Covering Costs

Discussion in 'Nashville, TN' started by JediToren, Aug 24, 2001.

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  1. JediToren Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 20, 2000
    star 4
    Since I have been working on the website so much I have been thinking about how our Fan Force chapter will pay for hosting, domain registration, etc. As well as have funds for traveling to conventions and for other events.
    Does anyone here speak legalese well enough to know if our Fan Force chapter could charge a monthly or bi-monthly dues?
    I'm no expert in the legal arena but I think that this would be within the letter of the law. For example, Blue Harvest is a fanzine that charges a subscription fee and sells back issues. While they are a magazine and we are a fan club, and there could be some legal differences there, I don't see why we could charge dues legally.

    Now the other issue, even if it is legal to charge dues, should we? What would we have to gain by doing this and what would we have to lose?

    The Benefits of dues: The small fee (20-40 dollars per year) for web hosting and domain name registration would be covered and one or two people would not have to shell out the whole thing. Assuming 40 dollars annually, with say, 10 members, over a year, the costs to each member would be 4 dollars per person per year, and 33 cents per month. As our numbers increase with public events like going to see the trailers, etc. the costs to each person could be reduced.
    While the website costs would be the only regular costs, dues could also be used to help raise money for events, like to help pay for gas and lodging for the trip to Indianapolis next may, or maybe even a fan film.
    Any thing we spend dues on besides regular website costs would have to be voted on, either via the website or at a meeting.

    The drawbacks are just as obvious as the benefits. Charging a fee would alienate people who would otherwise join right up. The vote to use dues to pay for a certain event or project may not be unanimous and some folks might be angry over not getting their way with their money. But I don't forsee that happening that often, we're all adults right?
    One possible way to negate the major problem of alienating potentional members could be that someone who pays dues gets to participate in certain events or gets special privleages while those who don't may only have a page on the website or something like that.
    I think the best option would be that people who don't pay dues can be a member in all things EXCEPT when dues are used to pay for things such as trips and fan films and whatnot they can only participate if they spend their own money. They also cannot vote on things.

    So what do you guys think? Post your thoughts here.
  2. Hama Retired GSA, Retired RSA

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2000
    star 6
    There is no problem charging dues, as long as the money goes directly towards the costs of running the group (in other words, no one makes a profit). If for some reason we did make extra money, we'd need to donate it to charity or something. That's what TFN does with its advertising revenue.

    And I'd be happy to contribute towards the web page maintenance.
  3. JediToren Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 20, 2000
    star 4
    Cool. Where exactly would the money go? Would we create a bank account for Nashville Fan Force and in that case would that require becoming a non-profit organization?
    BTW, do you know any ASP? If not can you write some text for an "About Us" page and maybe a FAQ? Everything else is running through this ASP script(s). Actually it's several scripts all meshed into a single admin interface. It's hard to explain and even hard to get it working but I should have something for you guys to see by this time next week.
  4. Hama Retired GSA, Retired RSA

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2000
    star 6
    I've never done any work with ASP. I know some HTML, and I've done some CGI/Perl scripts, but that's been three years ago since I really did anything with that.
  5. Elan-Rai RSA Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2001
    star 4
    JT, we might be able to start a non-profit bank account. I have a friend who works for a bank in Franklin. I will ask him about it when I get the chance.

    I could probably get with Hama and write an "About Us" page.
  6. Steja_Palex Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2001
    star 4
    I'm totally okay with paying dues...and the charity thing is cool with me, Hama.
  7. Vee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 16, 2000
    star 3
    $20 seems excessive when you consider that I pay only $10 a month to host my .net. Where did you guys set up your hosting, and how many people do we have?

    Um, I can't offer ASP help, but I can offer minimal PHP help.

    (I wouldn't be opposed to a reasonable amount for dues, though I don't think I'd be paying until I lived in middle Tennessee for longer than three months at a time.)
  8. Elan-Rai RSA Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2001
    star 4
    I think he said $40 a year max. That isn't bad considering we have over 10 members right now. I'd be willing to help out with that.

    :)
  9. JediToren Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 20, 2000
    star 4
    Hey Vee, we are looking for a webhost for our site. Please go on over to this thread and post some info on your webhost.
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