[SCA-AE] NMS--wider consideration

Thomas Ireland-Delfs fridrikr at rochester.rr.com
Wed Feb 24 06:30:20 EST 2010


Hi Magnus & Saleem (and everyone else)

I've been lurking.  I'm on Grand cCouncil & we have discussed this one repeatedly over the past three years and I'm certain before then as well.  My take on reducing Corporate expenses is this:

1. move the default newsletter subscription to an alternative, add-on.  
2. move the Corporate offices to a different place where rental & other overhead is far lower.
3. reduce the stipends paid to Corporate officers.
4. move from face-to-face Board meetings to "webinars", electronic meetings that anyone can view.

I agree that belt-toghtening at Corporate should take place, that innovations should be undertaken, and that rational explanations of these measure must be done BEFORE any increases take place.  I also agree that there is a mistrust of Corporate that is deep-seated and has a long history, and that Corporate has done little, if anything, to overcome that distrust.

Fridrikr

On Feb 23, 2010, at 10:33 PM, Joel Welling wrote:

> Saleem, it looks like you're the only one taking me seriously, so please
> bear with me while I continue to argue my point.
> 
> Well, I have to agree that the Kingdom newsletter has value.  I can't
> tell how much value because I can't find the price for extra newsletters
> on the SCA site, but I presume it's about equal to the $10/year they
> charge for Compleat Anachronist.  I haven't actually read my newsletter
> since, well, the Internet happened, but it still arrives.  I see value
> in Tournaments Illuminated, but it isn't included in membership, so with
> respect to this discussion it's moot.  The incorporation fees to
> establish the SCA Inc. were paid in- what- 1970? So even if I believed a
> central Corporation was necessary for the local groups to exist and
> operate, it seems unreasonable to include that cost in the list of
> things the Corporation provides.  I believe I did once use the in-person
> contact which the Corporation provides, back in 1990 or so.  I'm not
> sure I'm getting my $269,354.00 worth out of that one.
> 
> By Phoebe's numbers the Corporation's budget is $887K per year.  There
> are on the order of 20,000 members.  I don't think you can argue that
> this is a small organization.  One *fifth* of the budget goes to
> insurance, the only irreducible expense I can see.  I absolutely do not
> understand why, when they say they can't make ends meet, people just
> start sending them more cash.
> 
> -Joel/Maghnus
> 
> On Tue, 2010-02-23 at 13:32 -0500, Chakalis, Joseph wrote:
>> Depends. In a relatively small organization the cost per person to
>> support the organization does tend to be disproportionately large. I
>> think that is why the corporate office is trying to spread that cost
>> around via the NMS, though I would not want to put words in their
>> mouths. (Or caviar either, for that matter...) 
>> 
>> I ran a very small non-profit entity (a users group in a now dead
>> industry) and we did not fund office overhead or insurance. Even so, the
>> cost per member was higher than what I send to the SCA every year.
>> Economy of scale. But, I can understand you might be disgruntled if the
>> only thing of value to you is the insurance certificate. If you don't
>> see value in Tournaments Illuminated, incorporation fees to establish
>> the holding company which allows the local groups to exist and operate,
>> providing in-person contact opportunities for membership and the BoD,
>> etc. then the extra $25 per year certainly would seem a burden.
>> 
>> And no, I don't think that the organization always makes the wisest
>> financial decisions. But I do think that for a group comprised mostly of
>> volunteers it does a pretty good job.
>> 
>> Saleem
>> 
>> 
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From:
>> sca-aethelmearc-bounces+jchakalis=admin.rochester.edu at lists.andrew.cmu.e
>> du
>> [mailto:sca-aethelmearc-bounces+jchakalis=admin.rochester.edu at lists.andr
>> ew.cmu.edu] On Behalf Of Joel Welling
>> Sent: Tuesday, February 23, 2010 12:50 PM
>> To: discussion at aethelmearc.org
>> Subject: Re: [SCA-AE] NMS--wider consideration
>> 
>> So you think it's reasonable for the supporting structure to cost 2.5
>> times the cost of the thing it supports?
>> 
>> -Joel
>> 
>> On Tue, 2010-02-23 at 12:40 -0500, Chakalis, Joseph wrote:
>>> When you see a line item in the budget for $X for insurance that is
>> only
>>> the policy cost. There also is the supporting structure required to
>> have
>>> an organization that CAN buy insurance. So there is office, staff, and
>>> all the other overhead associated with an incorporated entity. While
>>> some services can be donated and that is always appreciated there is
>>> also often the need to hire professional, outside service providers. I
>>> presume this would also be the case with the SCA, Inc. I have not
>> looked
>>> at the organization's budget in a long time, so those are very loose
>>> generalities. Having looked at the budget in the past, though, the
>> only
>>> really extravagant item usually in there is the office rental because
>> it
>>> is in a high rent area.
>>> Saleem
>>> 
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> 
>>> I have a very different problem with this.  The *only* thing the
>>> Corporate SCA provides for our events is insurance coverage for damage
>>> to the hall, and liability insurance for group officers.  Every
>> account
>>> I've ever heard of the cost of this puts it at or below $10 per member
>>> per year.  Every year I send them 350% of that.  What the heck are
>> they
>>> doing with the money, and why in God's name should we want to give
>> them
>>> more of it?
>>> 
>>> -Joel/Maghnus
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
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