«Key points made during the discussions: 1. Option 2 preferred, a continuation of the 1:3 balance that feels right; feels this will be acceptable to ...»
Membership & Levy Consultation Feedback
Association Chair Informal Feedback
Associations chairs were asked to give their views informally, that is their personal views rather than
an association view – simply because many associations do not hold meetings during the 3-month
Option 1 2 3 Other
1 2 3
1 1 No 1 Alternatives See notes 1
Key points made during the discussions:
1. Option 2 preferred, a continuation of the 1:3 balance that feels right; feels this will be acceptable to individual orienteers Need to remind clubs that we need to act together in generating the income required for BOF to act as a governing body Feels some will begrudge funds being spent on the elite Regarding other ways of increasing income: Don’t think about increasing income from the JK and food providers! It will only alienate lots of members.
2. General feeling that membership fee is too low and that increasing it won’t impact on the uptake of membership Levy, the want for ‘pay as you play’ is growing and increasing levy probably won’t have an impact The increase in costs of entering major events will cause more of a headache Preference is to shift from the 1:3 ratio to the 1:4 ratio Therefore, preference of the options is 1, 2, 3 in that order
3. Preference is to keep the 1:3 ratio therefore option 2 is choice; however, after some consultation at an association meeting option 3 is showing strongly Believes BOF should be more assertive about sending out messages about the on-going need for funding; we should not let membership and levy remain static but should gradually increase year on year.
4. Strongly favour higher fee/lower levy option
5. Strongly favour low fee/higher levy option
6. Favour lower fee/mid levy option but ask we look at a club based membership capitation payment as well (see below)
7. Favour low/mid fee and low/mid levy but have had some comments on levy cost implications (and general level) of cost of major events.
8. Didn’t feel strongly but option 3 is least favourite Have members who don’t compete a lot and feel these people would prefer weighting towards levy rather than membership Reducing membership fee had desired effect so don’t reverse that now Find it difficult to understand why people are unwilling to pay membership and levy when they are such peripheral costs of competing compared to travel and accommodation.
9. Recently reduced Association Membership fee to encourage new members to join. Although they don't yet know the impact of this they would be worried by a large increase in membership and they favour option 2 as being one they could sell to their members.
They have been working on small mid-week evening events in local parks for which they charge £5. They would be reluctant to see significant increase in levy for these but accept the need for levy increase for the usual range of weekend events. This led to a discussion about the possibility of a lower levy for mid-week/evening events which has a certain logic in terms of encouraging more frequent local opportunities through the levy without getting into the difficulties of differentiating levy on the basis of status of event.
10. Support the need for getting funds from members. Want to keep membership low so prefer increase on levy. Suggest preferred option is 2 but with a differential levy according to nature of event. Events with more facilities and higher fees already can stand a higher levy increase so e.g. B £2, C £1.75 D £1.50.
11. Read the consultation document early this morning and don't really agree with the models you are using, so created an extra two of my own and put some thoughts down on paper.
Premise – Not a mass market sport – due to involvement of travel to events participants need a reasonable income level.
My feeling is that only model 3 shows a high enough BOF Membership fee.
I support a lower cost to the pay & play element so a levy of £1.50 better than £1.60. This would help Strategic Plan item b).
And, as an aid to Strategic Item e), I would have thought that rather than imposing a double or triple levy on Major Events when some of these struggle to break-even, then I would just charge a standard levy. This would enable lower entry fees for larger events, and allow regions to reward clubs volunteers with vouchers (be they food or for future entries) and compensate clubs for giving up their best areas.
Options put forward: Membership £12, £5 and £1.50 levy and Membership £15, £5 and £1.50 levy
12. Association did discuss some general principles around membership fee, event levy, reserves, savings etc.
BO should have a long-term financial plan that will accommodate change over, say, 3 or 4 years.
Make some savings: this would demonstrate to the membership that as well as asking for a significantly greater input from them, BO itself is prepared to make a contribution to the problem. What would £85k savings look like?
Use some reserves in this "exceptional situation" in order to gradually introduce increases in membership and levies over two or three years.
£33k/year for a couple of years is affordable.
A substantial levy increase will impact on income from events: it will encourage Level D events to become Activities and become increasingly difficult to charge a reasonable fee for entry to major events (we also had in mind the impact of a big levy hike on the financial viability of major events), and multi-day events. Participation will decline.
In summary, a combination of savings, using some reserves and spreading increases over 3 or 4 years would lead to progressive fee increases that will be acceptable to the membership.
Examples of feedback made on behalf of a club We haven't yet had an opportunity to give our view on the Membership & Levy Fees 2017 question.
We would like to do so prior to your meeting to set the EGM proposal about this.
We have been working hard on Club Development in recent years, implementing programmes of events designed to attract and retain newcomers, working on our offering to Club members, and targeting our publicity carefully. This effort is bearing fruit, but many parts of it are cost sensitive, and will be impacted if we pass on levy or membership fee increases. Absorbing them would cost us something like £1500pa under any of the scenarios proposed in "The Funding Question" (in March eNews). Simultaneously we are facing new charges from local authorities for land access.
We don't think it's acceptable for BO to replace government funding by charging members. We feel that BO should cut its coat according to its cloth, and just do the minimum required to be a National Governing Body.
