[Ansteorra] BOD seeks consultation concerning the issue of a possible membership rate increase for the SCA.

Burke McCrory burkemc at cox.net
Mon Feb 4 21:57:44 PST 2002

[ Picked text/plain from multipart/alternative ]
The following was posted to the western regional list.  I have confirmed
that it is also on the SCA website.

The BOD is asking for our input on this proposal.  I can not stress how
important this is to our helping the BOD shape the future of the SCA.  If
you do not comment on this to the BOD you have NO CAUSE to complain if you
don't like the results.
Sir Burke

>Greetings to the Membership of the Society for Creative Anachronism from
>the Board of Directors:
>We come before you for consultation concerning the issue of a possible
>membership rate increase for the SCA.
>The SCA's membership rates have not changed since 1994. During the
>intervening years, many of the costs associated with operations of the
>Society have increased. For example, rents, printing, postage, and paper
>expenses are up, and this trend is likely to continue. Our insurance costs
>will rise by 17% in 2002. The stipend for newsletter production was raised
>14% three years ago with no corresponding increase in revenue; the postage
>portion of the stipend has been increased several times in response to
>increases in postage rates. (Note that stipends are intended to cover the
>costs of producing and mailing a two-ounce, simple newsletter, produced
>largely with volunteer labor. Kingdoms that desire a fancier or larger
>publication, or want to have the binding done professionally, need to
>raise funds to cover the increased costs of those improvements.) The
>Directors and officers have done their best to hold down the expenses they
>can directly control, often by donating the expenses involved in
>performing their duties, but that is a small percentage of the budget, and
>of course items like those mentioned above are to a large degree outside
>of our control. Membership numbers have not kept pace with these increases
>in costs, especially sustaining memberships, as can be seen from the fact
>that, while membership numbers are up, membership revenue is down.
>Membership fees are the Corporation's primary source of revenue. The
>number of paid members of the Society has remained fairly constant over
>the past several years. It is easy to see that when revenue remains
>constant and expenses increase, the financial picture is not good.
>Following is a summary of revenue and expenses for the past five years
>(all figures below rounded to nearest dollar; % change compares 1997 to 2001):
>REVENUE19971998199920002001% chg
>Number of Members23,81423,83223,80224,40024,988+ 5%
>(includes all membership categories; annual average)
>Membership Revenue$790,246$621,768$744,279$761,633$750,701- 5%
>Other revenue$145,932$104,462$94,277$98,606$87,741- 40%
>(includes Stock Clerk income, interest and dividends, TI advertising revenue)
>TOTAL REVENUE$936,178$726,230$838,556$860,240$838,442- 10%
>EXPENSES19971998199920002001% chg
>Kingdom Newsletters$187,409$189,421$213,750$209,789$198,985+ 6%
>Staff Salaries$172,693$194,087$219,253$201,695$221,680+ 28%
>(includes cost of benefits and payroll taxes)
>Corp Office Expenses$143,437$115,817$141,355$134,165$155,835+ 9%
>Meetings/conferences$36,996$44,566$46,625$37,176$42,822+ 10%
>Board member expenses$4,230$1,644$2,625$841$355- 92%
>Officer expenses$18,610$9,717$12,195$10,671$13,747- 26%
>Other Expenses$267,794$265,971$255,808$257,638$206,230- 23%
>(includes stock clerk costs, insurance, professional services, other
>publications, and capital expenditures)
>TOTAL EXPENSES$831,168$812,222$891,611$851,976$839,654+ 1%
>NET INCOME(LOSS)$105,010($85,992)($53,055)$8,264($1,212)
>2001's final revenue figures are skewed because of a very generous,
>one-time, unbudgeted donation of $40,000, which was earmarked by the donor
>for a specific purpose (so it is not general revenue). The 2002 budget
>projects a loss of approximately $66,000. Despite the budget shortfalls
>over three of the past five years, this is not an emergency situation. At
>present there is enough money to cover our subscription liability and the
>Society's immediate expenses. But, looking into the future, clearly that
>situation will not continue forever. The Board is strongly of the opinion
>that an adjustment is needed to cover increases in operating expenses that
>will inevitably occur in the coming years. It is our feeling that a single
