Homebrewers Association | AHA Forum

General Category => Homebrew Clubs => Club Leadership & Organization => Topic started by: roxanne on July 15, 2011, 01:32:32 AM

Title: Dues & such
Post by: roxanne on July 15, 2011, 01:32:32 AM
Thought it might be helpful to have a discussion about dues and how clubs approach this.

When I was president of our club - we had a very specific discussion about dues & membership.  Were dues just for the person?  What about family memberships, etc.  At the time - we decided that the dues covered the entire family (living in the same household).  No difference in price.  One of the key driving forces was to make it easier for members to stay members!  By making spouses welcome and comfortable, we limited the conflicts between the spouses that often ended with someone having to limit their club time (and maybe drop out).  Spouses come to meetings (and often provide a lot of volunteer support).  They also end up getting involved in other ways - usually first as stewards, learning to judge (and eventually, some end up brewing, too).  They won't come to every meeting (maybe not the super technical ones) - but they do come to meetings and contribute.

We just revisited this decision last month - and decided it was still the right decision for our club.

I think it would be interesting to hear about other points of view on this.  This is right for our club, but not necessarily others.  Thoughts (and rationale - that helps others understand the questions involved, too!).
Title: Re: Dues & such
Post by: bobby_m on July 15, 2011, 04:21:51 PM
Hi Roxanne, if we had unlimited meeting space, we would certainly invite spouses to come to the meetings at all times. I guess it could be debated if an accompanying spouse needs to be an official member or not, but at one time we offered a 50% discount for a spouse because we knew they would on average only attend about half the functions. We got to thinking that if a spouse was serious enough to brew and enter comps as singles, etc, they would just get their own membership.

It became a moot point when we ran out of space in the meeting venue. We don't mind when someone brings a guest once in a while and we always invite members to have family/spouse come out to the bigger social events.
Title: Re: Dues & such
Post by: olllllo on July 15, 2011, 04:30:51 PM
We need to re-look this issue as well.

I suspect we may split the difference and go $30/$45.
After all, the AHA has individual and family and Full Conference and Social Pkg for that matter.

We may also offer $10 off if they renew in December of 2011 for 2012. Money today, right.

Which brings up another dues topic... time frame.

I'm assuming our club, like many others that I have heard, does Jan - Dec pricing to keep things simple.
I understand that some clubs pro-rate, that's some thing we don't do for a couple reasons.

1) It requires some actual book keeping.
2) Our biggest event is Oktoberfest. There is no way we'd let you become a $10 member for that.

The biggest problem that we've had is flatting our revenue curve.
This is our historical dues collection curve:
(http://i.imgur.com/gey3Y.jpg)

All things being equal (total members gained through out the year), I'd rather have this:
(http://i.imgur.com/XItkQ.jpg)

We approach the more ideal curve by requiring members be in good standing for some events, but really the best of all situations is to have anniversary renewals. The devil in that detail is managing 500 individual anniversaries.

There really isn't anyway to do that without some serious membership management automation. This is a topic I will post in it's own thread at some point. We've basically gone barcoded membership discount cards for attendance. We have yet to do the individual billing dates.


Title: Re: Dues & such
Post by: hamiltont on July 15, 2011, 04:31:56 PM
Our dues cover the family and we encourage our members to bring their spouse, just not the little ones... Our club meetings are pretty informal and it's more of a social gathering than anything. It's quite enjoyable actually. Most meetings are hosted by club members @ their homes. We generally have ~25 attend so space isn't an issue really. Cheers!!!
Title: Re: Dues & such
Post by: Jimmy K on July 27, 2011, 08:40:07 PM
For the past 18 months we've been charging by the meeting, $1 per person. This allows someone who rarely makes it to meetings to be able to show up to a few and not have to pay the whole year's dues.
Title: Re: Dues & such
Post by: bobby_m on July 28, 2011, 04:56:02 PM
Jimmy, the buck a meeting model seems like a great idea as long as the majority of your costs are meeting related such as cups, water, crackers, etc. For a club like ours, I think it breaks down when money is spent as a benefit to the club over a long term. Another example would be throwing a big party or picnic for the club using club funds. Someone who came to one meeting and spent a dollar could come to the party the following week and consume $20 worth of food and drink. It's an extreme example, but mostly realistic IMHO.
Title: Re: Dues & such
Post by: morticaixavier on July 28, 2011, 07:16:13 PM
our club charges 20 bucks from January through June and 10 after that. seems okay to me.
Title: Re: Dues & such
Post by: deaton83 on June 28, 2012, 10:25:02 PM
He does each club manage the clubs dues and membership? We been using a simple excel doc but it's getting out of control to keep up.

