I will respond quickly (??) here, with a more in-depth response this evening.
1. The Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club is a 501(c)(3) organization. Nothing has changed on this status for many years,.
2. The Club does have a board of directors. Modifications to this board are being made at this time.
3. Al, I will call Wilson soon about lots of issues...getting him logged on is on the list. FYI, his login has not changed. He can visits Boat Buzz via his browser at any time. Wilson used to interface with the forum via the email digest which he is no longer receiving. Without that digest, his perception is that Boat Buzz has been down. I will take this up with him.
4. Paul H brings up some good questions, relative to what an increase in dues money would do for this organization. I have some thoughts on that that I will share when I return to this topic.
Honestly, though, this was not what I was trying to determine via this specific poll. I was looking at this specifically from farupp's vantage point.
Some have made comments that Boat Buzz is their most revered benefit. Brass Bell second.
Some have made comments that the club offers no benefit outside of the Brass Bell.
Others have said that the printed Brass Bell is their most coveted benefit.
Sidebar conversations have been had about these benefits, and what one would expect them to cost. For example, if I truly care only about Boat Buzz as my benefit, what should that cost me annually?
To the contrary, if I strongly believed in Boat Buzz, the Brass Bell, the Archive, the Wiki, the Hull Registry, and so on...what is that suite of benefits worth to me?
The absolute flip side to the above is that I have heard from many, that our dues are way too low, relative to the benefits received. OK...if so, what annual dues amount accurately reflects what benefits you are receiving?
There's a declaimer that needs to be made here. The Brass Bell has to get on a timely delivery schedule. Brass Bells delivered in a timely fashion is a more significant benefit than Brass Bells that are three quarters behind.
Let's take this a step at a time. Based on the benefits that are important to you today...and assuming the Brass Bell can be delivered in a timely fashion....what is the annual fee that is in keeping with this?
Here's where I am going with this...Some of our members who are not computer literate (a very small number) see no value in Boat Buzz...or the Archive....or the Wiki....or the Hull Registry...or the Member Directory. They view their club membership as a $35.00 magazine subscription.
Others value everything. And use it often. They may be the ones saying the dues are far too low for the benefits received.
My poll question was not intended to say we are thinking about raising dues to $100.00 per year. I can tell you honestly that that would never happen.
But, I need to get a clearer understanding of what needs to happen. If we do nothing, we are going to have a difficult time funding the Brass Bell as it continues to get more expensive. This is one issue that is not going to go away...ever. This itself would imply a continual need to increase dues cost every so often to cover the increases in printing and mailing.
How much we go above "just breaking even" becomes another conversation entirely.
I need to remind all of our members, this club does not own a computer, a building, a phone system, file servers, or web servers. It does not pay annual salaries. It does not have it's own copy machine. Or postage machines, scales, etc. It has never paid fair market rate in any region...Tallahassee, Florida, or Cedar Rapids, Iowa...for rent and utilities. It does not pay it's own insurance relative to a its physical space.
As we are inclined to think about the "what will the money get us" question, we need to be conscious about building a club that can stand the test of time.
I am advocating getting this club to stand on its own two feet. It is not viable over the long term if it cannot. This club has always attached itself to a "donor" organism, in order to operate. For many years, this was Wilson Wright. And I know for a fact, that we paid very little rent,paid little or nothing for usage of a copy machine, paid no prorated utilities, etc....for over 20 years.
We need to fund the Brass Bell properly to continue publishing into the future. As I mentioned in a prior post, we are currently losing money on all of Canada, and all International members based on current pricing. The US is not far behind. That is the mandatory "part one" of this question. Paying for other stuff, and adding member benefits is another discussion.
As soon as I get a chance I will post a an overview of finances...those that have been reported on annual IRS returns. This will be pretty revealing.
Until then...I guess we all have to look at the poll question from our own unique position. Again...if only the Brass Bell is important to me, then what am I willing to pay for it. If only Boat Buzz is important to me, then what am I will willing to pay for it.
As Al suggests, we are not trying to create the perfect storm for a mass exodus...and I don't think we will.
Membership has continued to grow recently. New member activity has been good to excellent in the past month. But, we still have 305 members on the past due list and this is given this extremely long renewal cycle. We have targeted those members heavily and are seeing little movement. And I will feel we are beating this horse hard at this point. I am content to move ahead full speed, with a little more input from all of you.