Homebrewers Association | AHA Forum

General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: dkfick on January 21, 2014, 11:06:46 AM

Title: AHA Financials
Post by: dkfick on January 21, 2014, 11:06:46 AM
Hey All,

Well I've been getting alot of negative comments around the NHC and the AHA in general from many local people I've spoken with.  They often say things like "The AHA's just being greedy and making a money grab by removing the social packages."  I try and point out some of the things the AHA does with the money it raises but you know... I can't say I actually know that much.  I looked around on the website and couldn't really find much info about it either.  I know the money is being put to good use but is there anywhere I can reference to let people know where?  Thanks.
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: udubdawg on January 21, 2014, 11:29:33 AM
there certainly is a vocal negative group, isn't there...

I tried to explain things to some of them, but eventually gave up.  They're holding tightly to their perceived injustice so I can't do much to pry it away.  Along the same lines I have people complaining about how long it takes to grade a set of BJCP exams.  HA! - they couldn't pay me enough to make grading these things my full time job, but I'll keep donating dozens of hours every month to grading.   :o

cheers--
--Michael
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: kylekohlmorgen on January 21, 2014, 11:35:35 AM
Is the NHC a profitable event for the AHA?

I always assumed they struggled to break even. In comparison to other (professional) conferences I've attended, the NHC seems to occupy a LOT of space for its relatively small attendance.

As a response to the complaining: the full package really isn't THAT much more expensive in the grand scheme of things. Either pout about the small change OR submit seminar/daytime activity ideas that interest you. You've made the trip; might as well dive in during the day!
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: dkfick on January 21, 2014, 11:41:25 AM
Oh I agree... I just found when people asked me what the AHA did with "all it's money" I didn't really have an exact answer to give them... I was just wondering if there was a page out there on the site that basically said "here is what the AHA does for homebrewers"... If not maybe there should be?
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: morticaixavier on January 21, 2014, 11:52:02 AM
I can't say for your situation in particular but it seems to me that a lot of the time when people say things like that about not for profit organizations they are just not doing the math very well.

A couple hundred bucks for NHC and 35$ a year for membership seems like big money, especially when you multiply it by the masses but I think people fail to multiply the associated costs along with the income in their estimates.

In terms of resources on AHA to explain what they are doing with the money, the Governing Committee reports are all available for everyone to view on the AHA main site, the legislative activities are also documented there pretty well. The whole site is more or less an explanation of where the money is going.
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: Slowbrew on January 21, 2014, 12:08:56 PM
Point how expensive it is to publish and ship a high quality magazine on good paper and ship it all over the world.

The AHA also built and maintains a top notch website and a very good forum.  Internet services to provide 7x24x365 web presences are not cheap.

How about advocating for home brewers at the local/state/national level, not just once in awhile, but all the time.  That takes dedicated and knowledgeable staff.  People who can do this type of work deserve to get paid a decent salary.

A fair amount of the "profit" from the conferences likely goes to advertising them, securing them and putting up signage to direct people from place to place. 

Just a few things off the top of my head that cost serious money to do correctly.

Paul
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: riceral on January 21, 2014, 12:15:33 PM
there certainly is a vocal negative group, isn't there...


...as there is in most every group.

I don't know the financial status of AHA. I do know that I get value out of my membership and dues. And that is what I care about.

That's why I didn't complain when dues went up this year.

As long as AHA stays viable and gives me value.

Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: dkfick on January 21, 2014, 12:20:44 PM
I can't say for your situation in particular but it seems to me that a lot of the time when people say things like that about not for profit organizations they are just not doing the math very well.

A couple hundred bucks for NHC and 35$ a year for membership seems like big money, especially when you multiply it by the masses but I think people fail to multiply the associated costs along with the income in their estimates.

In terms of resources on AHA to explain what they are doing with the money, the Governing Committee reports are all available for everyone to view on the AHA main site, the legislative activities are also documented there pretty well. The whole site is more or less an explanation of where the money is going.
The subcommittee reports state the AHA profits off the NHC.  I didn't really see anything in there on the kinds of things the AHA is spending it's cash on though.
Point how expensive it is to publish and ship a high quality magazine on good paper and ship it all over the world.

The AHA also built and maintains a top notch website and a very good forum.  Internet services to provide 7x24x365 web presences are not cheap.

How about advocating for home brewers at the local/state/national level, not just once in awhile, but all the time.  That takes dedicated and knowledgeable staff.  People who can do this type of work deserve to get paid a decent salary.

A fair amount of the "profit" from the conferences likely goes to advertising them, securing them and putting up signage to direct people from place to place. 

Just a few things off the top of my head that cost serious money to do correctly.

Paul
I agree that all that stuff costs money etc... I just think it would only benefit the AHA to publish a page with a list of things the AHA does to help the homebrewing community at large.  This year certainly isn't the first year I have heard grumblings about how the AHA does nothing for 'us' and how they just take and take and take.  I'm just saying some information could go a long way.  I was actually surprised when I went to the site that I couldn't find anything with this sort of information.
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: HoosierBrew on January 21, 2014, 12:24:02 PM
The whole site is more or less an explanation of where the money is going.



^^^THIS^^^.     There will always be naysayers.
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: dbeechum on January 21, 2014, 12:25:31 PM
One of the big tricks for the AHA is that until relatively recently - it wasn't really solvent. The AHA was effectively propped up by the BA and kept alive.

The last conference I know that money was lost on was the Orlando conference and it was disastrous.

The org has finally reached a point where there is sufficient savings to weather a few bad events. That savings is critical to helping the AHA take risks and continue as an org with the support of the BA. With that fund in place, the AHA is in a great position to return value to the members.

Until recently - the AHA has consisted of 2.5-3.5 staff members. Now with the growth of the org and the increased efforts there's more staff. The funds pay for things like Gary to fly to states and speak to the legislatures as an authority figure. It pays for the generation of economic and demographic data that shows who is homebrewing. (Very useful to persuade people with).

