Minutes from 10 November Meeting - Membership Dues increase for 2013

Discussion in 'Club Financials & Minutes' started by mray2660, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. mray2660

    mray2660 Treasurer

    The BAR BOD meeting held on 10 November 2012 approved instituting $30 membership dues for 2013. In accordance with Article II – Membership Section D of the Bylaws, any changes to the dues requires one month notice to general membership. This posting serves as notification to the membership.

    The primary reasons behind this change in dues are as follows:

    In keeping with the organization's mandate to promote, foster, and encourage the education and appreciation for the ethical husbandry and propagation of marine life in 2013, the BOD plans to minimally maintain the same level of BAR sponsored events that were held in 2012. For FY 2012 we are projecting operating expenses to exceed income.

    Beyond the increase in expenses due to expanded education events in 2012 we observed an increase in general expenses such as insurance (liability, officers and directors), web hosting, storage of club assets, and other fees over previous years.

    The BOD is looking at using better software for the web site in 2013 so we can improve web site access. We plan to allocate funds in the 2013 budget funds to support this activity.

    We thank all our members for your support as we continue building and expanding our community, and appreciate any feedback on how the club is doing and any new features you would like to see.
  2. denzil

    denzil Webmaster

    Are we planning on continuing to naturally grow or do we have any plans to grow the membership through additional marketing? With the increase from $20 to $30, that's a 50% increase which is relatively large. I realize this is only $10 but this may potentially discourage membership. Just some feedback that I'd share. :)
  3. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    I don't mind the dues increase, but I agree with Denzil that maybe the club should also try to focus a bit more on increasing the membership. I know I started my reef tank quite a while before I heard about BAR and ended up joining. I really only heard about BAR by googling for a local reef club. I think it would be great if BAR advertised more with all the local fish stores and on some of the popular reef forums. I know Nano-Reef.com has quite a few members from the Bay Area and other clubs have a presence on their site to get membership and advertise their events.
  4. aqua-nut

    aqua-nut Supporting Member

    Kind of jumping on Felicia's comments...

    I found SFBAAPS because some members put a club banner in their sigs on other forums. Do we have a banner that will link back to this forum?

    As to the dues...

    It's such a small amount of money compared to, well, anything else in this hobby. What can you get for 10 bucks? A couple of veggie clips? A few cups of salt? You got my money come 1/1!
  5. denzil

    denzil Webmaster

    Yeah, don't get me wrong, I don't mind the $10 increase. I know it's for a great cause. I'm just considering any potentially new BAR members who are considering membership.
  6. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    $30 isn't a big deal. I just agreed with Denzil about maybe trying to get more membership because obviously getting more members would help bring in the money to support the goals for next year. Also, the more the merrier :)

    I like the idea of having a banner that members can put in their sig on other forums if they'd like to get our name out there.
  7. gimmito

    gimmito Guest

    Insurance and bringing in the caliber of speakers are two if our biggest expenditures. We have some of the most sought out speakers coming ( Tony Vargas, Lance Ichinotsubo, Gary Parr, Craig Bingham, Joe Yaiullo, & Todd Gardner). We also have two frag swaps scheduled at no additional cost to our members.

    I think 30 bucks is a steal.

    We have a Facebook page also. I do like the option of having a banner that our members can advertise on other forums. Denzil...is that something you can do ?
  8. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    So was there anything else talked about at the meeting? I mean the topis is "Minutes from the Meeting" :D
  9. eldiablosrt8

    eldiablosrt8 Sponsor

    We try to do are part as well as sending newbies your way but we dont have any means as a store via a sigh or poster, other clubs give us means to promote. Us as store owners need to help as well get the newbies and old timers back into forums and clubs...

    I say i talk BAR and another club up atleast 3-4 times a week but i dont see the traffic yet.....
  10. xulio

    xulio Supporting Member

    On the subject of newbies, I had been thinking about creating a presentation that could be given 30-45 mins before our monthly meetings by any of the members (...that don't mind presenting). Nothing controversial: setup, equipment, good agreed on practices, some pros and cons. The key is how to advertise this other than on our main page and LFS sponsors sending them our way. That should be a good recruiting tool.

