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Bob M.
user 46589842
Group Organizer
Madison, WI
I toyed with this idea last year, and ultimately decided against it, but this year ... we're going to start charging membership dues for our volleyball Meetup: $5 per year, and I'll set it up so that you pay by credit/debit card on the Meetup website.
Here's where the money will go:  Meetup charges us $144 per year ($12/mo) to host our website here, and I've always felt that's a pretty good value considering all the vb things we can organize here.  I also buy a new Wilson AVP outdoor ball every two or three years, to bring to the sand groups that I coordinate, and I've bought a couple sets of court lines -- unnecessary at the UW courts, where they leave the lines up all summer, but useful at Olbrich Park and other venues that do not provide court lines.  And finally, I always pop for a bag of ice or two, and bring a "community cooler" to keep our drinks cold on those many hot summer days and nights.  And on the REALLY hot days, I bring one of those pop-up shade canopies too.
So, add all that up, plus I will reimburse other group leaders for their similar expenses if they want to start doing the same, and I think that will probably cover whatever we collect in dues.  If we should collect more than we spend, I think I'll sleep pretty well just keeping the difference as reimbursement for having paid those expenses out of my own pocket the past couple years.
I'll probably set this up next week, with a 30-day trial period before you have to plunk down your money.  But after that, I believe Meetup will automatically (rudely) remove members who haven't paid.  I'm pretty sure they'll email you at least a couple reminders (as fond of email notices as Meetup seems to be).  I know that probably two-thirds (or more?) of our 372 members are inactive, and are unlikely to stay with us, so don't be alarmed if our membership numbers plummet through this time.  But for those of us who are active in this group ... I mean, who can't afford $5?
If you'd like to express an opinion on this matter, please feel free to post a reply on our message board:  on the Meetup website, click the Discussions menu.
A former member
Post #: 1
This is totally fair....I'm in.
A former member
Post #: 1
It's alright by me.
A former member
Post #: 326
What happened to our sponsor Keva? I thought they paid our dues.

Yes $5 doesn't sound like much, but just doing the math again, we have 371 members so if they all pay $5 that's $1,855/yr revenue. But some members will probably drop out so let's say we keep 200 people that is still $1,000/yr.
A former member
Post #: 1
You're paying 5 (only 5!) dollars to not have to schedule, plan or organize anything. You just get to show up and play. It's 5 bucks; I hardly think Bob is trying to make money on this operation and will instead put the excess to good use for the group (through some of the things he mentioned and possibly more). Even if he ends up with some money in his pocket, I'm not too concerned since he's the one putting forth the effort here and I only paid five dollars to play all summer. I think maybe you're putting too much thought into this :)
Bob M.
user 46589842
Group Organizer
Madison, WI
Post #: 24
Brian, Keva doesn't "sponsor" us, per se. They do generously offer a big 50% discount exclusively to our Meetup's members for vb team registration fees for the Keva leagues, but they don't give any cash to the group. As for total dollars I expect to collect, seriously I expect our 300+ membership will drop to under 100 by the day after the 30-day trial expires. The overwhelming majority of our members are people who signed up but never attend our groups, or who signed up a couple years ago but have since moved away. For anyone else who has paid $5-6-7 drop-in fees PER NIGHT for other vball groups around town, or $40-80 per season for league fees, I would hope they'd agree that $5 is a pittance to pay for a year's unlimited participation in 50-60-70 vball groups. In the end, if the money raised in dues exceeds our expenses, I'll either (1) get very generous in providing beverages and snacks toward the end of our outdoor season, or (2) buy a few good-quality volleyballs and sets of court lines, and draw random names from our member rolls to distribute the goodies by lottery. And after that distribution, the remaining $7.54 will go into a numbered account in the Cayman Islands for my retirement.
A former member
Post #: 2
Lemme start by saying that I am 100% on board with the $5 member due (especially since Danielle agreed to pay mine biggrin).

Beyond that, I want to vote confidence in Bob for handling the dues. Aside from the things already mentioned, there are some creative things we could use the dues for such as hosting our own tournaments, renting courts for private use for our group, prizes, snacks etc. Regardless, it is a good investment for all the reasons others have already stated. It will be exciting to see what we can do.
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