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Membership Fees Raised, Your Opinion??

Discussion in 'Member Feedback' started by verde2002, Oct 16, 2009.

    deilenberger guest

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    DAMN - I hate this keyboard. 20 minutes of typing just disappeared..

    I'll try to keep it brief:

    MOA "Chapter" model - really isn't about chapters. It's about special-interest-groups, consisting of real and virtual clubs, organizations, etc. becoming "Chartered" by the MOA. The charter is a nominal fee with very few benefits - but it helps to make the group known, and allows for some event advertising in the national magazine (MOA-Owners-News, which actually is quite good..)

    Unlike the CCA model with 1 statewide organization - the MOA model often results in smaller chartered organizations with a more focused view. In NJ there are 4 chartered MOA clubs. Three of the clubs have a lot of members in common, and work together on various events during the year. Members of those three are always welcome at other club's events. The 4th club is actually the oldest - but a bit insular in viewpoint. Nice people, but not too outgoing.

    The local clubs generally self-fund events they want to hold. The events are anything from a toy-run around Christmas for a local children's hospital, to an annual rally (an overnight get-together with camping and or motel like accomidations.) The national MOA organization does not provide funding or insurance for these events.

    The result of the smaller model is more involvement with the organizations. The local clubs have between 40-90 members. A typical monthly meeting of my local club will have 35-40 people in attendence. Ride events are held weekly through most of the year - and anyplace from 5-25 members will show up for these. There are also rolling events such as riding to the national rallies.

    I mentioned before the difference in participation level. Part of that is that being a motorcyclist is a bit different from being a CCA member. Motorcyclists are typically enthusiasts. Car owners may or may not be - apparently the large majority aren't in the CCA. The MOA gets more than 25% (9,890 out of 35,000 members) to a national event. The CCA gets ?? 2%? (1,000 out of 55,000?)

    One big advantage to the MOA "Chapter" model that I see is it encourages local participation. With 4 clubs to choose from in NJ - I could go to a club meeting every week, and interact with perhaps 150 other enthusiasts. The local CCA chapter generally meets in an area of NJ that is difficult for me to get to. They don't move the monthly meeting around, so I suspect that the faces at the meeting are not changing a lot. There is one event they do have that gets out a large particpation - the annual free dinner at BMW-NA in June (and tire-kicking of new models and "secret" info sessions) - In that way CCA members aren't a lot different from MOA members. Show them free food and expect a crowd.

    Then there are the MOA virtual clubs that have formed and chartered with the MOA - the Internet BMW Riders is probably the oldest (and I was a charter member) - it's been going for at least 17 years now. It is a worldwide club - run as a mailing list - that on occasion has face-to-face events around the world. I've made MANY great friends worldwide through that club. I'm a member of perhaps 6 different virtual MOA clubs - dues are nothing, and it's easy to join on-line, or drop out if my interest changes.

    So back to the discussion.. and in particular - the funding of local events. It's a nice thing to fund the local events, but the majority of members never take advantage of them. I know I *could* take advantage of them, but I have very little interest in beating my cars up in a HPDE, I'd rather be out riding my bike. The local CCA Chapter doesn't do tech sessions (which our local bike club does), and basically the share of my dues that goes to the local NJ Chapter is a gift from me to the people who make use of it. And that's the reason I question the need to increase dues.

    Cost to cost-causer is a valid option - despite it apparently skewering some sacred cows. What would be the participation level in HPDE's if the CCA didn't help with the cost of the events? I think the gift I'm giving is big enough now. If costs for local events is going up - perhaps it's time to pass more of the cost along to the people who participate and relieve some of the burden from the people who just like Roundel and a once a decade "Members Reward"..

    OK - too long.. so I'll stop now. Heading out on vacation tomorrow so dunno how much I can keep up with the discussion.
    2 people like this.

    ksrob guest

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    I'm out.

    While I agree $8.00 is not much but in this day and age, I'm looking at all costs and deciding what value it is for me. The magazine has moved away from what interests me. Don't get me wrong, I really like the letters to the editors. But even I've caught mistakes in one of the "advice" columns.

    I don't want to abuse my car at track events. I would rather get my jollies on my real BMW's.

    Local clubs? The nearest is over 100 miles from me.

    The rebate? I don't see myself buying a new BMW anytime soon.

    The other "benefits"? Nothing that any other organization offers.

    Sorry, I don't see it.