It now pays for additional staff to help plan events and increased content here on the website. It's also paying for the Research and Education Fund, where any AHA member can get money from the org to experiment and provide new homebrewing knowledge.

And right now, it's helping members in other states, like California, to ensure that the things we want to do are possible to do. (Cali's in a bit of a fight at the moment. Oh boy!)

One of my goals, if I get re-elected, is to develop new ideas to provide more AHA provided benefits and interactions.
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: dkfick on January 21, 2014, 12:49:21 PM
Thanks explanations like this is what I was hoping for in this thread.  I still think a more clear outline of what the AHA does would be beneficial for members and those looking to become members.
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: theDarkSide on January 21, 2014, 12:55:05 PM
Gary Glass' house...just sayin'  ;D

(http://blog.coldwellbanker.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/tony-stark-mansion-2.jpg)

 ;D

Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: dbeechum on January 21, 2014, 01:20:51 PM
One of the things we do every year for the annual GC meeting is go through the AHA financials.

That's a whole ball of fun, lemme tell ya

And there's not enough money in the budget for the bullets that are flying at Tony Stark's mansion let alone the Malibu cliffside estate!
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: hopfenundmalz on January 21, 2014, 01:45:07 PM
The conference has also hired a cellar crew to keep and track the beer, deliver it to the right places. In the past that was done by people in the host club area, who had tickets, but spent the time throwing kegs around in the cooler. Money well spent.

The AHA is not that many head count, what 5.5 or 6? If you have been to an NHC you see many more than that running registration and other functions. Many of the name tags of those can be recognized as BA staff. I don't think they are working the conference for free. Correct me if I am wrong, anyone.

There are other costs that most never think of. Security staff for the conference. Cleaning costs for all of the beer that ends up on carpets. There have to be other costs that go with the conference, that I am not aware of.

Sure they gross a lot of money at he conference, I don't think the net is as huge as many would think. If the conference did not run in the black, how many years would it take before there was no conference?

Edit - You could also say that the NHC has removed the social package for those that just wanted to drink beer and eat at the banquet, to a full ticket for AHA members that are serious about the seminars and getting the most education out of the conference. Of course there is nothing to keep anyone from becoming an AHA member and just drinking beer and eating at the banquet. If one likes the fact that the competition is limited to members this year, what is not to like about the conference being limited to members with a full package.
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: HoosierBrew on January 21, 2014, 02:50:45 PM
Funny, as a long time AHA member it never occurred to me that the AHA owed me a detailed financial report to justify my membership.  As mentioned, if you take a long, thorough look at this site and honestly come away needing to be sold more on the merits, then you're blind, dumb, or not serious about membership. Go to work and ask your boss how long he would keep running his company at a loss or break even, all the while having more and more asked of him.    ;)
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: hopfenundmalz on January 21, 2014, 03:05:10 PM
Chris Frey was talking about the conference at the last meeting, and the growth to 4000 this year. To put some perspective on it, I asked how big the 2000 NHC was in Livonia that was hosted by our club. Answer was 280. I then asked what the clubs membership is now. Answer was 220. Our club picnic in 2014 will be bigger than the NHC in 2000.

Growth like that has driven changes in the NHC and our club.
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: denny on January 21, 2014, 03:16:26 PM
As a member of the GC, I've seen the financials.  Take my word for it, it ain't that exciting and there's nothing anybody should be worried about.
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: bonjour on January 21, 2014, 03:16:39 PM
One of the things we do every year for the annual GC meeting is go through the AHA financials.

That's a whole ball of fun, lemme tell ya

And there's not enough money in the budget for the bullets that are flying at Tony Stark's mansion let alone the Malibu cliffside estate!
and Gary typically goes over the financials at a high level in the member meeting.
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: yso191 on January 21, 2014, 04:13:24 PM
My favorite tactic in one of those conversations is to not be on the defensive.  Make them justify their position with facts (intuition and mind reading don't count).

It is so easy for some people to drop a load and watch people squirm.

"Prove that you don't beat your wife.  Go ahead."   Nonsense.  If you don't have any evidence that I beat my wife, shut up and go away.
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: Jeff M on January 21, 2014, 04:29:37 PM
Its funny, when i originally joine dthe AHA last year i didnt do it because of the benefits that where pointed in my direction, but in supporting the hobby that i have grown to love.... I guess im an odd duck.  There will always be negative people that dont feel they need to pay for a membership or club. after a while its not worth the breath.
Title: AHA Financials
Post by: alestateyall on January 21, 2014, 07:14:39 PM
AHA spent some money last year to fly Gary Glass to a meet the legislature event in Jackson, Mississippi.

I gotta admit there were about 15 home brewers standing on one side of the room. On the other were Gary Glass, our Raise Your Pints leadership, and the legislators.

They worked the room, we served beer, and shortly after we had a brand new home brew law.

I for one will never forget what the AHA did for me that night.
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: ynotbrusum on January 21, 2014, 07:37:12 PM
Ultimately why not be transparent?  It will show the boring details to the skeptics and silence them.  I have always taken the position that if you want to gripe, step up and volunteer to be one of the leaders.  That usually shuts the gadflies mouths, but sometimes there is a valid point made to improve an aspect by being totally open about an organization's finances. 

By the same token, I have so little funds invested in membership, that I can't see a need to personally inquire.  I think the good things happening mean that the funds are very likely going to the right uses.  With my free time I would rather brew than stew!
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: morticaixavier on January 21, 2014, 11:43:27 PM
AHA spent some money last year to fly Gary Glass to a meet the legislature event in Jackson, Mississippi.

I gotta admit there were about 15 home brewers standing on one side of the room. On the other were Gary Glass, our Raise Your Pints leadership, and the legislators.

They worked the room, we served beer, and shortly after we had a brand new home brew law.

