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sailing club life membership

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Post Options Post Options   Quote porkyman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: sailing club life membership
    Posted: 23 Feb 21 at 10:17pm
Our club is considering introducing a `Life membership` option. I`m wondering if any clubs are currently offering this, and if so what `multiplier` are you using to calculate the amount payable? Also what, if any, sliding scale/pricing structure is being used to alter the amount due according to the age of the person seeking life membership ?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Feb 21 at 10:53pm
Some of the clubs I have been a member of offered 'life/honorary memberships to long standing older members, often with no sub but no sailing rights, as a recognition of services to the club. I suspect you are looking at a different interpretation, a one off payment for 'rest of life' membership which is a different concept. Very hard to put a number on, and I've never heard of an organisation doing it. I suppose you'd need to work out the average length of membership, add a factor for the fact that only those who were committed too the club anyway would take you up on the offer and then take age into consideration. I'm 68 in a week so the most I can hope for is probably a dozen years active sailing so I'd be unlikely to consider more than a few years subs, if I was 30 then you probably wouldn't want to offer me a life membership for less than the equivalent of, say, 15 or 20 years subs, and at 30 with young children, I doubt I would be prepared to, or be able to afford to commit to that.

I guess the only way it could work would be to offer it to members with a minimum age and a minimum continuous membership demonstrating a long standing commitment to the club. You would gain income in the short term the cost of losing income in the long term so you'd need a long term financial plan.


Edited by Sam.Spoons - 23 Feb 21 at 10:56pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 423zero Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Feb 21 at 10:57pm
Why are they thinking of doing this? Does the club need a large cash injection?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote porkyman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Feb 21 at 8:26am
Yes, its is possible the club will need a cash injection to deal with some `infrastructure issues`, offering life membership is being considered as an option to help with this. I know the National Trust offer it, and I was interested if any sailing clubs do? I realise it will be a small percentage of the membership who might be interested, but it could be a very useful source of quick funds. You are correct Sam, careful consideration would need to given as to how it is offered, hence my question.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote davidyacht Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Feb 21 at 8:27am
If it is for fund raising for a capital project, you could limit the number of life memberships offered and pitch at a very high price, on the basis that it is a philanthropic thing, and the life membership is more of a thank you.  Also bear in mind that some who take the life membership might cease to use the club at some stage for all sorts of reasons, so the club could end up ahead in the equation.  I don’t know your club, but if the intention is to improve liquidity it might not be the best idea.  One other thought is that those who participate in this scheme might be your core members, so if the club takes a downturn of membership you might have a shortfall of income.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 423zero Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Feb 21 at 10:42am
Have you tried your local council, see if they have any sports grants available, sport England etc?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 423zero Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Feb 21 at 10:46am
https://www.thestablecompany.com/sources-of-funding/sports-leisure
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Post Options Post Options   Quote davidyacht Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Feb 21 at 11:43am
Also worth talking to your local RYA rep ref funding
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Post Options Post Options   Quote A2Z Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Feb 21 at 8:51am
I know of a club that successfully raised funds in 1981 in order to purchase the freehold. It did this by asking for a donation (can’t remember how big, sorry) and in exchange future annual fees are 80% of the regular fee. 
Thinking this through, if the initial donation was 5 years of membership fee it would take 26 years for payback.  Even if the initial donation was just 2 years of fee it would still take 11 years.  In this day and age if people are looking at it as an investment rather than a charitable donation, I think most would want to break even in 10 years or so because it is difficult to commit to membership of a club for more than 10 years given marriage, children, career development, wanderlust and old age.
So to incentivise take up I think payback has to be within 10 years, else you are relying on philanthropy from a generous few.  
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Post Options Post Options   Quote davidyacht Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Feb 21 at 10:37am
The OP doesn’t say what the fundraising is for.  Many grants for capital projects offer match funding.  So members may be much more incentivised to donate if every pound is doubled.  However this is often a chicken and egg, so you may need guarantors from the membership to secure the funding, then go back to the members to let the guarantors off the hook.  We did this for a changing room and kitchen scheme, and applied a “club improvement” levy to the subs for five years.
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