Any online options? Anyone care to share a template?

Thanks,
Daniel
Title: Re: Dues & such
Post by: dbeechum on June 28, 2012, 10:36:06 PM
We've done it a 100 different ways and I haven't find a great way yet. I would love for a better solution, that's for certain.
Title: Re: Dues & such
Post by: Bruce B on June 29, 2012, 05:18:01 AM
This is how the Barons do it - http://beerbarons.org/payments.html

We charge yearly dues to cover operating expenses and have a meeting fee (between $5 & $10 per meeting) to cover the cost for a meeting (hall, beer, etc).  If a member wishes they can prepay for everything at the beginning of the year or they can just purchase a membership and pay for meetings as they go.  Family Memberships are offered at a discount.  Memberships are prorated as the year goes on and we also offer a trial three month membership free of charge.

We also give out membership cards and have a discount program set up with local Homebrew shops and brew pubs.

Our annual membership is around 200 and we average just over 100 attendees per a meeting.
Title: Re: Dues & such
Post by: Jimmy K on June 29, 2012, 12:19:01 PM
Jimmy, the buck a meeting model seems like a great idea as long as the majority of your costs are meeting related such as cups, water, crackers, etc. For a club like ours, I think it breaks down when money is spent as a benefit to the club over a long term. Another example would be throwing a big party or picnic for the club using club funds. Someone who came to one meeting and spent a dollar could come to the party the following week and consume $20 worth of food and drink. It's an extreme example, but mostly realistic IMHO.

We're lucky that our regular meeting supplies, space, even cleanup are donated by Dogfish Head. The case of somebody showing up to one meeting and then attending a sponsored event is certainly plausible. I think our club is just close knit enough that when it happens, nobody worries about it.
Title: Re: Dues & such
Post by: olllllo on August 27, 2012, 08:29:04 PM
Jimmy, the buck a meeting model seems like a great idea as long as the majority of your costs are meeting related such as cups, water, crackers, etc. For a club like ours, I think it breaks down when money is spent as a benefit to the club over a long term. Another example would be throwing a big party or picnic for the club using club funds. Someone who came to one meeting and spent a dollar could come to the party the following week and consume $20 worth of food and drink. It's an extreme example, but mostly realistic IMHO.

We're lucky that our regular meeting supplies, space, even cleanup are donated by Dogfish Head. The case of somebody showing up to one meeting and then attending a sponsored event is certainly plausible. I think our club is just close knit enough that when it happens, nobody worries about it.

How do you manage to track all that. Especially at the door. We're using barcode IDs and we still have a backlog getting to our meeting.
Title: Re: Dues & such
Post by: Jimmy K on August 28, 2012, 12:35:55 PM
I'm guessing our club is smaller? We don't keep track of who attends each meeting, we just make sure everybody who is there pays $1. Anybody who wants to be on our club email list can be included, it doesn't matter how many meetings they attend. Some people on our list show up to less then one meeting a year.  We also don't go all out sponsoring events, so there really isn't an opportunity for somebody to get a 'free ride'.
 
Naysayers, which are extremely rare, are offered a leadership position - no more complaints.   8)
Title: Re: Dues & such
Post by: jamminbrew on August 28, 2012, 12:43:37 PM
In my club, we pay $20 a year, $30 for family, and we have a raffle at every meeting, $1 a ticket, and all attending members are encouraged to donate a beer related item for the raffle, which is held at the end of the meeting.