    Rob Lessen
    Arma, KS
    '03 530
    '91 R100GSPD
    '07 R12RT
    '08 R12GS
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    tiFreak

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    I'm happy I renewed my membership this summer ;)
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    BMWCCA1

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    And you can add more years at the old rate for the next few days, if you want to.
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    mjweimer

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    On this subject I'm torn.

    What is the purpose of a car club? Is it to organize members and provide information or is it to provide roadside assistance and credit cards? Hmm.

    In my view simpler is better. Go back to basics. Core competencies if you will.

    You don't need more money, a big new office, and a large workforce if everything is simple. Why offer more of what I can get elsewhere?

    I expect a club to offer me something that I cannot get elsewhere and if it has a publication it should be focused on articles on club members, club members cars, REAL tech. articles, etc. Have you read an old Roundel?

    I personally will re-up for a few years to avoid the increase but I would really like to know how/where/why my money is being spent. Was this not an issue several years ago? I seem to remember a series of events that led to "reform".

    Matt
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    CRKrieger

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    WTF? "Abuse"? You really don't have a clue about what we do on track, do you? Coming from a fellow rider, this is embarrassing.
    • Member

    109941

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    Just an observation and two questions.

    Most of the comments on this issue and the structure of the club seems to come from those members, like me, that are both CCA and MOA members. How many of us are also arguing about the BMW mandated changes to the MOA logo? Is there some form of mild schizophrenia that results from holding both memberships that makes us so ornery?
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    BMWCCA1

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    BMW's "mandated" logo changes apply to all clubs recognized by BMW AG as authorized to use the BMW logo with their club identities.

    The MOA has refused to abide by BMW AG logo requirements for over two decades, if not longer. The logo BMW CCA has now, the map in the upper section of a vertical rectangle, is the direct result of my advice to the BMW CCA board to not accept BMW AG's requirements for logo guidelines from that period. (Notice no other club used a vertical rectangle and BMW AG never reproduces our logo within that shape.) So you could say BMW CCA shares a similar independence with BMW MOA. We are, after all, independent clubs. BMW CCA even refused to join the BMW AG sponsored Verband of BMW Clubs decades ago under whose requirements we would have had to pay a fee to the Verband, based on our membership numbers, to use the BMW logo. That refusal forced BMW AG to restructure clubs into the current International Council of BMW Clubs which at least charges no fee for member organizations but has as its main purpose the control of the use of the BMW logo by clubs to conform to BMW AG legal department policy.

    There is still a threat to our independence, and that of all BMW clubs, from BMW AG with respect to logos, the use of the BMW logo, and even the use of "BMW" in a club's name. Ask your elected representatives what the current status of this issue is. Are BMW MOA and BMW CCA independent enough to tell BMW AG to stick it?

    Perhaps it's the independent streak in BMW MOA members that makes us concerned about the independence and direction of BMW CCA. Many BMW CCA members owned BMWs before it was an ostentatious badge of success, and most club members own BMWs for different reasons than the other 95% of BMW car owners in the world. But the BMW bike owners have always been unique, independent, and different, still. If anything we could use more of them in BMW CCA. The open-minded independence that caused BMW CCA members to congregate around a funny little square sedan back in the late '60s and early '70s was alive in the BMW bike community back then, too-if not even earlier and maintained for longer. We should all never forget why BMW CCA was formed 40-years ago as we look forward to what we want BMW CCA to be in the future.

    ksrob guest

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    I've got a good idea, CR. I just don't want to push the envelope on my daily driver. If you want to, great. I don't know why this would embarrass you though.

    Best,

    Rob Lessen
    Arma, KS
    '03 530
    gaggle of real BMW's
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    eam3

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    So all those BMWs my family has owned since the early 80s were not real? Oh noes!!1!!!one!!!
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    Brian A

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    Matt,
    Nice to see you back on the forum. It's been a long time. I hope all is well.
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    CRKrieger

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    Choosing not to participate is certainly your choice and I'm fine with that. Claiming that it is abuse to one's car is not OK. I am not the only one to have spent literally decades working to make this a safe and educational activity. Driving as we do on track is driving within the parameters for which these cars were designed. Yes; you'll go through expendables like tires and brakes faster. That's the nature of the beast. But that is not abuse; it is simply the slight additional cost to driving the car near its dynamic limits. I will challenge you to find one single thing on my car that reflects "abuse" on the track.
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    BMWCCA1

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    Have you checked for cracking in the weld where the "B" pillar meets the roof? BTDT on my set-up E28s that have seen some track and even more Virginia Piedmont roads.

