I wish there were a more generic place to post this question since it applies to any and all organizations that recognize particular connections.
This is just a query for individuals, not to open up promotion of any organizations: Why did you join a genealogy-related organization? Did you remain a member? How much did the organizaiton help you with your own research? Did you find other benefits, perhaps unexpected ones? Please feel free to answer as many as you wish. You don't need to name the group if you don't want to, but please tell what kind of a group it is (i.e., pioneer ancestor, national heritage, veteran of specific war, etc.).
My perspective: I'm eligible for membership in more organizations than I feel it's practical to join. I like to support those that help with research by maintaining records, rehabbing old cemeteries, and that kind of thing. Community service is nice, too. Communicating with kindred spirits is also a positive. On the other hand, membership fees add up, and sometimes, an org isn't exactly what I thought it would be. One member of a lineage org told me they seem to be focused on genealogy until you are a member, then it's all about service. I went to one meeting and thought it was a lot of fun, but I could see she was right. The problem is, there's a lot of work to qualify for any lineage org, and it's often not the same material that's required from one group to the next, even when it seems that would be the case. Furthermore, my family have not been ones to join such orgs, but they have been very active in government and other community activities. There's plenty of info available, but it's not already organized in a membership-ready package. At this point, I'm eligible for almost anything related to an American war, assorted "first arrival," state pioneer, and Colonial groups, and a host of European orgs. To date, I've joined only a couple of state and local gen. and hist. soc. groups and stuck with research, but it would be fun to add something a little more sociable to the mix. I'm not looking for names or recommendations, just a general feel for what experiences others have had with types of groups they've joined. I'd prefer a group to encourage others to research their own family and history, rather than any "status" associated with memberships. It's enough for me to know my ancestors were good folk. :) If you want to comment off the board, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org