I for one will never forget what the AHA did for me that night.

+1 to this.

Hell, + 1,000,000,000 to this. this is why the AHA exists and just because the last state in the US has passed some form of homebrew legalization doesn't mean that the work is done. you still have to apply for a permit in some states. In some states your not legally allowed to remove your homebrew from your home or share it with anyone outside your family.

well, until just this month there were some states where it wasn't technically legal to brew your own beer. now it is largely (not exclusively) because of the dues paid my the membership of the AHA.
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: klickitat jim on January 22, 2014, 12:24:45 AM
I don't know anyone local who is a member much less complains about it.
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: dkfick on January 22, 2014, 07:18:11 AM
Funny, as a long time AHA member it never occurred to me that the AHA owed me a detailed financial report to justify my membership.  As mentioned, if you take a long, thorough look at this site and honestly come away needing to be sold more on the merits, then you're blind, dumb, or not serious about membership. Go to work and ask your boss how long he would keep running his company at a loss or break even, all the while having more and more asked of him.    ;)
I wasn't asking for a detailed report.  Just a general overview of what the AHA does period.  This is pretty standard for businesses, non-profits, and other associations.  I'll be honest a cursory look at the the website DOES NOT tell you these things.  Trust me my company website does give me a general overview of what my company and even specifically my product does. 

I liked Drew's post.  I just think it would be beneficial to add some stuff to the 'about the AHA page' and make that a bit more prominent on the site would be very beneficial.  If i'm looking to join an organiziation or donate money to a non-profit.  The about page is where I'm going to start.  I suppose the current about page has some of this information on it but I just feel it could be improved as it doesn't answer many of these general level questions people ask me about why they should join the AHA and how it actually helps the hobby.  I just feel if people question these things and I look at the website and I can't provide actual answers for them other than generally "well they help get legislation passed for homebrewing" - how? I will admit I read somewhere that they employeed people other than Gary but I had forgot and I don't see it really listed anywhere on the website.  I have to believe this eats up an large portion of the AHA financials.  Which employees is a good thing as you need full time paid people to make things happen.  To me that information is good to get out there.  "Hey we have multiple full-time employees that work hard to help with legislation, organize events across the country, and create content for the website and for the magazine"

Again, I'm not questioning what the AHA does and how it can spend all it's money.  I'm just saying when asked what the AHA does in general with the money it has I think the answer should be alittle more... Transparent and easy to come up with.  End rant. lol.

I really didn't mean to start a big debate.  I just couldn't find the answers to questions I was getting the past couple weeks.
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: hopfenundmalz on January 22, 2014, 07:35:12 AM
Dan, I counted 6.5 head count for the AHA. That included .5 for Jill Redding (she edits Zymurgy and Modern Brewer) and Amahl for Zymurgy. If one has gone to several NHCs you will recognize the faces of the AHA people and the BA people the go to the conference to work. Some of you dollars go towards salaries.
http://www.brewersassociation.org/pages/about-us/staff


Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: macbrews on January 22, 2014, 07:35:58 AM
While transparency is always a good thing, put me on the list of those who are quite happy with the return I get for my dues.

Mac
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: leejoreilly on January 22, 2014, 07:36:35 AM
Funny, as a long time AHA member it never occurred to me that the AHA owed me a detailed financial report to justify my membership.  As mentioned, if you take a long, thorough look at this site and honestly come away needing to be sold more on the merits, then you're blind, dumb, or not serious about membership. Go to work and ask your boss how long he would keep running his company at a loss or break even, all the while having more and more asked of him.    ;)
I wasn't asking for a detailed report.  Just a general overview of what the AHA does period.  This is pretty standard for businesses, non-profits, and other associations.  I'll be honest a cursory look at the the website DOES NOT tell you these things.  Trust me my company website does give me a general overview of what my company and even specifically my product does. 

I liked Drew's post.  I just think it would be beneficial to add some stuff to the 'about the AHA page' and make that a bit more prominent on the site would be very beneficial.  If i'm looking to join an organiziation or donate money to a non-profit.  The about page is where I'm going to start.  I suppose the current about page has some of this information on it but I just feel it could be improved as it doesn't answer many of these general level questions people ask me about why they should join the AHA and how it actually helps the hobby.  I just feel if people question these things and I look at the website and I can't provide actual answers for them other than generally "well they help get legislation passed for homebrewing" - how? I will admit I read somewhere that they employeed people other than Gary but I had forgot and I don't see it really listed anywhere on the website.  I have to believe this eats up an large portion of the AHA financials.  Which employees is a good thing as you need full time paid people to make things happen.  To me that information is good to get out there.  "Hey we have multiple full-time employees that work hard to help with legislation, organize events across the country, and create content for the website and for the magazine"

Again, I'm not questioning what the AHA does and how it can spend all it's money.  I'm just saying when asked what the AHA does in general with the money it has I think the answer should be alittle more... Transparent and easy to come up with.  End rant. lol.

I really didn't mean to start a big debate.  I just couldn't find the answers to questions I was getting the past couple weeks.

I've got to agree with Dan on this one. A simple bullet list of the five or ten outstanding contributions that the AHA has made over the past year would really help defend against the empty rantings of the nay-sayers. Its all well and good to wrap ourselves in righteousness and declare that no one should have the gall to question such an obviously valuable organization, but we should also be able to easily demonstrate exactly why it's so valuable. "Go figure it out for yourself from the Financials" doesn't do that.
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: punatic on January 22, 2014, 07:56:34 AM
Gary Glass' house...just sayin'  ;D

(http://blog.coldwellbanker.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/tony-stark-mansion-2.jpg)

 ;D

Gary is roommates with Tony Stark?!
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: AmandaK on January 22, 2014, 08:14:54 AM
AHA spent some money last year to fly Gary Glass to a meet the legislature event in Jackson, Mississippi.

