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Old 12-01-2010
nigel leyland nigel leyland is offline
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Default Membership fees?

Do membership fees put off prospective members? (I've posted this here as I would like all to read and input not just senior members......)



Well it seems they do...!



Given that responders have to be members, (insurance) and that the small fee that groups charge is used to run the club (which may be a charity) and in some instances is possibly subsidised......

the following may need to be addressed....



A. Do we want need members who feel that they should not "have to pay for the preiveledge of helping"?

B. Need to adjust fees (if possible)?

C. Need to state up front why the fees need to be charged and what the group provides to the member?



You're thoughts please.......



Nigel.
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Old 12-01-2010
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Robin Baldwin robin-baldwin is offline
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Default Re: Membership fees?

We (Breckland Landrover Club Ltd, Rover Rescue) do not pay a membership fee to belong to Rover Rescue. We do however pay to be members of BLRC, this obviously covers admin, insurance, club magazine and other associated costs for both BLRC and RR.

I think that it is essential that a membership fee is charged however this should be to cover running costs of the group and possibly a small working surplus and should be kept as low as reasonable.

As our support becomes more widely appreciated I think that we will attract more sponsorship which will help to offset these costs but groups must still charge a membership fee to maintain their independence. These fees, and the need for them, should obviously be explained to all new members.



Robin
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Old 12-01-2010
Rikki Chequer Rikki-UK is offline
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Default Re: Membership fees?

I think that without fee's people would join on a whim, many never to be seen or heard from again. This could lead to the impression of being better staffed/Manned than is actually the case and make planning or decisions about capabilities very difficult.



A small/reasonable fee paid shows some commitment and in my opinion those willing to pay it are more likely to participate. I do think that the groups may wish to consider having an exceptional circumstances membership where the fee could be waived. (A hypothetical example: If a housebound person on benefits wished to join to help out as a controller or administrator)
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Old 12-01-2010
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Tony Ferrari Tony Ferrari is offline
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Default Re: Membership fees?

When Hertfordshire started we didn't charge a membership fee although I made it clear the intention to introduce one.



When it became clear that we would need funds and introduced a 10 annual fee we lost almost half the membership. OK so if the cost of two gallons of fuel or less than four pints of beer are that vital then are you going to be prepared to use several tank fulls of fuel in an emergency when it may take some considerable time to get it back if at all?



I think fees are essential as they do give a genuine sense that you belong to something and hopefully all groups do give something in return.



We also charge a 20 deposit to new members for their jacket, returnable if they leave and give the jacket back (no one has yet). This helps pay for the jackets but also assists with cash flow.



In my experience this is no different to any voluntary group, sports club or recreational group they all "self fund" to a geater or lesser degree
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Old 12-01-2010
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Mario Caves WessexMario is offline
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Default Re: Membership fees?

[quote name="nigel leyland"]Do membership fees put off prospective members?[/quote]



As a new member who only paid the membership fee two days ago, and in a past life having been the recuiting officer for a TA squadron, I'm probably qualified to comment



The short answer I believe is No, it doesn't.



It's lots of things. It's not just a payment for the purchase of hi-vis vest and other items. It's a commitment, almost a rite of passage. Time is money. You're asking people to give up many hours of their leisure or working time to do productive work unpaid. As well as that, if they're going to do it well, then most will spend something on the extra bits of kit that will help them in the job that they wouldn't normally otherwise purchased. With the sort of organisation we are, with members spread out all over the place, we're always going to have to fork out a few bob here and there for fuel whenever we meet up for non-operational reasons like training as well. If someone isn't prepared to give a little to help others, then they probably aren't the right sort of person for this sort of organisation.



I'm not rolling in dosh myself, but for the price of a slab of beer it's not going to break the bank. Charities don't have endless resources of cash or manpower, and getting new applicants from initial contact to being working members doesn't just cost money but also diverts time from operations. I'd like to feel that everyone in the team is here not just for the jollies, but to provide a service that we can all be proud of. If it puts a few off, then so be it, but it's far better to have one committed person, than 10 who are only here for what they can get, rather than what they can give.



(The above is just a 'brain dump' so read the gist and not the detail.)
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Old 12-01-2010
Pete Chambers Pete Chambers is offline
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Default Re: Membership fees?

Well said that man, and proud to say your under my wing too. as stated previously, it shows some commitment as well as helps fund the cause
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Old 12-01-2010
Stephen James Parker Drabble stephendrabble is offline
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Default Re: Membership fees?

i think the fees keep out the "want to be heros" and " flash" guys. just keeps the one that WANT to do and WANT to be there
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Old 12-01-2010
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Russ L. Wessex Russ laye is offline
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Default Re: Membership fees?

Personally I think its all fair, not only does it put off the wanabees, the membership cards, paper, postage and other stuff such as jacket needs to be paid for.......well at least untill a large corporation steps up and hands over a large bucket of money..



any one from any of the big car companies out there?
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  #9  
Old 12-01-2010
Mark Avo mark avo is offline
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Default Re: Membership fees?

[quote name="nigel leyland"] Do membership fees put off prospective members? (I've posted this here as I would like all to read and input not just senior members......)

[/quote]



Shouldnt do , as long as



[quote name="nigel leyland"]

C. Need to state up front why the fees need to be charged and what the group provides to the member?

[/quote]



Up front & clear shouldnt be a problem.



I also agree with the sponsorship bit. Not so much on a national basis but with the amount of local council exposure we get I'd be very suprised if someone didnt bite your hand off with sponsorship for the good publicity with the council members. There are a lot of firms that would bend over backwards to get in a councillors good books legitimatly.
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Old 13-01-2010
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Mario Caves WessexMario is offline
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Default Re: Membership fees?

Having a membership fee may also make it easier to get sponsorship.

If you approach a potential sponser and say "These guys give their time for nothing, they are even willing to pay for the privledge of being able to do so, but they can't do it all on their own", it'll make a much bigger impact than "we'd like to spend your money". If we collectively are seen to be the first in line with regards to sponsoring our own organisation, it'll make commercial (and private) sponsors more willing to follow. The membership fee might not be a huge sum individually, but it's value in this respect could be many times over.
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