Referring to the costs given in "The Funding Question": the difference between the totals for the "Strategic Budget" and the "Most Prudent Budget" shows that there is scope to achieve the necessary savings. In particular, we don't think centrally-driven Development is working - the programmes and volunteer support have not helped us. What has helped is dissemination of good practice in other Club via Focus.
Thanks for your reply. I agree that dedicated orienteers see the current fees and charges as good value. It's not them I'm worried about; the problem is the "sticker shock" for people contemplating orienteering for the first time. They have alternatives like free Park Runs. And in the club we have lower charges for members even at our introductory events, as an incentive to join. So potential newcomers are looking at membership fees too.
Please can the Board find a way to mitigate the impact of increased charges on development efforts.
The club response is as follows:
1. We do not think that any extra money should be raised to support core services, as we are not convinced that these services represent value for money or are at present best directed.
2. We are surprised that in the 3 options there is not one that represents our view. The survey introduces a big bias in the way it is presented. The sliding scale in the next part is a poor attempt to collect views.
3. We are surprised that the deadline for completion is 1 week, this will miss many members who would have responded.
4. We are uncertain as to why all members were not emailed with the survey (this is done in the case of the EGM). Once again response will be limited.
The club committee have discussed the Membership and Levy Fee proposals proposed by British Orienteering. The Committee is keen to protect the progress that it has made with recruitment of brand new members (particular junior members) so looked at the proposals with this in mind.
It is felt that an increased levy would make the large number of level D events put on by the Club (and which have been so successful in recruiting new members) more expensive to put on without a significant increase in entry fee. In particular, we feel we would struggle to continue our policy of free first runs for school children, which has been so successful in increasing participation and membership. The Committee believe that a levy increase and therefore increased cost to the club may even act as a disincentive to putting on level D events with a potential knock on effect on new memberships.
Although there was some concern regarding the potential impact of the increased membership fee on new members, on balance the Committee felt that it would be less of a barrier than increased entry fees. Whilst for regular orienteers the increased membership fee would ultimately be cheaper than the proposed levy increase, for those new to the sport who have not yet joined BO, the levy increase would have an immediate impact. Therefore, the Committee are supporting Option 3 of the three options and will consider ways of helping to mitigate the impact of the membership fee increase on new BO members.
Member Survey & Feedback
Q1: Which is your preferred option to raise the additional income? As a result of changes in government funding, the Board is seeking to raise an additional £80,000 to fund British Orienteering in 2017. In the discussions prior to and at the 2016 AGM there were few comments about the need to generate this additional funding and an apparent acceptance that it is necessary. You will have opportunity to comment on this later in this survey.
Please rank the following options in your preferred order, (1 being the most preferred):
Option 1: 56 people selected this as their preferred option whilst 147 selected it as their least preferred.
Option 2: 44 people selected this as their preferred option whilst 2 people selected it as their least preferred.
Option 3: 130 people selected this as their preferred option whilst 78 selected it as the least preferred.
Q2: As previously indicated there is a need to raise the additional income. Please tell us where
you sit on the following scale:
Where 0 represents: No, we should not be increasing income but should be further reducing the cost of running British Orienteering
50 40 30 20 10 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 Represents count of selected value between horizontal axis numbers ie 0-10; 11-20 etc In summary there are a number of people who indicate they strongly think British Orienteering should be reducing costs. More people indicate they recognise there is a need to raise additional income whilst continuing to reduce costs.
Q3. What other ways do you think the Board should consider to raise the additional income required and perhaps offset rises in membership fees and levy in future years? The Board will consider other ways in which income can be raised and seek members view on them however it is not feasible to do so for 2017 and in reality it may take 1 or 2 years to consider additional ways before introducing such changes. Your suggestions for raising
The outcome when categorised:
Over a quarter of comments focused on making savings and we have and continue to make savings and reduce costs. Several commented about Focus as an expensive ‘luxury’; how we replace Focus in order to make savings is under discussion.
Over a quarter suggested sponsorship could be the answer to the funding problems and it is clear that raising income in this way is extremely difficult at the moment.
Detailed responses by category, note some responses were in several categories so the numbers
might not tally but all the responses are included:
Funding Apply for Lottery funding/Grants from supermarkets Lottery Funding private fundraising efforts; keep membership and levy charges the same as current so as not to deter new participants to the sport Membership & Levy increase Increase the levy as well to say £2 for Seniors. Why are you not asking about suggestions for savings, such as making focus on line only and more contact like Mike's news ON the basis that commercial sponsorship has failed and any trading activity would only generate a small income I think that the only way to generate extra income is via contributions (membership and Levies) from the members Such a niche sport I am not sure what else to suggest other than membership and event fees.
increase junior fees more, keep levy low and inc membership fees £!0 annual adult fee is tiny. I think you could set it at £20 per adult and £2.50 per junior possibly with the first 2 years of membership discounted to £10 to stop it being a barrier to newcomers.
A rise in yearly fees is acceptable in my view. A rise in levy is not and will deter both newcomers and existing orienteers I think that membership should be set a rate that does not require a levy fee for members. Levy should only be charged to non members. Effectively this would make events cheaper for member giving them an incentive to go and more expensive for non members giving them an incentive to join. Most other sports have this system so why not orienteering?
Raise the membership fee more. Even £10 is low!