[SCA-AE] SCA Financial Announcement
khristianpyke at ymail.com
Mon Feb 22 13:34:13 EST 2010
having moved here from California i can tell you that the prices in the bay are outrages a site in the San Joaquin valley ( someplace like lathrop, manteca Stockton or even Tracy or ripon) would cost a lot less and still be very accessible as most of the valley sits right on the I-5 and 99 to 80 freeways. a move to this area would definitely bring down costs. the problem is that people fear change both corporate and us. corporate has had this location for many years and is comfortable changing a site for the headquarters is a lot of work and wont be easy. were all scared because we see our rates to due events rising and it sucks i remember events being $7 at the gate and now its like 15 at some. but think of it this way how many of us remember 30 cent candy bars? did we stop eating candy when they went to a dolor heck no we didn't because we all knew it was just the natural course of things. i hate to see fees go up but its the way of things
and it just has to be. many don't consider what it takes to keep the fun we have going insurance and legal fees alone could cost billions every year. i think that yes corporate should move the main offices but i don't think there trying to bone us with extras fees its just the cost of doing business
----- Original Message ----
From: Solveig Throndardottir <nostrand at acm.org>
To: discussion at aethelmearc.org; comments at sca.org
Cc: Ronnie Kummer <bataarsogdo at hotmail.com>
Sent: Mon, February 22, 2010 12:14:38 PM
Subject: Re: [SCA-AE] SCA Financial Announcement
Greetings from Solveig! Corporate Operations is reporting financial
hardship. However, it has not disclosed whether or not it is still
party to structurally inflationary contracts such as its lease in
Milpitas, Calif. We are more or less still in a recession, but if
that lease has not been renegotiated from what it was several years
ago, corporate is pretty much committed to annual rent increases.
About twenty years ago, suggestions for relocating the corporate
offices to a less expensive location were rebuffed. There are in fact
many locations outside of the Bay Area and even outside of California
which are far less expensive to conduct operations than is the Bay
Area. As for staffing concerns. Rene Signatori (sp) will someday
either retire or die. The Society needs to be able to survive her
departure from operations.
Yes, the $3.00 non-member surcharge is now almost twenty years old.
Yes, there has been inflation over that interval. However, right now
a lot of people are experiencing personal belt-tightening. Increasing
the non-member surcharge will simply increase the cost of attending
events for new people ironically at a time when the word from
corporate is to try to increase membership. There is no vast
reservoir of people who regularly attend events who do not purchase
annual memberships. This myth was destroyed by implementing the non-
member surcharge about twenty years ago.
>> 1. Continued development of a grant program, specifically target
>> at supporting
>> our publications and A&S activities.
Personally, I would like to see this happen. However, the goal seems
to be more a matter of subsidizing the corporate office than it is in
promoting programs. Generally speaking, foundations are not
interested in maintaining corporate operations as that is viewed as
overhead. It might be a good idea to establish a real grants office
at the Society level to assist members who are seeking support for
their research. As for supporting the publications effort. I believe
that the editorial policies of the publications would need to be
redirected somewhat in order to make them more attractive to external
funding agencies. Currently, the publications operate more-or-less on
a "Time Magazine" model with stories assigned and pre-accepted prior
to being written. With the exception of Complete Anachronist, they
are also full of repetitive statements from various officers who
believe that putting something in either Tournaments Illuminated or a
kingdom newsletter is a vital part of their job. While I know of
efforts to improve Complete Anachronist, its editorial policy as of a
year ago remained one of a popular magazine and not one of a journal.
>> 2. Offering Tournaments Illuminated and The Compleat Anachronist
>> to non members, libraries, schools, and others.
I think that we should want our publications to be worthy of
inclusion in library collections. Aren't there already libraries
which are getting these publications? Currently, libraries should be
able to buy a membership and receive publications. The sad fact about
libraries is that a lot of them are being forced to make hard
decisions about journal and magazine subscriptions. I believe that
we should aim to getting our publications into more libraries by
improving their quality. However, I do not believe that this will be
more than a break-even proposition.
>> 3. Raising the rate for these publications to our members.
We need to periodically do this in order to pass on postage increases.
>> 4. Adding new tiers of member sponsorship such as a Donor or
>> Sponsor level.
The Society used to do this. I used to buy a "patron" membership.
There were not a lot of "patron" members around. Honorary membership
levels can help raise money, but I doubt that it will raise a lot of
>> 5. Examining different membership participation options, with a
>> short term ?
>> event pass? for new participants.
This should replace the non-membership surcharge, not be in addition
to the non-membership surcharge. Maybe $5.00 for a three month pass?
I'm much more interested in growing membership. We would be a much
bigger organization if membership growth had simply remained constant
over the last two decades. I believe that membership growth is
restricted by structural features of our organization. Basically, we
need to be a lot more adept at starting new groups and growing
"ecological niches" for new members.
>> 6. Increase our ability to fund some internal operations from
>> sales of SCA
>> related merchandise. (Via Cafe Press or other, similar sites.
>> kingdoms currently have gone in this direction. We are not looking to
>> curtail kingdom activity.)
There is no problem with the central office selling "swag" or
allowing people to click through to amazon or other sales sites.
There is a HUGE problem with the central office restricting "swag"
sales to itself. I was just at an event at Abhainn Chiach Ghlais.
They were selling some rather handsome Abhainn Chiach Ghlais mugs.
Delftwood sells Delftwood clothing and refrigerator magnets. As a
Society, our primary operations take place at the local level. We
could survive the loss of the corporate office. I believe that it
would be a lot harder to survive the decimation of local groups.
>> 7. Raising membership rates. As mentioned we will review
>> additional incremental
>> increases to align expenses and revenues.
The US Postal Service is moving in the direction of frequent rate
changes. This makes this change almost inevitable.
>> 8. Fees for paperwork processing.
These already exist. I suppose that fees can be charged for more
things. I would vastly prefer to see paperwork generated
automaticallyi on-line in PDF format. I think that it is much more
important to focus on kingdoms and local groups and keeping them
healthy. Just in the last month or so, people here on the Æthelmearc
mailing list were bemoaning dropping event attendance and talking
about curtailing the number of events. This sort of thing represents
a real contraction of the Society. The central office will not be
able to expand forever in the face of a contracting base.
Your Humble Servant
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