>increase designed to last several years is preferable to smaller, more
>frequent increases, though we are open to argument on that point.
>As Directors, we have a fiduciary responsibility to ensure that the
>corporation has resources adequate to continue its operations. To that
>end, the Board of several years ago instituted the Non-Member Surcharge
>(NMS), which allowed the accumulation of an operating reserve. Once that
>reserve was established, the Board repealed the NMS. That operating
>reserve, which was fueled by the NMS, has been funding budget shortfalls
>at the Corporate level for some years now. It would not be financially
>prudent to spend all of the operating reserve with no plan to replace
>those funds.
>We ask that members consider the following suggestions on how to increase
>revenues so that expenses can be met into the future. We realize that
>these suggestions are by no means the only options available. Please send
>us your comments on these options and your alternative suggestions. The
>Board is seeking a consensus from the membership on how to proceed. At
>present no decisions have been made - except that something must be done.
>We request and highly encourage your suggestions and assistance. Note that
>International memberships are not specifically addressed here. Those rates
>may need to increase proportionately to any other rate increases that occur.
>OPTION 1 - Tournaments Illuminated optional
>Basic Membership: $35/year 3rd class; $42/year 1st class (Drachenwald and
>Ealdormere available 1st class only). Includes member's own Kingdom newsletter.
>Dependent membership: $15/year (with a family cap of $70/year) - available
>only to immediate family members of a Basic member
>Tournaments Illuminated: $10/year.
>Additional publications, including any additional Kingdom newsletters and
>Compleat Anachronist (per publication): $10/year 3rd class; $17/year 1st class
>Board Proceedings: $17/year (available 1st class only; includes Board
>meeting minutes and Society Seneschal's report)
>OPTION 2 - all publications optional
>Basic membership: $25/year
>Dependent membership: $15/year (family cap of $60/year) - available only
>to immediate family members of a Basic member
>Publications, including all kingdom newsletters and Compleat Anachronist
>(per publication): $10/year 3rd class; $17/year 1st class (Drachenwald and
>Ealdormere available 1st class only).
>Tournaments Illuminated: $10/year
>Board Proceedings: $17/year (available 1st class only; includes Board
>meeting minutes and Society Seneschal's report)
>Alternate option for Board proceedings in both Options 1 and 2: Board
>meeting minutes posted to the SCA web site. In this case the option to
>subscribe to the Proceedings would be dropped. The Society Seneschal's
>report would be dropped.
>Under either of the above options the membership categories would be
>reduced to two: Basic and Dependent (aka Family).
>OPTION 3 - A general increase in the price of membership.
>Membership categories and included publications would remain the same as
>they are today. The price of each type of membership would increase by $5
>to $10.
>OPTION 4 - A significant increase in the number of paid Society members.
>We are NOT suggesting "pay to play". We would be very interested in
>suggestions for ways to encourage more of our participants to become paid
>members of the Society. Obviously, with more paid members to share the
>costs, each member's share of those costs is reduced.
>Other options that have been discussed include reinstating the Non-Member
>Surcharge, or designating a percentage of the gate from each event to go
>to the Corporation. Undoubtedly there are many, many other possibilities
>that have not yet been brought to the table.
>Again, the Board asks for your comments and suggestions. "Unbundling" the
>publications from membership and/or increasing the cost of memberships are
>undoubtedly not the only options. There may well be other answers. Nothing
>will be done until after input from the members and Kingdoms is received
>and carefully considered. The membership will be kept informed on the
>status of this endeavor.
>Please send your comments no later than June 15, 2002 to:
>Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc.
>PO Box 360789
>Milpitas CA 95036-0789
>Or electronically to: comments at sca.org
>Sincerely yours,
>The SCA, Inc. Board of Directors

More information about the Ansteorra mailing list