I gotta admit there were about 15 home brewers standing on one side of the room. On the other were Gary Glass, our Raise Your Pints leadership, and the legislators.

They worked the room, we served beer, and shortly after we had a brand new home brew law.

I for one will never forget what the AHA did for me that night.

+1 to this.

Hell, + 1,000,000,000 to this. this is why the AHA exists and just because the last state in the US has passed some form of homebrew legalization doesn't mean that the work is done. you still have to apply for a permit in some states. In some states your not legally allowed to remove your homebrew from your home or share it with anyone outside your family.

well, until just this month there were some states where it wasn't technically legal to brew your own beer. now it is largely (not exclusively) because of the dues paid my the membership of the AHA.

I now live in one of those states (Kansas). As of right now, I cannot serve homebrew legally to my fiance even though he helps brew every batch of it because he is not technically "family" yet. The AHA is helping the Kansas clubs' initiative to change that. That alone is worth more than the $38/year rate.

But who cares where the money goes? They do a great job furthering the hobby, helping to change laws in very stubborn states (cough, MS, cough), produce a stellar magazine, have tons of information on the website, fund research projects, put on a huge conference every year and maintain the best homebrew forum on the interwebs. What more can you ask for?

For some perspective, a lot of people pay $28 a year for BYO. They produce a magazine that recycles basically the same information every 3-5 years. At least Zymurgy is new content every issue. Nobody's up in arms over where that money goes. Why worry about the AHA?
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: HoosierBrew on January 22, 2014, 08:17:36 AM
Funny, as a long time AHA member it never occurred to me that the AHA owed me a detailed financial report to justify my membership.  As mentioned, if you take a long, thorough look at this site and honestly come away needing to be sold more on the merits, then you're blind, dumb, or not serious about membership. Go to work and ask your boss how long he would keep running his company at a loss or break even, all the while having more and more asked of him.    ;)
I wasn't asking for a detailed report.  Just a general overview of what the AHA does period.  This is pretty standard for businesses, non-profits, and other associations.  I'll be honest a cursory look at the the website DOES NOT tell you these things.  Trust me my company website does give me a general overview of what my company and even specifically my product does. 

I liked Drew's post.  I just think it would be beneficial to add some stuff to the 'about the AHA page' and make that a bit more prominent on the site would be very beneficial.  If i'm looking to join an organiziation or donate money to a non-profit.  The about page is where I'm going to start.  I suppose the current about page has some of this information on it but I just feel it could be improved as it doesn't answer many of these general level questions people ask me about why they should join the AHA and how it actually helps the hobby.  I just feel if people question these things and I look at the website and I can't provide actual answers for them other than generally "well they help get legislation passed for homebrewing" - how? I will admit I read somewhere that they employeed people other than Gary but I had forgot and I don't see it really listed anywhere on the website.  I have to believe this eats up an large portion of the AHA financials.  Which employees is a good thing as you need full time paid people to make things happen.  To me that information is good to get out there.  "Hey we have multiple full-time employees that work hard to help with legislation, organize events across the country, and create content for the website and for the magazine"

Again, I'm not questioning what the AHA does and how it can spend all it's money.  I'm just saying when asked what the AHA does in general with the money it has I think the answer should be alittle more... Transparent and easy to come up with.  End rant. lol.

I really didn't mean to start a big debate.  I just couldn't find the answers to questions I was getting the past couple weeks.

I've got to agree with Dan on this one. A simple bullet list of the five or ten outstanding contributions that the AHA has made over the past year would really help defend against the empty rantings of the nay-sayers. Its all well and good to wrap ourselves in righteousness and declare that no one should have the gall to question such an obviously valuable organization, but we should also be able to easily demonstrate exactly why it's so valuable. "Go figure it out for yourself from the Financials" doesn't do that.

I guess we'll agree to disagree. I see clearly from a 'cursory' look at the site that AHA:

1. Puts on NHC every year  (no small expense, presumably)
2. Lobbies on behalf of the right to homebrew beer (certainly worth the price of admission)
3. Gives you a Zymurgy subscription (worth the price of admission)
4. Has an excellent site and home for this forum (the best forum on the net and easily worth the price of admission)
5. Has excellent member discounts, growing all the time (worth the price of admission)

I never said "How dare anyone question the AHA".  What I AM saying is that to compare this list to the $$ you paid to join seems pretty lopsided in our favor, to say the least.    ;)
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: dkfick on January 22, 2014, 08:25:32 AM
AHA spent some money last year to fly Gary Glass to a meet the legislature event in Jackson, Mississippi.

I gotta admit there were about 15 home brewers standing on one side of the room. On the other were Gary Glass, our Raise Your Pints leadership, and the legislators.

They worked the room, we served beer, and shortly after we had a brand new home brew law.

I for one will never forget what the AHA did for me that night.

+1 to this.

Hell, + 1,000,000,000 to this. this is why the AHA exists and just because the last state in the US has passed some form of homebrew legalization doesn't mean that the work is done. you still have to apply for a permit in some states. In some states your not legally allowed to remove your homebrew from your home or share it with anyone outside your family.

well, until just this month there were some states where it wasn't technically legal to brew your own beer. now it is largely (not exclusively) because of the dues paid my the membership of the AHA.

I now live in one of those states (Kansas). As of right now, I cannot serve homebrew legally to my fiance even though he helps brew every batch of it because he is not technically "family" yet. The AHA is helping the Kansas clubs' initiative to change that. That alone is worth more than the $38/year rate.

But who cares where the money goes? They do a great job furthering the hobby, helping to change laws in very stubborn states (cough, MS, cough), produce a stellar magazine, have tons of information on the website, fund research projects, put on a huge conference every year and maintain the best homebrew forum on the interwebs. What more can you ask for?

For some perspective, a lot of people pay $28 a year for BYO. They produce a magazine that recycles basically the same information every 3-5 years. At least Zymurgy is new content every issue. Nobody's up in arms over where that money goes. Why worry about the AHA?