    If you think this is something worth pursuing, please catch me at the next meeting to do some brainstorming around it.

  11. iCon

    iCon Supporting Member

    I appreciate the intent but I’m not convinced it’s the single answer to expenses > revenues. The actual dollar increase is irrelevant. It does represent a large, 50% increase but if someone was willing to pay $20 for membership benefits, they’ll likely be willing to pay $30.

    The issue boils down to a single question really. Why should reef hobbyists pay $ to be in BAR? There needs to be something here that people can’t get anywhere else…Or at least not for $30. ;) So far…There’s DBTC, members only swaps and….? There needs to be other benefits that will drive organic membership and revenue growth.

    Raffles are a great source of outside revenue and coral sales at BAYMAC also brought in a little extra cash to support speakers etc. Maintaining the number of speaking events is great, but quality with turnout > quantity.

    9-5, I get paid to increase revenues and drive net income… I owe it to the guys who got me into this and shared the community aspect of reefing to put my thinking cap on. Hopefully something will come of it! ;)
  12. gimmito

    gimmito Guest

    The BOD went over various options regarding membership dues. We could have kept the $20 due, but would have had to charge for example the frag swaps (which most clubs do). We had some great raffles this year (big thanks to our sponsors) capped off with I think was our best raffle yet with a Radion fixture, mp10, & mp40 (these items were bought at a discount and not donated per say). My goal as vp is to bring in top notch speakers that cover a broad range of topics in the hobby...of course this cost $$. I would hope our members appreciate and take advantage of these free talks because it would cost you some coin to drive/fly to a MACNA or RAP + hotel, food, etc. to hear these speakers.

    I think it would be great to have a membership drive. Introduce a friend, relative, co-worker, etc. into this great hobby of ours.

    @I-Con...you got a job !
  13. denzil

    denzil Webmaster

    Yeah, I blame my work and my general entrepreneurship for thinking this way, LoL. I mean, I'd say we're not doing too bad with organic growth but if we really wanted to blow this up, it would require some additional marketing efforts. However, on the flip side, our user/member base could potentially grow astronomically and potentially throw off the tightness of the group. However, if we stick to our core values and what not, I don't think retaining the tightness would be a problem at all.

    I agree with Con, we should probably tighten up some things like our forum, member benefits (i.e. I think unpaid members should have a limited PM box versus a paid members PM box who has a limit of 100 or 200 messages), and whatever other crazy ideas we can think of that'll happily attract other members. As long as we all acknowledge that there wil always be potential for growth, I think the club will only grow and prosper from here on out.

    Jim - I think we can put banners in our signatures, no? Let me check.
  14. denzil

    denzil Webmaster

    Well, it looks like images in banners work but I guess you were more asking if I could do the design? I suck at design so I'm sure someone else in our club is more talented than I am. However, if no one volunteers, I guess I'll just suck it up and teach myself how to better use Photoshop. :)

    I realize we have a Facebook page but do we have anyone that actually is responsible for social? Do we have a Twitter or Google Plus as well? We can get a lot of member growth through those social channels as well with the right plan.
  15. gimmito

    gimmito Guest

    Denzil- I take care of our Facebook page. I honestly don't have time to do Google+ and Twitter. It would be great if we have somebody that would like to do them. Limiting pm's, issuing a lfs discount card, premium membership, etc. are all viable options to increase membership.

    *nice acan by the way.
  16. Piper

    Piper Guppy

    50% is certainly a steep increase percent wise but all in all $30 for an annual membership is a bargain in my opinion. I also know what I'm getting for that $30 too; more on that below. I thought that 2012 was a very nice improvement over 2011 but I've only been around a little over two years now and don't have prior experience to compare with. I was not able to make it to many of the events in 2011 so maybe my perception is a little skewed.

    I definitely think that there are other avenues for revenue but you need to be careful if you go down that road. What ever you do can't be a time sink for anyone or you're going to run into burnout. You also don't want anything that takes a good deal of overhead to operate or get off the ground without some kind of guaranteed ROI. And most of all, you don't want to lose focus.

