All, first, I will say you have all been very patient. Second, this is long overdue to all of our members, new and old. And third, it appears that we are in the midst of some challenges right now.
I do not want to recap all that has been posted on other posts. If you want to get to know exactly where we are at as a club and with delivery of our beloved magazine, the Brass Bell, you must do a bit of reading. I have pulled together the topic posts that I found in doing a bit of searching.
http://www.chris-craft.org/discussion/v ... php?t=5976
http://www.chris-craft.org/discussion/v ... php?t=6847
http://www.chris-craft.org/discussion/v ... php?t=6503
http://www.chris-craft.org/discussion/v ... l&start=30
http://www.chris-craft.org/discussion/v ... php?t=6702
Now that you have read about our challenges, here is, what I believe, the short story.
We are in a chicken-egg scenario right now with this club. Late Brass Bell delivery affects membership renewals and late membership renewals affect our ability to push the next Brass Bell delivery ahead.
At this time, we are 317 members down this quarter. At $35.00 per membership this translates to a loss of revenue of $11,095.00
I have literally talked to hundreds of our members in the past 90 days. I have been working to understand this recent decline in membership. Here are the emails (in part) that I received as a response to one of the renewal mailings that we sent to our past due members:
I have enjoyed many issues of the Antique Boat Club magazine. As I have aged, two problems have come up. One is that I can no longer get around well enough to "play" with my Chris-Crafts. Two is that my eyesight has deteriorated so much that I can no longer see well enough to read the magazine. I hate that both things have happened (Old age is no fun!). I must relinquish my subscription.
Thank you for of your help and for being responsible for the issues thus far. I wish you well in future endeavors.
I don't plan to renew. I am very pleased with your publication- it is first class. But, I'm getting too much stuff and have decided to discontinue most of my subscriptions.
Best wishes to you.
I sold my antique chris craft on august third so I will no longer subscibe. It was my pleasure to have been a member. Thankyou.
Hi Bill, Sad to say, due to health reasons I have given up my boating hobby. Too much effort (i.e. blood pressure) needed to load and unload the trailer damn it!! Sold the Gar Wood Speedster to a nice guy who will use it. Anyway, you can remove me from your email list and let my subscription expire (I think it has already). Many thanks for your leadership and support of the hobby over the years.
Strangely, no one that I have talked to has mentioned the late Brass Bells as a reason for not renewing. Given that, I would also be naive to think that it has no bearing on our membership.
At this time, our membership management system is tied directly back to Brass Bell delivery. What this means, is that as Brass Bell delivery gets later, our renewal mailings get later, and our income gets postponed. I do not think this is a bad thing, actually. It makes me, or whomever else is running this club accountable for keeping things on track. The flaw in this method, however, (as has been pointed out by others) is that other club expenses continue even if Brass Bells cease to mail. This is the pickle we are in right now.
So, what is the solution? Well, I made an executive decision to pull the Spring 2011 Brass Bell from the printer when I saw that it was not looking up to our standards. That issue (as has been mentioned before) has been moved to a different printer.
We are now moving ahead as quickly as possible in putting the Summer 2011 issue together. This issue will go off to the printer ASAP, and we will mail Spring and Summer issues in one mailing.
This may not be the answer all of you were looking for, but it is an answer nonetheless. My hope is that we will save enough on postage using this method, that we can offset, at least some of the net loss that we are experiencing with the membership being down.
For upcoming quarters, I predict that we may have to increase dues in order to keep pace with our rising costs. We have heard feedback from many of you about this and we are always eager to hear more...so let us have it.
As for advertisers? I will be working with each and every advertisers that we have to make sure we are treating everyone fairly. I will do this by calling each and discussing options.
We will also try to make it up to each and every one of our members. We have some ideas there as well.
Now, I need to go now, and continue to work on the Summer Brass Bell so we can put this issue behind us.