[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
RE: October BNL, 5 for 4 Proposal
Bob Schwiegerath wrote:
>I have to agree with one member who pointed
>out that there must be a well researched reason
>that magazine subscriptions, etc., are offered
>at a discount for not more than 3 years. I also
>agree that one free for four payed is very generous
>- probably much too generous.
Allen McNealy wrote:
> Yes, Bob much too generous. We cannot give away
> the store to attract new members........
>....... We need new members but it must be achieved
> under a sound financial policy.
As I wrote in an earlier message, I think that the idea of a multi-year dues
arrangement is excellent. However, I also agree with sentiments such as
those expressed in the above, and other, messages. The BOT must consider the
financial aspect of this proposal very carefully before implementing it.
There are two issues involved here - one is the convenience aspect and the
other is providing a financial incentive for new members to make a longer
term commitment. Whatever decisions are made with regard to the latter
aspect, one thing the AKA should NEVER do is subsidize memberships, i.e. the
income from membership dues should be sufficient to provide the normal
membership services without having to draw on funds from other sources (e.g.
profits from publication sales, conventions, etc.). I assume that the AKA is
in reasonable financial shape at the present (does anyone know this other
than the Treasurer who seems intent on keeping the financial state of the
AKA secret ???) but that has not always been the case. For sound financial
management it is essential that the AKA be able to service the membership
entirely from membership dues. Over the long term, that is the only reliable
source of income.
Prior to the last dues increase (1992 I believe) we had the undesirable
situation where the memberships were being subsidized by the AKA to some
extent, i.e., the income from memberships was insufficient to cover the
costs of servicing the membership. This was a consequence of increasing
costs and the fact that the dues had not been raised for something like 12
(?) years prior to that time. The interesting consequence of this situation
was that as the membership of the AKA grew, so the association became worse
off financially - the more new members we attracted, the worse off we became
(financially, speaking) because of the corresponding increase in the amount
of subsidy required.
Anyway, I digress.......
Perhaps a 5 year special deal is too much. Why not compromise with a 3-year
arrangement ? The risks would certainly be less and the period over which
the shortfall was recovered by interest income would be shorter. I also
think that a higher proportion of new members might be more willing to
commit to 3 years rather than 5 years. The 5 years is alright for those
established members who already know what the benefits of being an AKA
member are; but then they would probably rejoin regardless of the membership
The American Cichlid Association (ACA) has a multi-year dues scheme that I
have taken advantage of mainly because of the convenience and the fact that
I then only have to pay commission on bank drafts once every 3 years rather
than every year. For USA memberships, the ACA scheme works as follows:
1 year - $25; 2 year - $50; 3 year - $70
As you can see, the 3-year membership involves a (small) cost saving as well
as the convenience factor; the 2-year membership is for convenience only.
This is much more conservative than what is being proposed for the AKA and
is perhaps closer to what we in the AKA should be considering.
Attracting new members should always be a prime goal of the AKA and a small
financial incentive with regard to dues is fine. However, I agree with Allen
in that the association should not go overboard in offering deals that may
compromise sound financial management. It is also up to the new member to
make some sort of commitment in order to be able to take advantage of what
the AKA offers its members.
Brian R. Watters
University of Regina
Regina, Saskatchewan S4S 0A2, Canada
Ph: (306) 584-9161 (home); (306) 585-4663 (work)
Fax: (306) 585-5433
E-mail: bwatters at sk_sympatico.ca