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Membership Fees

Show Profile  fat Posted: 4 February 2004, 11:28 AM  
I have discovered that there is quite a large variation in the membership fees charged by the different clubs.

Auckland $65
Southland $50
PAPO $45
Dunedin $40
Hamilton $30
Rotorua $30
Wellington $25
Hawkes Bay $15

I think I might join Hawkes Bay this year. Auckland is ripping me off.

Show Profile  Andrew M Posted: 4 February 2004, 8:52 PM  
Sound like Aunty Helen has been a little stingy on the loan payments.

It would be interesting to discern whether clubs with a high membership fee such as Auckland are subsiding the costs of their members attending club events.

I suspect astute clubs such as Hawkes Bay have adopted a user pays approach where they charge a high price to their own club members attending events. This higher price is calculated so that each event breaks even and will cover costs in its own right.

I think such an approach is valid. There is perhaps a small number of people who will never join an orienteering club but happily turn up and run at club events. Whilst I acknowledge that there are different entry fees for non members, how often are names checked against a club membership list?

When clubs services and resources such as event schedules, results and sometimes coaching advice can be accessed via the internet, is there a tempatation to attend Aucklands club events under the guise of a paid up club member and enjoy the comparatively cheap events.

My club (Orienteering Hutt Valley) has put a lot of thought into this topic. We have set our membership fees at a level which we think covers the administrative running of the club. We subsidise small promotional events to a certain extent but aim to cover our costs and contingencies at our larger events. Whilst we place a lot of material on our club website for club members to peruse, we still utalise a club magazine for more indepth information and reporting.

We have thought about instituting a club members card for events but have not made much progress.

Have any other clubs thought about the fee structure and the mix of user pays charges. Do other clubs subsidise club events to any extent?

Comments welcome

Show Profile  HeadHoncho Posted: 5 February 2004, 9:53 AM  
Auckland's membership fee may include the national mag (I may be wrong), HB's almost certainly doesn't.

The cost of living is probably cheaper in HB than Auckland so you might as well move there fatty.

Andrew, personally I think if clubs are not subsidising members participation at events and do not have membership fees/event fees structured appropriately, then they are not making the most of one of the few direct benefits of club membership and consequently may find it more difficult to attract membership of their club.

On the other hand, a club like HB has high membership, no doubt helped by their low membership fee structure and perhaps their club members do not see subsidised participation as a necessary or worthwhile benefit of club membership.

Its an interesting topic and there is no right or wrong way - clubs need to come up with what works best for them. However, at the end of the day clubs need members to perform various functions for the survival/development of the sport in their area and to do that, they have to provide some benefits for club membership, esp. in a society that seems to be moving towards user pays and away from belonging to a club. Perhaps the key is for clubs to provide other worthwhile benefits not linked to subsidised participation that make the club attractive to join.

Show Profile  HeadHoncho Posted: 5 February 2004, 9:56 AM  
PS fat - you should compare event fees as well to give a fairer comparison

Show Profile  Jenni Posted: 5 February 2004, 1:48 PM  
As far as event fees go I thought member rates at club events were for anyone who belonged to any orienteering club affiliated to NZOF. I'm not sure if this is what PAPO does but it's what I thought our policy was. If it is the case than joining the club with the lowest membership fee is obviously the thriftiest thing to do but if you make all your decisions based on what's cheapest I bet your o-shoes don't work very well.

PAPO has thought a lot about their membership base, or actually Trish Faulkner has thought about it. Apparently around a third (this fraction might not be quite right but about there) of our members are new each year and a third don't rejoin each year. Also some quite low proportion of the club has belonged for more than 5 years. The problem is as Rob pointed out, in having experienced people able to plan and control events. Some people would rather pay higher fees than get the guilt messages about “doing your bit to help your club”. I’ve heard that some Auckland clubs pay people involved in event organization – do they recoup this through event fees or membership fees?

Our weekly training is supposed to be only for club members but I have had enquries from others and it's been hard to say no but I have now decided that's one thing I have to make clear.




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