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Thread: Chapter Dues

  1. #1
    Jim Heffelfinger's Avatar
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    Chapter Dues

    My chapter has had a back conversation over the last few years about chapter dues. It has been $20 for ----ever. We were losing money on newsletters/postage alone before we shifted to an e- newsletter. We have a large percentage (50%) of "life members" who earned that status through service and age. Covering our 'overhead' expenses with dues is impossible.
    Q: What are the other chapters charging for their dues?
    Q: Is there a national conversation about chapter dues?

    I appreciate all comments.
    Jim Heffelfinger
    Sacramento

  2. #2
    Byron J. Covey
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Heffelfinger View Post
    My chapter has had a back conversation over the last few years about chapter dues. It has been $20 for ----ever. We were losing money on newsletters/postage alone before we shifted to an e- newsletter. We have a large percentage (50%) of "life members" who earned that status through service and age. Covering our 'overhead' expenses with dues is impossible.
    Q: What are the other chapters charging for their dues?
    Q: Is there a national conversation about chapter dues?

    I appreciate all comments.
    Jim Heffelfinger
    Sacramento
    We charge $20 for a family membership.

    We also host an annual fly-in lunch with first class food as our major fundraiser. When we spent too much on a big party a few years ago, we held a catered dinner with a silent auction of donated goods and made a very good profit. If your life members are doers and contributors rather than sitters and takers, they can have a positive impact on chapter activities such as Young Eagles, fly-ins, facility maintenance, chapter parties and other fund raisers. But I have been in a chapter where the ratio of takers to doers was too high. One chapter had Saturday breakfast meetings that, with volunteer shopping, cooking and cleaning, regularily turned a modest profit.

    The key to success, financially as well as organizationally, as in most organizations, is to get people to participate.


    BJC

  3. #3
    Jeff Point's Avatar
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    $10 a year for chapter dues and around 120 members. No life membership, we discussed this but discarded the idea for this very reason. EAA national did the same with a prior iteration of life membership "the Century Club" for the same reasons.

    An idea- approach the "life members" about the financial realities and the need to reinstate dues on them. You might be surprised. Those who are committed to the chapter might be receptive, and those who balk... are you better off without them anyway? Every chapter has a few folks who make it better with their absence.
    Jeff Point
    RV-6 built & flying/ RV-8 tail done
    RLU-1 underway
    Tech Counselor & Past President, EAA Chapter 18
    Milwaukee, WI
    "It All Started Here!"

  4. #4
    Mayhemxpc's Avatar
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    Outside activities. Pancake breakfasts, fly-ins, plane washes. I don't personally like auctions, but they seem to work. Hosting workshops. All of these things have been tried with some success.I know of a business association that faced a similar problem Membership was dwindling and dues couldn't cover costs. The executive officer spoke with a couple of other similar associations and he was told that no association should be expected to survive on dues alone, but should have events that bring in cash, increase visibility, and attract new members. I won't speak for the officers of my chapter, but I will mention an event the local CAP unit was involved in. The local airport's airshow. CAP assisted with various functions and in return, got a slice of the donations. (Attendance at the airshow was free admission. Attendees were asked for donations. The standees were very generous.)

    I do not hunk it is a good idea to ask people who paid a considerable amount for life membership to go back to paying dues. It is possible that the life membership cost the equivalent of 20 years or more of annual dues, which the chapter got up front. In that case making such a request would be unfair when considering what they paid (calculating return on that up front investment) vs just being an annual dues payer. You could, however, make appeals for specific costs to which they could contribute.

    One more thought. Young Eagles rallies. Increases visibility and opens up new memberships, especially family memberships. Can include selling snacks or food (or asking for donations for the same.)
    Chris Mayer
    N424AF
    www.o2cricket.com

  5. #5
    Jim Heffelfinger's Avatar
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    Although fund raising is a great topic It can be found in another thread. And my chapter has used an number of them including owning several hangars in rental.
    My thoughts are around a business model that sustains the fundamental chapter "overhead" with dues v fund raising. Those overhead needs are: annual national membership, EAA insurance, we get free room usage, monthly snacks for general meetings and board meetings, newsletters printed and mailed to non computer owner members, annual ballots for officers, insurance for our BBQ food trailer.
    To clarify - as stated in the lead para life membership is only based on some service in the past and age. We infrequently see life members and to my knowledge none are active in leadership. So nearly 50% of our membership are phantoms. They get mailed ballots, mailed newsletters (most do not have email). Connecting to these members is another thread for another time.

    So, what is your chapter dues?
    Please include your chapter number to avoid duplication of data.

    PS: Many of our members are annoyed with the continued fund raising efforts. Unaware of the annual expenses to just remain affiliated and operating.
    BTW- I know national is watching this thread for data.
    Last edited by Jim Heffelfinger; 12-24-2015 at 12:42 PM.

  6. #6
    Mayhemxpc's Avatar
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    Chapter 186: $25.00 single/$30.00 for family dues.
    Chris Mayer
    N424AF
    www.o2cricket.com

  7. #7
    PaulDow's Avatar
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    I went to one of the Chapter Leaders Workshop weekends back in '09, and there was a poll among the participants. I found my old notes, but I didn't write down the results. As I recall, dues then varied between about $15 to $40 per year. The chapters that charged more generally had a hangar or workshop to support. My chapter charges $25 per year, and it hasn't changed since our incorporation in 2000. A couple years ago we started 3 years for $60 to reduce the renewal nagging.

  8. #8

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    Up until a few years ago our dues were $20/year. No family memberships and no life memberships. We changed to $30 individual and $40 family. Have had at most 3 family memberships. Total members a little over 20. No printing/postage cost. Newsletter is two-sided printer paper and the newsletter editor pays for postage to the few that get mailed. Sounds like we are on the high side. We do have a project (real SLOW progress) which needs struts, spars, prop, and engine (and basically everything else).
    EAA 745 - White Bear Lake MN

  9. #9
    Banned
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    My chapter (172) charges $30 if you renew by end of year, $40 if you are late. I can't afford either one, that's mainly why I haven't joined. I keep their application form printed out in my build suitcase... maybe someday.

    According to their website, they are in the green by about $3000 (several long hangers, meeting house, air strip, 10-20 acres), but then that could be because it's the start of the year and they just collected renewals.
    Last edited by choppergirl; 12-22-2016 at 01:57 PM.

  10. #10
    L16 Pilot's Avatar
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    I'm an old time EAA member since the early 80's. One reason I haven't joined the local chapter is the apparent need for fund raising. Being involved in a number of other activities including church functions there's only so much time in a persons life and I operate on the basis if you belong you should be involved and not an absent member.

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