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 Post subject: Announcement of fees for next year
PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 9:58 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:07 am
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MC Member No: 463
In order to counter some inaccurate rumors about the club the Manchester Concord committee has decided to bring forward the announcement of fees for next year.

The new fees will be:
Annual subscription currently £8 increases to £10
Meeting fee (members) currently £2 increases to £2.50
Meeting fee (non-members) currently £3 increases to £4
The first meeting for potential members remains free.
Partners and friends attending with a member remain free.

While these are significant increases it should be borne in mind that the annual subscription has remained static for several years and the meeting fee was set in 1987!

This increase should not be interpreted as the club having financial problems. The financial projection for the current year is approximately break even as is the budget for next year. The trend both of membership and attendence has however continued downward and the committee feels that the increases are necessary to provide flexibility in spending money to counter that trend.


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 Post subject: Re: Announcement of fees for next year
PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 9:30 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 7:29 pm
Posts: 460
MC Member No: 220
This is a shame. I seriously doubt that this will do anything to boost attendance or membership. The last increase, a few years ago was to cover the over-expenditure associated with a Pride float. A quick look at the previous accounts suggests the club can still cover its costs without these increases, unless there are plans to spend or donate funds beyond the Wednesday evening operating costs. Have the committee investigated grants? Other groups in the area operate successfully with grant input. Before anyone responds to say times are hard & grants aren't as available - that wasn't the question... Have the committee investigated negotiation with Villaggio to reduce the room cost. We no longer enjoy dedicated bar staff & often have to go down stairs to drinks, so why should Concord have to pay the same amount for the room?

Given the significant study undertaken earlier in the year to determine how membership & attendance can be improved, what are the conclusions? How does increasing these fees link to that work?

Vanessa

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 Post subject: Re: Announcement of fees for next year
PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 11:42 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 7:06 pm
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Location: 44 Canal Street, M1 3WD
MC Member No: 371
As Lynn has said the financial package is not intended to increase membership &/or attendance per se, but that we do intend spending above operating costs to “counter that trend”.

Vanessa seems to think that merely to cover our operating costs is enough, but to do so is risky, particularly when we need the financial scope to improve.

The other big transgender group in the village does not survive on grants alone.

We have not asked for a lot & I see no shame.

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 Post subject: Re: Announcement of fees for next year
PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 6:46 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 6:09 am
Posts: 197
Location: clitheroe
MC Member No: 20
I have to say, I agree with Vanessa. Putting the fees up hits those of us who actually pay them! In other words, the more loyal to the club you are, the more it costs you! I doubt the £0-50 increase on a Wednesday will affect many, but I can see the extra £2-00 annual fee making a difference. I suspect that there are many people who pay the annual subscription more out of loyalty than because they are regular visitors, and I wonder if an increase may result in some simply not bothering?
I also feel that something should be said about the lack of bar staff nowadays. I realise that Villagio probably don't make a massive profit out of us, but it's a bit chicken and egg. Whilst I am never one for spending long periods of time at the meetings, I usually had 3 or 4 drinks, Now I seem to go after 1, or maybe 2. Standing in front of a camera waving your arms around for a drink doesn't excite everyone!
Villagio is a perfect meeting place for us, and I am aware we don't want to "blot our copybook" by kicking up a fuss, but I'm sure a compromise could be reached. If Villagio really can't afford to provide full time bar cover, then maybe a simple wireless bell could be used to ask for a drink. It would be far more civilised and ladylike than waving to the CCTV cameras.
As with all these situations, there are far more questions than answers, and I have to be first to admit that I can't help massively on the answer side of things. I am extremely anxious though that the Club survives. I owe a lot to it, as no doubt many other people do, and I think it's a shame that so many former "users" now spend their time elsewhere, often belittling what Concord is and what it did for them.

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 Post subject: Re: Announcement of fees for next year
PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 8:53 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 19, 2008 11:05 pm
Posts: 121
MC Member No: 96
Irrespective of the rights or wrongs of any increase, it does seem a little odd for the committee to claim “the meeting fee was set in 1987” for a club that wasn’t formed until 2008.

Obviously it’s always good to try and put a touch of spin on bad news, but don’t you think adding another 21 years to the club’s six-year history is perhaps spinning the truth a bit too far?

Bev


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 Post subject: Re: Announcement of fees for next year
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 9:34 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 7:06 pm
Posts: 240
Location: 44 Canal Street, M1 3WD
MC Member No: 371
Just to clarify, as I am told there is uncertainty, the committee intends to use the money both operationally, & to put on additional value added events/promotions for the membership next year.

This current year we had an extra buffet at the AGM, strawberries & cream for the Ladies Day theme, & a cheese & wine tasting evening, for examples.

This is an early stage, so if you have suggestions that we can develop, please post.

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Genevieve Xx

http://transgenny.blogspot.com/


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