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.