I agree that they do these things... I'm just saying I would like (and I think some people demand) to see the things they do actually stated vs having to sift through 100 pages on the site to draw inference as to what they do.
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: theDarkSide on January 22, 2014, 08:25:48 AM
Gary Glass' house...just sayin'  ;D

(http://blog.coldwellbanker.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/tony-stark-mansion-2.jpg)

 ;D

Gary is roommates with Tony Stark?!

No...Tony is Gary's roommate!
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: HoosierBrew on January 22, 2014, 08:31:22 AM
....and Amanda's BYO comparison is excellent.
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: dkfick on January 22, 2014, 08:32:10 AM
Funny, as a long time AHA member it never occurred to me that the AHA owed me a detailed financial report to justify my membership.  As mentioned, if you take a long, thorough look at this site and honestly come away needing to be sold more on the merits, then you're blind, dumb, or not serious about membership. Go to work and ask your boss how long he would keep running his company at a loss or break even, all the while having more and more asked of him.    ;)
I wasn't asking for a detailed report.  Just a general overview of what the AHA does period.  This is pretty standard for businesses, non-profits, and other associations.  I'll be honest a cursory look at the the website DOES NOT tell you these things.  Trust me my company website does give me a general overview of what my company and even specifically my product does. 

I liked Drew's post.  I just think it would be beneficial to add some stuff to the 'about the AHA page' and make that a bit more prominent on the site would be very beneficial.  If i'm looking to join an organiziation or donate money to a non-profit.  The about page is where I'm going to start.  I suppose the current about page has some of this information on it but I just feel it could be improved as it doesn't answer many of these general level questions people ask me about why they should join the AHA and how it actually helps the hobby.  I just feel if people question these things and I look at the website and I can't provide actual answers for them other than generally "well they help get legislation passed for homebrewing" - how? I will admit I read somewhere that they employeed people other than Gary but I had forgot and I don't see it really listed anywhere on the website.  I have to believe this eats up an large portion of the AHA financials.  Which employees is a good thing as you need full time paid people to make things happen.  To me that information is good to get out there.  "Hey we have multiple full-time employees that work hard to help with legislation, organize events across the country, and create content for the website and for the magazine"

Again, I'm not questioning what the AHA does and how it can spend all it's money.  I'm just saying when asked what the AHA does in general with the money it has I think the answer should be alittle more... Transparent and easy to come up with.  End rant. lol.

I really didn't mean to start a big debate.  I just couldn't find the answers to questions I was getting the past couple weeks.

I've got to agree with Dan on this one. A simple bullet list of the five or ten outstanding contributions that the AHA has made over the past year would really help defend against the empty rantings of the nay-sayers. Its all well and good to wrap ourselves in righteousness and declare that no one should have the gall to question such an obviously valuable organization, but we should also be able to easily demonstrate exactly why it's so valuable. "Go figure it out for yourself from the Financials" doesn't do that.

I guess we'll agree to disagree. I see clearly from a 'cursory' look at the site that AHA:

1. Puts on NHC every year  (no small expense, presumably)
2. Lobbies on behalf of the right to homebrew beer (certainly worth the price of admission)
3. Gives you a Zymurgy subscription (worth the price of admission)
4. Has an excellent site and home for this forum (the best forum on the net and easily worth the price of admission)
5. Has excellent member discounts, growing all the time (worth the price of admission)

I never said "How dare anyone question the AHA".  What I AM saying is that to compare this list to the $$ you paid to join seems pretty lopsided in our favor, to say the least.    ;)
I would argue that the NHC actually makes money (See Drew's post).  I agree with all the rest... I would just argue that it is apparently clear to many people that the AHA does all this.  I get a lot of:
Why should I give them all this money.  What are they going to do with it.  All they do is put out a magazine. 

if you state the things listed in this thread I believe that answers many of the questions people have... but I don't feel like those questions are answered very well for someone visits the AHA site and and thinking about joining.  Obviously some people are just going to be pissy about things no matter what.  But a lack of information always is going to increase that number.

PS I'm glad Gary has Iron Man as a roomate... But I think his sleep might suffer because of it.  Has anyone thought of the consequences this might have on his ability to speak on behalf of the AHA at these legislative hearings?
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: BrewingRover on January 22, 2014, 08:46:36 AM
Why not produce the AHA equivalent of the the BA Stewardship Report?
http://www.brewersassociation.org/pages/about-us/stewardship-report

The section on the AHA there is pretty much what is being discussed here. The org chart there makes the AHA/BA relationship a bit clearer as well.
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: dkfick on January 22, 2014, 08:54:25 AM
Why not produce the AHA equivalent of the the BA Stewardship Report?
http://www.brewersassociation.org/pages/about-us/stewardship-report

The section on the AHA there is pretty much what is being discussed here. The org chart there makes the AHA/BA relationship a bit clearer as well.
I like it.
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: Jimmy K on January 22, 2014, 08:58:15 AM
if you state the things listed in this thread I believe that answers many of the questions people have... but I don't feel like those questions are answered very well for someone visits the AHA site and and thinking about joining.  Obviously some people are just going to be pissy about things no matter what.  But a lack of information always is going to increase that number.
All of those items can be found by clicking 'Join' and reading the 'About the AHA' and 'Membership Benefits' tabs.
Regarding NHC costs, I've helped organize work meetings for several hundred people. Meetings cost a lot of money. Way more than anyone imagines (obviously). NHC costs less than any other meeting I've attended and there are many things the others don't have to provide (keg logistics, security, etc). I'm sure AHA is in a tough spot too, since they wouldn't want to give away too many details of what they're paying to run the meeting. It would compromise their position to negotiate in future years.
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: AmandaK on January 22, 2014, 08:58:44 AM
I agree that they do these things... I'm just saying I would like (and I think some people demand) to see the things they do actually stated vs having to sift through 100 pages on the site to draw inference as to what they do.

