[Ansteorra] Pay-2-play, Pay-2-fight, Pay-2-whatever...

Richard Threlkeld rjt at softwareinnovation.com
Wed Jan 9 12:11:49 PST 2008

Others can probably better list this, but the Kingdom Newsletter and the
membership card are the only visible benefits to most members. However, the
organizational costs are significantly higher than just these. The BoD
members are generally reimbursed for their travel to the BoD meetings
including airfare, hotel, meals, etc. They are reimbursed for their phone
costs for SCA related calls. They may be reimbursed somewhat for travel to

The Society officers are reimbursed for limited travel expenses (typically
$400-600/year) to oversee their responsibilities. They can also get
reimbursed for legitimate office expenses and phone calls. The Seneschal and
Exchequer sponsor a Symposium (annually I think) which is more or less a
required meeting for all their direct reports (Kingdom Seneschals and
Kingdom Exchequers). The kingdoms usually pay for the costs of their
officers and the Society picks up the symposium costs and the Society
officer costs. 

In the early days, many of these costs were absorbed by the officers in
question, but as travel costs have gone up that is less possible. Also, we
have made a push to allow people with more limited finances to occupy these
positions. I don't know what level of such support is reasonable, but it is
the trend.

The Society carries a variety of insurance, but the most obvious is
liability insurance. In our litigious society (the US, not the SCA) we can
expect to be sued fairly often by people who get hurt or even killed at
events. Think of the number of events and the number of people who attend
them. We have safety programs and most of our first aid and up calls are for
existing medical problems, but what about the guy who cuts open his foot on
a tent stake? Even if the injured party does not sue, he gives his rights to
his insurance company in return for payment of his costs and the insurance
company may sue.

Note, the Society does not carry any form of medical insurance for fighters
or others who are at our events. 

We have a fairly complex financial structure with hundreds of little groups
doing financial reports that are aggregated at the regional, principality,
kingdom, and society levels. There may be property taxes or state/province
taxes in some jurisdictions. We have currency conversions for international
groups. And all this must be audited by CPAs to keep our IRS 501(c)3
educational non-profit status in the US. 

As with any corporation, we have to have lawyers to prepare corporate
papers, represent us with the IRS, work with plaintiff lawyers on lawsuits,
and advise us on the implications of proposed actions of the BoD. All this
is necessary with non-US countries also. We are finding it necessary to have
expertise in all the states in the US and we must file with some of them in
order to play in that state. 

All this costs money and it costs more over time. Whether the current
membership structure augmented by the NMS is sufficient I cannot say.

In service,
Caelin on Andrede

-----Original Message-----
From: ansteorra-bounces at lists.ansteorra.org
[mailto:ansteorra-bounces at lists.ansteorra.org] On Behalf Of Elisabeth B.
Sent: Wednesday, January 09, 2008 11:31 AM
To: Kingdom of Ansteorra - SCA, Inc.
Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] Pay-2-play, Pay-2-fight, Pay-2-whatever...

On 1/9/08, Sir Lyonel Oliver Grace <sirlyonel at hotmail.com> wrote:
> ... If ... income needs to be raised, increase the non-member surcharge.
> I'm not a conservative thinker, but I think the membership requirements
> appropriate as they stand. If the income to SCA Inc. is inadequate,
> the GC should consider a small increase in the non-member surcharge. I
> think an administrative charge for authorization cards for non-members
> be appropriate (a dollar or two would not be outrageous).

Can someone knowledgeable post -exactly- what the membership cost covers? I
know we get a membership card and a newsletter. Is there anything else? If
costs are rising, what are those costs?

If the rising costs are for things that only apply to members, I don't think
raising the non-member surcharge is the correct action there -- why should
non-members pay more for something they're not getting?

For the rest of it, I will let Don Robin's post speak for me.

Aethelyan Moondragon
Bryn Gwlad
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