    Can't say it wouldn't have happened just from having fun on my local roads. My E12 cracked in the rear floor where the rear-axle isolation mount meets the floor but it never saw a track up close. So, can track-use hurt a BMW? Sure, but it's not abuse any more than driving them in a "spirited" fashion on the road would be.

    It's just a lot safer to drive that way on a track.

    deilenberger guest

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    I'm back...

    Found out why Hilton Head and me aren't destined to a future together (BORING.. unless you like walking around on grass waving sticks at balls..) Charleston SC is much more my speed.

    Back to the discussion that we seem to have wandered off of (and avoid dangling prepositions right Phil?)

    Question for discussion: Why should local chapter events, including driving events be funded by the membership at large? Right now if I recall the number correctly - a bit over$15 of our annual dues goes to local chapters.

    I personally see very little value from the expenditure and rather than raising the dues on everyone, I'd rather see the local chapters pick up the expenses for HPDE and pass the expenses on to the people participating in them. IMHO this is the only FAIR way to do it.

    Anything else results in the all subsidizing the fun of the few.

    CR - what'cha think about that? Are you willing to pay the tarriff to have fun on the track?
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    BMWCCA1

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    It's my assumption that of all chapter events, the driving schools are the most likely to be funded by the participants. With track rentals costing what they do these days it's not beyond the realm of possibility that chapter funds may have to subsidize some track events and I'm not part of a chapter that does any driving schools so my information may be a bit dated.

    Back in the dark ages, I remember National Capital made enough money off their schools to provide a steak dinner for all participants. Judging from entry fees today, I'd at least expect most schools to break even on the backs of the fee-paying participants, though I don't see schools being the immediate sell-outs they were a couple of years ago.

    Now other events-social and the like-are often financed out of chapter funds. Some charge an entry fee to cover expenses and some don't.

    Any chapter officers in the garage tonight?
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    CRKrieger

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    The primary purpose of that is to subsidize production and mailing of the (required) chapter newsletters. As a former unpaid newsletter editor, I can tell you that barely covers it.
    Actually, we generally make money from the HPDEs (at least we have everywhere I've been on the chapter boards), so the participants are paying their share, not taking a ride on your nickel. In fact, some chapters with particularly popular local tracks (think Watkins Glen) make a tidy profit from that demand. We'd do better with Road America if more dates were available. What we get from 'CCA (IIRC) is help on the insurance - as a group buy - in order to keep it uniform and affordable for all chapters. Otherwise, DEs are generally self-sustaining.

    It is up to the individual chapter what to subsidize and what not to subsidize. Locally, we subsidize our annual holiday party in January. Sometimes we subsidize other events on an ad hoc basis. If you want your dues to do more work for you, get onto your board and steer some cash into what you want to do.
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    TeamStowell We love driving!

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    +1 on Mr. Krieger's comments.... as writer of Patroon checks and depositer of funds, most of our chapter dues goes toward the publication and distribution of the newsletter. The rests goes to subsidize social events and is donated to charity. Drivers schools are funded through fees attained from participants.

    deilenberger guest

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    How much of the National money goes into the insurance costs subsidy for HPDE's?

    The cost of newsletters can certainly be drastically reduced or entirely eliminated by electronic publication. Perhaps the national website should have a chapter based section (with each state having their own section and forum) where chapter newsletters could be uploaded for those 2 or 3 people who are members of the CCA who don't have email addresses. Besides archiving the newsletters - it would allow any member interested to view newsletters from other chapters (just in case they are thinking of moving somewhere and the deciding factor is the CCA chapter in the area.)

    The only downside is - you can't easily (actually I can with my netbook) take the electronic newsletter to the crapper. I actually usually take our local MOA chapter newsletter to the crapper (I'm editor, and find it a good spot to find the mistakes I missed putting it together.)

    The upside is - instant distribution at no cost to the chapter (if you need a free PDF creation program, I'd suggest "PrimoPDF" - works fine, cost is free. There are others for free out there, but Primo I know works), wider distribution and greater audience potential.
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    BMWCCA1

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    If yours is an example, it looks pretty good! I just checked it out here: http://www.njsbmwr.org/newsletters/200812_Newsletter.pdf
    Funny-looking cars you put in it though! ;)
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    MGarrison

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    Doesn't if follow that if someone doesn't have an email address, they probably aren't accessing the internet/web? Who gets signed up w/ an isp without getting an email address, and if someone is tech-savvy enough to use the various means of accessing the internet free (with or without their own computer), who of them wouldn't sign up for any of the gazillion available free email options?

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