We have our Board assigned Topic:
The Board of Directors would like the Grand Council to consider the topic
of _*membership dues with respect to "pay to play", "pay to participate",
"pay to fight", or "pay to...?"*_
We would like the Council to study this issue, and to give us an idea of
the potential problems and pitfalls, the positives and what the council
perceives as the general feeling of the Society toward such a model.
The Directors would like the Council to consider to possibilities of a
tiered membership format, providing potential notions of how a tiered
format might work and how new members might be handled under such a
Please feel free to ask for any clarifications you might need!
Director, SCA Inc.
I have asked for clarification of the reason why this topic is being revisited, and passed on my personal observations in the process. NOTE THE ENTIRE TOPIC - It is not JUST "Pay to Play"! (Emphasis above is mine). The Board wants to know the issues we see. the Side Topic of the Non-Member Surcharge would seem to be fair game in the context of the issued topic, as it is a form of Pay to Play.
Let us get to work and show the Board we can handle serious topics.
HL Brendan ap Llewelyn
We do know this will be contentious in some quarters.
We want to consider this as we're looking at the larger issues of
membership and what it means to be a member. We have discussed the fact
that people develop loyalty to their local group, their household, their
Kingdom, but not the Organization. Why is that?
We don't want to start a panic by any means, but we do want to seriously
consider this. We want to get a good, solid understanding of several
potential ways to approach this, and differing viewpoints. It is in no way
a "done deal". We are not at all settled on doing this...or not. Please
make it clear to the council that this is the case.
The Board truly is looking to the GC to get a sense of this issue, not as
a fire storm but a real, productive, honest look. We need the input. We
need a studied, professional, business and emotional look. To my mind,
this is one of those broad issues with all sorts of ramifications that is
perfect for the Council as it has representation across the Society. The
less fire storm and more real information we get, the better.
You'll note that I mentioned the impact to newcomers in my original note,
we want to remain open to new folks. So, it's important for people to have
something of a trial time..or something.
The different "pay to..." things in different Kingdoms should be
considered too. Some are pay to fight, some are pay to receive awards,
same are not. How does this impact things...should it be consistent across
The tiered membership is a useful thing to consider as well...a membership
level for students perhaps, for people who want to come and watch, those
that want to participate at certain levels...so that the people could pay
for what they use. What should come with these tiers? All this is on the
There's lot to consider here!
If we were to implement this, it would be with a plan, and with lots of
information sent out. We not anywhere near that point.
Does that help?
This topic is an outgrowth of some of the things that we had discussed at
our long range planning meeting and some questions that have been asked of
the Directors and Corporate staff.
We talked about this from a variety of perspectives:
Should there be a uniform fee structure across all Kingdoms? Would an "A
la Carte" format be more useful for the membership?
Does the NMS help us, or not? Is there a better way to accomplish the same
Membership fees are holding steady, but our costs are rising. There may be
the need to raise fees in the future. (We do, and are, looking at ways to
cut costs.) If we have to raise our fees, are we apportioning the cost
correctly? We have new people, students, experienced members, people who
just come to chat, does "one size fit all" with respect to membership
Is there a better way of handling the whole membership fee thing?
We've also been discussing the benefits of membership -- what do people see
as the benefits of membership, and if we can add to the benefits.
Does that help? It's a pretty far ranging topic, and we're looking for
input from all perspectives.
*We are getting a few comments, mostly from the East and West Kingdoms who
are assuming this is a "done deal". That is unfortunate, as it is
panicking many needlessly, and not contributing to the overall discussion.
I think it might be useful if any comments were to go to the GC (not to
the Directors or Comment lists) list, so that the GC could actually see
them and consider them.*
I'll reiterate, we have no plan to institute this, as we have no idea what
the plan, the goal or the process should be. The goal was to function as
proactive Board, and glean information about potential long term ideas
that may, or may not, benefit the Organization. No more.
PLEASE - If you cross post this make sure people know to comment to a GC member!
(Above emphasis mine)