So... you basically want to see the Membership Benefits page? Or am I reading that wrong?

http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/membership/membership-benefits/ (http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/membership/membership-benefits/)

Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: udubdawg on January 22, 2014, 09:07:44 AM
I agree that they do these things... I'm just saying I would like (and I think some people demand) to see the things they do actually stated vs having to sift through 100 pages on the site to draw inference as to what they do.

So... you basically want to see the Membership Benefits page? Or am I reading that wrong?

http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/membership/membership-benefits/ (http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/membership/membership-benefits/)

I think he just wants to see a little more, be it details or promotion of the activities.
...And not for his benefit, but for the benefit of those who don't seem to realize what the AHA does. 
I certainly don't see the harm and can see the possible benefit of the AHA tooting their own horn a bit more.  I'm just skeptical about whether there's much the AHA can do to change the mind of some of these people.
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: dkfick on January 22, 2014, 09:08:15 AM
To a degree.  But that's more focused on how the AHA benefits the individual vs what the AHA actually does overall.
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: Jimmy K on January 22, 2014, 09:09:09 AM
I agree that they do these things... I'm just saying I would like (and I think some people demand) to see the things they do actually stated vs having to sift through 100 pages on the site to draw inference as to what they do.

So... you basically want to see the Membership Benefits page? Or am I reading that wrong?

http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/membership/membership-benefits/ (http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/membership/membership-benefits/)
Add 'About the AHA' and it's a complete package. Though advocating for homebrewing rights just gets one bullet point.
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: dkfick on January 22, 2014, 09:10:57 AM
I agree that they do these things... I'm just saying I would like (and I think some people demand) to see the things they do actually stated vs having to sift through 100 pages on the site to draw inference as to what they do.

So... you basically want to see the Membership Benefits page? Or am I reading that wrong?

http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/membership/membership-benefits/ (http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/membership/membership-benefits/)

I think he just wants to see a little more, be it details or promotion of the activities.
...And not for his benefit, but for the benefit of those who don't seem to realize what the AHA does. 
I certainly don't see the harm and can see the possible benefit of the AHA tooting their own horn a bit more.  I'm just skeptical about whether there's much the AHA can do to change the mind of some of these people.
I agree that it probably won't change the minds of these people... Many of them are seemingly irrationally angry about changes the AHA has gone through.  But I think it could benefit potential new members who hear all the negative things but maybe not as much positive things about the AHA... Just food for thought it all.  I really just figured it already existed and I could just brush up on it... But then I couldn't find much info.
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: dkfick on January 22, 2014, 09:14:53 AM
I agree there is info here:
http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/membership/membership-benefits/
and here:
http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/membership/american-homebrewers-association/
and even a little here:
http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/membership/homebrewing-stats/

But it's just not very concise.  A bit too board of paint strokes I would say.  Kind of like saying all a homebrewer has to do to make excellent beer is "mash, boil, and ferment"... I suppose it's true but does it really tell me anything?
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: AmandaK on January 22, 2014, 09:15:38 AM
I'm just skeptical about whether there's much the AHA can do to change the mind of some of these people.

Same here.
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: udubdawg on January 22, 2014, 09:19:39 AM
I agree that it probably won't change the minds of these people... Many of them are seemingly irrationally angry about changes the AHA has gone through.  But I think it could benefit potential new members who hear all the negative things but maybe not as much positive things about the AHA... Just food for thought it all.  I really just figured it already existed and I could just brush up on it... But then I couldn't find much info.

I actually agree with what you seem to be suggesting.  I'm just not as optimistic as others that such effort will bear much fruit in terms of swaying the irrationally angry you mention.  But some more details can't hurt.

I recall reading a HBT thread last month re: the 6-entry limit and limiting entries to AHA members.  There are clearly some non-AHA members who think they make up a sizeable portion of the entries, when people like Tom have stated repeatedly that they are a very small number.  Perhaps giving the actual number of non-AHA member entries would show that the change some have made a big deal about isn't much of a change at all - details.
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: dbeechum on January 22, 2014, 09:23:24 AM
Perhaps giving the actual number of non-AHA member entries would show that the change some have made a big deal about isn't much of a change at all - details.

If i remember from Janis last year - non-AHA member entries made up less than 1% of all the entries in the competition. (Somewhere around 70)
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: Joe Sr. on January 22, 2014, 09:46:12 AM
It sounds like what Dan is looking for is a limited form of an annual report.

I get these from my investments, but not from the charities I donate to (I recognize that the AHA is neither a charity nor a corporation).  I don't belong to any other professional-type organizations so I don't know what sort of annual reporting they provide to members.

I doubt that someone who has their shorts in a twist about NHC or whatever will get un-twisted by looking at an annual report anyway.  They're likely to find some line-item they object to and get further twisted up.

This is not the first time the "what does the AHA do with my membership dollars" issue has come up.  Maybe it makes sense to provide some sort of limited annual report to membership?  It can't hurt, right?
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: dkfick on January 22, 2014, 09:49:35 AM
It sounds like what Dan is looking for is a limited form of an annual report.

I get these from my investments, but not from the charities I donate to (I recognize that the AHA is neither a charity nor a corporation).  I don't belong to any other professional-type organizations so I don't know what sort of annual reporting they provide to members.

I doubt that someone who has their shorts in a twist about NHC or whatever will get un-twisted by looking at an annual report anyway.  They're likely to find some line-item they object to and get further twisted up.

This is not the first time the "what does the AHA do with my membership dollars" issue has come up.  Maybe it makes sense to provide some sort of limited annual report to membership?  It can't hurt, right?

