I think they should do what they have been doing, at least here in this part of the country. KCBS contests have grown rapidly and now we even have a state championship series where before we barely had any contests three or four years ago. Contest entries have grown rapidly as well. I think that KCBS membership is up the couple of years, but could not find where I had read that. I think they are attracting more cooks.
I do think that membership should be required. I can't think of anywhere else that membership in the sanctioning body isn't required to compete in a sanctioned event. Interesting Ford that you assumed a 50% membership, that based on just observations over the years? Wonder if its even that high.........There are ways that membership can be mandated, organizers fees could be based on membership percentage or something to that effect. If a nominal membership fee is going to be too steep, you are probably in the wrong hobby anyway. Buck up and pay it, its the cheapest thing at a comp.
For people that live in areas where another sanctioning body is present, they may not get anything out of KCBS and may be better off with their own local sanctioning body, but the KCBS is far more national than the majority of other organizations.
"What sort of people are these charcoal masters? They behaved badly and were unconcerned with appearances. Their hair was long and unkempt and their clothes were wrinkled and old. They drank beer to and from the crab house and they made rude noises while we cooked." Tao of Charcoal