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Thread: New Scout Group - Membership fees

  1. #1
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    New Scout Group - Membership fees

    Hi Wayne
    As part of our contribution to growing the movement, we started a new Scout Group in our County at the end of last year. You can appreciate the vast amount of work this has taken in starting a Group from scratch and the section start-up grants from HQ helped in getting some of the basics. Efforts to build a fundraising team and exec are going ahead but it is a bit of a struggle, but we'll get there.

    We have, however, come across a hurdle which we find a problem with regards the payment of membership fees. We are having to pay the full membership fee at the January level, despite only having 3 months of subscriptions. This amount of 600 is now causing the Group financial difficulties so early on in their existence - Parents are already hit with uniforms costs etc and it is not reasonable to ask them to pay such a large amount, when their child has not really had enough exposure to see if scouting is for them. Accepting that the fee is for the coming year's expenditure, Groups need a full year to budget for the payment.

    Existing Groups have a year to collect monies to pay for Membership fees by subscriptions or other fundraising events, a new Group does not have that opportunity.

    I would therefore like to know why the Scout Association insist on payment of a full years membership when a Group has only just started. Do they really need that money in return for putting extreme financial pressures on a new Group and putting them into debt before they even have a bank account!!

    Thanks

    Ian

  2. #2
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    Hi Ian,

    Over the past ten years or so we have tried a variety of different ways of supporting the opening of new sections and groups, including the direct waiving or refunding of membership fees in the way you have suggested. We have concluded, supported by feedback, that the best way and use of funds is to target financial support to those that need it most rather than to give general grants.

    This is why we recently replaced the 50% rebate on first year membership fees with increased start up grants. Additional funding is also available on a needs basis.

    If you care to email me the groups details and circumstances, I'll be only too pleased to see if such support is available for them.

    Congratulations on the opening of the group, a great achievement.
    Many thanks,
    Wayne
    Wayne Bulpitt

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  4. #3
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    Wayne, Thanks for the reply. I am sure there have been a number options discussed in the past to support new Groups. We opened another Group last year where there were more members providing a more strengthened support structure. You will see from the associated thread on this that there were further reasons. ( We are also in the process of setting another Group! )

    Since posting I have been in touch with the Grants dept and they are sending me some info. I will reference your reply when we apply.

    Thanks

    Ian

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