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Dues Change Proposal

At the last meeting there was a proposal to eliminate dues which we tabled for further action.

After reviewing the bylaws, I see that in order to change the dues we’d need to amend the bylaws, which requires a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the general membership (at any regular meeting or by mail ballot provided such amendment shall be read to the membership one meeting prior to the vote). No big deal, but something that should be considered by all of our members.

In order to solicit discussion and comment, I’m asking for members to post comments here, not only about eliminating the dues, but about reducing or keeping the dues unchanged. If we decide to make a change, we’ll need to work out (later) exactly what the change will be. Foe example we might eliminate dues but begin changing a one-time initiation fee.

To determine if a majority of the voting members in favor of any one option, I’m asking for an informal vote prior to our next meeting. Whenever you have enough information to make an informed decision, please let me know by email what option you prefer: raise the dues, keep them unchanged, reduce the dues, or eliminate them altogether. Members who do not express a preference will be tallied in favor of keeping the dues unchanged. I’ll initiate the formal bylaw change process based upon the results of this poll.

Your President, John Nicholls

9 comments to Dues Change Proposal

  • On one hand I am for eliminating dues, the only thing they really get used for is as a rebate for the cost of the anniversary dinner, so if we didn’t collect dues and didn’t give money back on the yearly dinner, the money that is still in the treasury, supplemented with the 50-50 raffles, would last a really long time buying the few other things we do.

    On the other hand, if we quit paying yearly dues, what will define a member? How long do you keep sending out the emails? How long do they stay listed on the and have access to the web page? If we don’t need dues, why do we need a treasurer or for that matter officers?

    The bylaws state that dues are $25 per couple and $20 for single and each membership gets one vote. We never really pay attention to that, everyone at the meeting raises their hand even though only there is supposed on vote per couple. I propose a compromise. Keep the dues, but lower them substantially. Five bucks a head, single memberships cost one Abe Lincoln, couples ante up a sawbuck and everyone gets a legal vote.

  • Kurt B.

    The meager $25 dues gives us ownership of the club, and also gives us some extended buying power for certain things. Even though we have never done it, the dues would enable us to buy a special club tool or a club banner (we used to have one of those).

    With the government rebate I have coming from the Treasury, I will be setting aside some for car parts (to stimulate the economy), and $25 for the Miata Club. I’m a creature of habit!

  • David Schumacher

    The club (government) collect dues (taxes) in order to provide services that club members (citizens) cannot or will not provide on their own. In the absence of any required expenditures (e.g., defense of the club, liability insurance fees, quid pro quo club memberships, or other fees or taxes imposed on the club, its officers, or members as a result of club membership) it seems that dues are superfluous.

    I have requested a breakdown of the $40 joint membership dues for the Windy City Chicago Miata Club just to see how that money is spent, so that we don’t overlook something.

    As we are a social club, there is nothing preventing us from taxing ourselves to support mutually beneficial club activities. While I don’t feel that $25 (or $50 for that matter) prevents membership, we should always be able to clearly explain just where the money is going.

    One small benefit of requiring annual dues is to help draw a line between those who are truly interested in the club and those for whom $25 does not compel them to remain members.

    Finally, I am in favor of keeping our modest dues and using them to keep the club viable. I think the following things would be helpful:
    1) Name badges for all, required to be worn
    2) Advertising in local media to attract new members.
    3) Annual charity donation (e.g., Toys for Tots, MCG Childrens Hospital, etc.) perhaps in co-sponsorship with Mazda Dealer
    4) Adopt a Highway
    5) Raffle prizes for club sponsored events.
    6) Banquet subsidy (not as a rebate but as an upgrade to banquet)

    When I hear back from Windy City, I will post the results here.

  • Larry Garner

    As a member of a club, I expect to offer support in the form of: dues, attending meetings, etc… I was surprised to hear the offering of a rebate at the dinner, never had a club do that before. Maybe the club needs to find other ways to put it to use. Our aviation club has a club-house and a snail-mail newsletter that incur expenses, (not suggesting either) we need the dues for operations.

    I’m in favor of keeping the dues; Membership has its privileges.

  • Yes, we need the dues. The money is used for parties, events, all that may bring new members. We should donate to a charity or sponsor a child for driving lessons.

  • David Schumacher

    OK, here’s some data from the Windy City Club. 117 Single memberships @ $35 and 120 Dual Memberships @ $45. Thats about $8900 in dues, but WCMC prorates dues based on calendar year so about $7000 was actually collected in 2007. Given the mix of memberships, the avg. membership works out to $37.59.

    The club took in about $38k and spent about $42k last year. So dues are just a fraction of the total revenues. A big chunk of the funds is the autocross racing program, which brought in about $15k and broke a bit better than even in expenses. Here’s how that $37.59 dues money gets spent:

    34% for liability insurance; 22% for social events; 20% for hardcopy newsletter; 11% Misc expense; 9% for Banquet and 1% for merchandise (WCMC apparel as prizes/incentives) = 97%. I have much more detail if you are interested.

    The newsletter (which we don’t have) and liability insurances is more that 50% of the expense.

  • Anita Wylds

    I could have sworn I responded to this. I think the dues are cheap and I think they should remain in effect. Even though I don’t get to participate in events like I used to, it still makes me feel like I am a part of the club because I pay my dues. It’s a membership for goodness sake and deserves dues. If you think you have too much money in the account, find a good charity and make a donation.

  • Charlotte Avant

    Was it broke? If not, why are we trying to fix it? I’m for leaving the dues alone. There is a world of things we could do with “excess money”.

  • John Nicholls

    Most members prefer no change, no change will be made. Thanks for the comments. Case Closed.