Well I mentioned the NHC because at the moment that's what everyone has their panties in a bunch about.  I was also speaking with people that are not current AHA members and they were wondering the same sort of things before they joined... I think I probably BSed them about with the things I 'thought' the AHA did good enough.. but it would be nice to have some place to direct them for their answers... or maybe it would even prevent the question in the first place?
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: HoosierBrew on January 22, 2014, 10:01:46 AM


I doubt that someone who has their shorts in a twist about NHC or whatever will get un-twisted by looking at an annual report anyway.  They're likely to find some line-item they object to and get further twisted up.



+1. 
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: klickitat jim on January 23, 2014, 02:06:46 AM
Political alert?

Anyway...

Right here's how I feel about this. I joined the AHA last year. Renewed last year too. Cheap cheap compared to the value of education I've received. I consider the magazine a super bonus freebie, AND I made the main article just about 14 months into my brewing career. So I must say, they recognize sheer genius. I'm kind of a big deal now. Most famous homebrewer on the block. But I rabbit trail...

Maybe the AHA ought to be run like an MC. Let the right people hang around a while, if they really fit in let the Prospect for a year or five, then if their lucky and sell their soul, they can be members. Lol

Bottom line, free country. Join, don't join, I don't care. To those who run this joint, thanks for all you do.
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: Jeff M on January 23, 2014, 05:27:04 AM
Political alert?

Anyway...

Right here's how I feel about this. I joined the AHA last year. Renewed last year too. Cheap cheap compared to the value of education I've received. I consider the magazine a super bonus freebie, AND I made the main article just about 14 months into my brewing career. So I must say, they recognize sheer genius. I'm kind of a big deal now. Most famous homebrewer on the block. But I rabbit trail...

Maybe the AHA ought to be run like an MC. Let the right people hang around a while, if they really fit in let the Prospect for a year or five, then if their lucky and sell their soul, they can be members. Lol

Bottom line, free country. Join, don't join, I don't care. To those who run this joint, thanks for all you do.

OMG its Klickitat Jim, Can i have your autograph mister?!?!    ;D
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: klickitat jim on January 23, 2014, 05:49:13 AM
Just like the Beatles
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: yso191 on January 23, 2014, 09:09:48 AM
*Derail alert*

Jim, I missed entirely any mention of you in Zymurgy.  What issue and where?  Also, who's AHA Governing Committee campaign did you donate to?
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: theDarkSide on January 23, 2014, 09:35:28 AM
*Derail alert*

Jim, I missed entirely any mention of you in Zymurgy.  What issue and where?  Also, who's AHA Governing Committee campaign did you donate to?

The last one...Gadgets with the Yoga Mat Thermowrap.

And I'd say all of the GC campaigns.  ;D
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: reverseapachemaster on January 23, 2014, 09:55:09 AM
It's fairly common for interest groups/organizations to send out info about where the money goes, especially when they are raising dues and/or changing the rules to some of the member benefits. Sometimes you have to sell those changes to your membership. If members are grumpy because they don't feel like they are getting good value for their dues then that is good feedback that it's time for that sales pitch.
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: Joe Sr. on January 23, 2014, 10:35:08 AM
[mod edit]

If you like a product buy it.  If you don't like a product don't buy it.  The choice is yours.  You can help determine the success or failure of an enterprise.  Vote with your dollars.

No one is forcing you to participate.

There you go getting your shorts in a bunch about people getting their shorts in a bunch.  It's a vicious circle.

But seriously, I understood the OP to be requesting more information about the product, not bashing it in anyway.  I don't think any of us on the forum (well most of us at least) feel that we're not getting our money's worth out of being members, but I also don't think a request for basic financials is out of line.  If it answers peoples questions, that's great and we have less b****ing.  If it makes people raise questions, that's their right as members isn't it?  I assume that there are reasonable answers to reasonable questions.

FWIW, if I received an AHA annual report I'd probably toss it into the recycling along with all the others.  But someone must read that stuff or they wouldn't print it, would they?
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: dkfick on January 23, 2014, 12:07:18 PM
[mod edit]

If you like a product buy it.  If you don't like a product don't buy it.  The choice is yours.  You can help determine the success or failure of an enterprise.  Vote with your dollars.

No one is forcing you to participate.

There you go getting your shorts in a bunch about people getting their shorts in a bunch.  It's a vicious circle.

But seriously, I understood the OP to be requesting more information about the product, not bashing it in anyway.  I don't think any of us on the forum (well most of us at least) feel that we're not getting our money's worth out of being members, but I also don't think a request for basic financials is out of line.  If it answers peoples questions, that's great and we have less b****ing.  If it makes people raise questions, that's their right as members isn't it?  I assume that there are reasonable answers to reasonable questions.

FWIW, if I received an AHA annual report I'd probably toss it into the recycling along with all the others.  But someone must read that stuff or they wouldn't print it, would they?
Yes.  This.
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: Jimmy K on January 23, 2014, 06:18:13 PM
[mod edit]

If you like a product buy it.  If you don't like a product don't buy it.  The choice is yours.  You can help determine the success or failure of an enterprise.  Vote with your dollars.

No one is forcing you to participate.

There you go getting your shorts in a bunch about people getting their shorts in a bunch.  It's a vicious circle.

But seriously, I understood the OP to be requesting more information about the product, not bashing it in anyway.  I don't think any of us on the forum (well most of us at least) feel that we're not getting our money's worth out of being members, but I also don't think a request for basic financials is out of line.  If it answers peoples questions, that's great and we have less b****ing.  If it makes people raise questions, that's their right as members isn't it?  I assume that there are reasonable answers to reasonable questions.

FWIW, if I received an AHA annual report I'd probably toss it into the recycling along with all the others.  But someone must read that stuff or they wouldn't print it, would they?
Yes.  This.
I agree. There's nothing wrong with members or potential members asking what goes on.
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: ynotbrusum on January 23, 2014, 07:06:57 PM
Posting information online costs almost nothing to do.  I just don't care to know, even if it was posted online.

