PDA Letter Article

PDA is Updating Its Membership Structure!

by Richard Johnson, PDA, Inc.

Periodically, PDA conducts a Membership survey to learn more about what is important to our members. The most recent survey took place in 2019/2020 by a specialized outside company. It was sent to all current customers of PDA, both members and nonmembers. More than 2,100 people responded to the survey.

One of the key recommendations was:

Recommendation 1: Examine the current membership structure and consider creating a new, more flexible membership model to better recruit, retain and engage current and future members.

This applied especially to early-career professionals, students and other groups that are vital to the continuing health of PDA. The Board of Directors and the PDA staff worked together with key volunteers to develop a proposal to accomplish this. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, we developed a plan that was approved by the Board in 2021. We have also been communicating with our members to let them know about this process.

The new structure will include three tiers, Essential, Plus and Premium. For each tier, the cost of membership will be based on the benefits provided in that tier. Discounts for select membership categories will still apply.

The tiers, pricing, and benefits included are as follows:

Essential Plus Premium
Standard Member $150 $250 $350
Academic, Early Career, and Emerging Economy $75 $125 $245
Health Authority, Students, Retired Free Free $175
Membership Directory X X X
Vote in PDA elections and on proposed bylaws changes X X X
PDA Letter Online X X X
PDA Connect X X X
PDA Volunteer Opportunities X X X
Members-Only Discounts X X X
PDA Technical Publications Portal – view and annotate the full collection of TRs and PtCs online
PDA Journal – Limited Access
Download new TRs/Surveys/PtC for free within 30 days

PDA Technical Reports – 1 free download of your choice from the existing TR/Survey/PtC library per year

PDA Journal – Unlimited Access


While the new tier structure will become available in Spring 2022, existing memberships will continue unchanged until their current expiration date. When your membership is due to expire, you may select the new membership tier that is right for you and renew your membership at that tier.

We focused especially on making membership easier for Students, Early-Career Professionals, Health Authorities and other discounted member types. We also wanted to make it easier for some members to join at a reduced rate and have access to view our technical documents on the PDA portal. Many other associations do not offer this benefit.

Along with the new benefits structure, PDA is using this opportunity to update and simplify the “Join or Renew Membership” portal on our website. When the time comes for you to renew your membership, you will notice an updated user interface and a streamlined billing and payment process.

I encourage you to check out additional information on our website at https://www.pda.org/membership/new-membership-structure.