    In my industry, and it's the same in many, as long as you have your costs in order, the answer to revenue is customers and price. Or in our case memberships and dues. I think the quality more than justifies the price here. Now we have to driver the memberships.

    As pointed out by someone above, something (a presentation in this case) that outlines BAR for potential new members is a fantastic idea. I know what I'm getting for my $30 and I'll pay it but others may not know. The more first timers know about BAR and what happens at the meetings and functions, the more willing they will be to pay the membership. +1 for a presentation and something to put on the site.

    Other thoughts in no particular order:
    • Generate marketing tools that can be distributed at the LFS and elsewhere. Isn't there already a little flyer?
    • I hear rumblings of changes to the website and forum software. The forum is very slow for me. In fact, I'd wager that it keeps some folks away because it's so slow. I think there is a lot of potential here for generating traffic and traffic leads to memberships.
    • Hire iCon - pay him commission in the form of frags for new memberships :)
      There was talk recently about ways to stir up interest in DBTC - Keep that going.
      There is an incredible sink of talent in this group. Tap into it for ideas!

    I'm just putting in my $0.02 and tossing out ideas here. Please don't take any of what I wrote as negative or ragging in any way. I like what we have and will gladly pay the $30 without regret.

  17. Thanks for the great feedback, everyone! It is fantastic to see interest in and ideas for the organization. :D

    As a reef clubs that collects membership dues to put on events in support of our mission, I certainly hope that members are receiving perceived value. I can proudly say that considering BAR's program of events and what we do for the broader community, BAR stands out among clubs. If members do not see value in the club then we have a huge problem. It is important that the club is doing what the members want, because it is your club.

    Ultimately BAR is only as good as what out members put into it. As all of you are aware we have a very talented community of people, and the club can always improve and become even better! Please continue letting the BOD know what you would like to see and how you can support the club, whether it be at an official BOD meeting or anytime you talk with one of the officers.

    BTW as far as I can determine this is the first membership dues increase in the history of the club - dues have remained at $20 for the past seven years. In that time membership has both expanded and contracted. Personally I do not think this means we need to be content with the status quo, but as long as we keep doing what we do in support of the club mission, I believe the club will continue to attract new members who are interested in elevating the state of the hobby. :)
  18. Kensington Reefer

    Kensington Reefer Supporting Member

    Our club is worth it!
  19. goldielocke76

    goldielocke76 Supporting Member

    I don't mind promoting the club and elevating the state of the hobby. I will gladly pay the $30 in club dues to be a part of this awesome club. Although I am still fairly new here, I must say that compared to the members that post, and are active, that participate in talks, clean up and help, part of me went "Damn" when I read that we raised the dues to keep from charging at frag swaps. Some of you might be upset at me for saying so, but I feel that some people only pay the $30 a year for the swaps itself, (like Jim said, it's a steal) and now, we are talking about doing two a year. Maybe a small door fee ($5?) to be at the swaps would not only help the club in the long run, but maybe it would encourage people to participate more in the forums (to know where their money is going), to help be there to set up, clean up, and run the swaps and meetings, and also deter the people who only join for the swaps. To say that I was surprised when I saw the amount of people who were at the swaps compared to how many I see on the forums and at the other meetings would be an understatement. Then as soon as the last group was called, I saw what felt like the entire room walk out the door without so much as "is there anything I can do to help before I leave?"

    Sorry if I have upset any of you. Just wanted to give some feedback on what was my first swap. Regardless of what happens, Denzil and I will pay what ever is asked to help continue this wonderful club, as well as help out where ever there is a need. :)
  20. denzil

    denzil Webmaster

    Yeah, if we had a Social Chair, that could potentially help alleviate the load.

    It's not exactly mine but rather one of the photos I took at RAP. :)

    Unfortunately, those people show up in every hobby where it's advantageous for them. Only so many of us are greatly committed while some of us are committed with other things or just don't care to set time aside for the other events.

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