try to address it to some extent by having the £5 introductory rate, before it goes to £18 for the reduced rate. I realise thats still going to be high for some people, as is the full rate for lower wage-earners: however, (as members receive four magazines and four pamphlets/books) the costs of printing and mailing would make it hard to make this any lower. We don't have party political or government funding and, as a small not-for-profit have to break even across the year.

On the final point, we try to make sure that a wider range of people can also engage with the Society, by publishing an increasing amount of content online, engaging through the blog and in social networks, running events many of which are open at no cost. (A few events are ticketed, or restricted to members). Some will then become members - because they are interested and/or when it is affordable for them personally - while others may engage in those channels without becoming members.

If you aren't in a position to join, but do want to know about what is going on, do email your details to and ask to be on the email bulletin list of activities and events.

Lewis said...

Thanks for responding Sunder; some careful budgeting might do the trick for me.