AHA - keep up the good work and realize that discussion is just that - not an indictment in any way.  I have few memberships that give me so much for so little.
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: HoosierBrew on January 23, 2014, 07:11:25 PM
Posting information online costs almost nothing to do.  I just don't care to know, even if it was posted online.

AHA - keep up the good work and realize that discussion is just that - not an indictment in any way.  I have few memberships that give me so much for so little.

+1. I feel the same.
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: ynotbrusum on January 23, 2014, 07:38:47 PM
And I am one cheap SOB - I have references on that!
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: Jimmy K on January 24, 2014, 08:57:19 AM
I just found this, which has plenty of detail about what the AHA and governing committee are working on that doesn't benefit members directly. Far more information than most people would want.
 
http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/attachments/0001/6518/AHAGC_subcom_report_2013.pdf (http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/attachments/0001/6518/AHAGC_subcom_report_2013.pdf)
 
No financials, but it does mention that the conference has been profitable since 2007. If someone were questioning that though, I'd have two points. 1- As mentioned before, it should be somewhat profitable or it would die. It's impossible to run a perfectly break even conference and AHA needs to err on the black side. 2- I'm sure registrations alone do not make it profitable. Lots of companies pay (good money I'm sure) to sponsor the conference.
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: Joe Sr. on January 24, 2014, 09:12:58 AM
No financials, but it does mention that the conference has been profitable since 2007. If someone were questioning that though, I'd have two points. 1- As mentioned before, it should be somewhat profitable or it would die. It's impossible to run a perfectly break even conference and AHA needs to err on the black side. 2- I'm sure registrations alone do not make it profitable. Lots of companies pay (good money I'm sure) to sponsor the conference.

I certainly hope no one is out there suggesting that the AHA or any similar organization should not operate in the black.   Being a "not-for-profit" does not mean that they do not have a need to follow basic business principles and seek to remain a going concern.  I'd be concerned about paying dues to an organization that is failing not to one that is growing successfully and achieving results (such as legalization bills) as the AHA is doing.
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: Jimmy K on January 24, 2014, 09:20:13 AM
No financials, but it does mention that the conference has been profitable since 2007. If someone were questioning that though, I'd have two points. 1- As mentioned before, it should be somewhat profitable or it would die. It's impossible to run a perfectly break even conference and AHA needs to err on the black side. 2- I'm sure registrations alone do not make it profitable. Lots of companies pay (good money I'm sure) to sponsor the conference.

I certainly hope no one is out there suggesting that the AHA or any similar organization should not operate in the black.   Being a "not-for-profit" does not mean that they do not have a need to follow basic business principles and seek to remain a going concern.  I'd be concerned about paying dues to an organization that is failing not to one that is growing successfully and achieving results (such as legalization bills) as the AHA is doing.
All kinds of people out here. But I think 99% agree, including me.
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: phunhog on January 24, 2014, 11:19:50 AM
I would like to see the AHA financials. Not because I think anything is wrong but I think it is important for the membership to know where our money goes.
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: klickitat jim on January 25, 2014, 04:52:22 AM
An annual financial report should be available. Having said that, I'm not interested in reading it.

Regarding NHC being profitable. I'm glad it is. If I were a member who had never been to NHC, and part of my membership was going to keep NHC going, I'd eventually be reluctant to keep paying. But as it is, the opposite seems to be true. People who go to NHC seem to be subsidizing my membership.

By the way, I will get to NHC eventually. Hopefully next year.
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: dixonmike20 on October 08, 2014, 12:13:45 PM
I don't see anything wrong with providing a very easy to find list of accomplishments for the year. It would actually be beneficial. It's common practice for non-profits. It should be right off the main landing page.

With that being said, I value my membership. That doesn't mean we can't do a better job communicating what our organization has done besides general mission statements.
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: tress on October 09, 2014, 04:45:35 AM
An annual financial report should be available. Having said that, I'm not interested in reading it.

Regarding NHC being profitable. I'm glad it is. If I were a member who had never been to NHC, and part of my membership was going to keep NHC going, I'd eventually be reluctant to keep paying. But as it is, the opposite seems to be true. People who go to NHC seem to be subsidizing my membership.

By the way, I will get to NHC eventually. Hopefully next year.

+1
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: pete b on October 09, 2014, 07:27:16 AM
I work for a non profit that underwent some major changes a few years back. Angry people left and happy people stayed and the institution is much stronger and stable now. That's not to say that the AHA couldn't be improved by providing better or more info
. Probably just because that's almost always the healthiest thing for an organization to do.
BTW this thread is a good example of people on this site disagreeing in a constructive way IMO.
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: chumley on October 09, 2014, 09:54:56 AM

BTW this thread is a good example of people on this site disagreeing in a constructive way IMO.

Agreed.  If you are an old fart like me, you will remember the Cathy Ewing days.  That was not pretty.
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: narvin on October 10, 2014, 10:56:39 AM
Wow... I had no idea things go so contentious in the 90s.

http://hbd.org/hbd/archive/2753.html#2753-15
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: BrewingRover on October 10, 2014, 11:44:09 AM
Wow... I had no idea things go so contentious in the 90s.

http://hbd.org/hbd/archive/2753.html#2753-15

Now THAT is a Godwin!
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: hopfenundmalz on October 10, 2014, 12:37:35 PM
Wow... I had no idea things go so contentious in the 90s.

http://hbd.org/hbd/archive/2753.html#2753-15

That was a blast from the past.
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: dbeechum on October 10, 2014, 01:52:57 PM
Yeah, whenever we do our history retrospective and our future planning I always make sure to point out that the AHA wasn't always beloved and did a lot of things that pissed people off.
Title: Re: AHA Financials
Post by: hopfenundmalz on October 10, 2014, 02:39:24 PM
Yeah, whenever we do our history retrospective and our future planning I always make sure to point out that the AHA wasn't always beloved and did a lot of things that pissed people off.

True. The AHA is much more member driven these days. That is why the Governing Committee elections are important.