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Thread: New Scout Group - Membership fees

  1. #1
    ADC (Support) & DMM mediamanager's Avatar
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    New Scout Group - Membership fees

    Just read https://www.escouts.org.uk/forum/thr...embership-fees

    Sorry for being harsh but the "vast amount of work this has taken in starting a Group from scratch" obvious didn't involve using experience of how the movement operates into account by launching 3 months prior to the largest single expense was due!

    Did nobody consider such implications?

    The pressures, IMHO, are self inflicted in this example and expecting somebody else to now rescue them is inappropriate.

    I would have thought that a financial safety net - whether by district or county - should have been negotiated/agreed in advance.

    Sorry for the lack of sympathy on this one.
    Mark Pullen
    Bradford South District (ADC (Support) & DMM)
    Trustee - 7th SV Gomersal Scout Group

    Formerly:
    Cub SA - 3rd SV Scholes Scout Group
    Hove Edge Scout Group (GSL, Trustee)
    West Yorkshire Scout County (ACC Cubs, Agent 2:007, County Secretary, County MM, Gang Show Secretary, Gang Show Media)
    Keighley District (ADC Cubs, ADC Beavers, DMM, Trustee)
    8th Keighley Scout Group (ACSL, CSL, GSL, Group Chair)

    All posts made by myself are of a personal nature.

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    Is not part of the purpose of the launch grants to cover this?

    Sounds like slightly iffy planning.

    Perhaps the launch grants should be replaced with membership fee discounts, or perhaps even free membership fees for the first payment from any entirely new Group?

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    Senior Member alirainsbury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mediamanager View Post
    Just read https://www.escouts.org.uk/forum/thr...embership-fees

    Sorry for being harsh but the "vast amount of work this has taken in starting a Group from scratch" obvious didn't involve using experience of how the movement operates into account by launching 3 months prior to the largest single expense was due!

    Did nobody consider such implications?

    The pressures, IMHO, are self inflicted in this example and expecting somebody else to now rescue them is inappropriate.

    I would have thought that a financial safety net - whether by district or county - should have been negotiated/agreed in advance.

    Sorry for the lack of sympathy on this one.
    As you say, under current rules (which should have been considered at the time), tough.

    However, this does highlight a genuine problem - by having no method of reducing or deferring AMS for Units/Groups during their first 12 months or so of operation, it means that the only sensible time to open a new unit/group is February (maybe through to as late as April and the start of the summer term). Doing so at any other time puts a big financial strain on the unit/group.

    It's hardly in keeping with our desire to "spread the message" and grow as an organisation if the rules make it financially unwise to start a new Unit/Group outside a particular 1-3 month window.
    CSL 1st Marple Bradshaw Cubs

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    Whilst the planning point is a fair one - is it time we moved away from such a blunt means of charging so that we avoid unintended incentives. I would have thought the best time to try and get new sections up and running (all else being equal) would be just after Easter when you have a few months good weather and light evenings to be outside - possibly followed by September when you at least have some of that before the clocks go back. Having a financial system which leads people to hold off starting groups until January (and then not investing until Feb) means a lot of indoor sessions which may be less useful in making things stick. Would it be that hard to simply say that a new group doesn't pay a full year first time but only the number of 12ths of a year that it has been in existence?
    Does anyone know what's going on?

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  7. #5
    Senior Member alirainsbury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Williams View Post
    Is not part of the purpose of the launch grants to cover this?

    Sounds like slightly iffy planning.

    Perhaps the launch grants should be replaced with membership fee discounts, or perhaps even free membership fees for the first payment from any entirely new Group?
    I thought that the launch grants were for start up costs such as rent in advance (security deposits), activity materials, etc. At only 200 a pop, you're not going to cover many people's AMS with that.
    CSL 1st Marple Bradshaw Cubs

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    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    I do have some sympathy, having started an ESU in January. You're so focused on leaders and location and getting members through the door that it's easy for something like this to slip. Yes, us old lags know how the system works, and we know what's winging our way every Feb, but not everyone will, and that message may get lost in the running week to week. Maybe there's a lot of fire fighting and not much strategy going on?

    My advice to the question would be trying to get a "bridging loan" from district or county, then doing some fundraising/grant getting*. I mean, they should have collected one term's subs, so they should have 1/3 of it all ready and waiting, all things being equal.

    * Local lions/rotary type organisations are quite good for this kind of small ad hoc grant.

    Ian
    Ian Wilkins
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    Until recently, new sections were eligible for a partial rebate on their first year's subs.

    From the website FAQs

    Q: My line manager told me there was a membership fee refund a year after the section received a start-up grant, but I can’t find any information about this?

    A: Unfortunately this funding programme, known as the supplement grant programme, ended on 31 May 2015. You are therefore unable to apply for this grant programme, or find any information about it on our website.

    - so what carpeni is asking about isn't such a shockingly radical idea.

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    Senior Member BREWBOY's Avatar
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    I too started a new group in January and its difficult,although i had pre warned parents this would happen and all were happy to pay in 2 installments,
    however i do find some of the comments on here somewhat belittling,its a huge learning curve setting up a unit,and this website has been a wealth of advice so far,
    I'd agree with Ianw the Lions Rotary and round table are all good supporters of local charities and youth groups.

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    Sometimes I think we've moved too far away from what Scouting is supposed to be, we get far too caught up in the bureaucracy and rules (a lot of which is now so onerous as to make one think one is working for a particularly autocratic branch of the civil service.)

    Welcome to the cut throat world of 21st century Scouting.


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    ADC (Support) & DMM mediamanager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BREWBOY View Post
    ....however i do find some of the comments on here somewhat belittling.....
    Not sure if you were referring to my original post but to set up a whole group you require the backing of the district - it's not inappropriate to assume that this support would stretch to advice on funding and expenses due in the early stages.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    Welcome to the cut throat world of 21st century Scouting.
    I like to think it's more about welcome to due diligence and common sense!
    Mark Pullen
    Bradford South District (ADC (Support) & DMM)
    Trustee - 7th SV Gomersal Scout Group

    Formerly:
    Cub SA - 3rd SV Scholes Scout Group
    Hove Edge Scout Group (GSL, Trustee)
    West Yorkshire Scout County (ACC Cubs, Agent 2:007, County Secretary, County MM, Gang Show Secretary, Gang Show Media)
    Keighley District (ADC Cubs, ADC Beavers, DMM, Trustee)
    8th Keighley Scout Group (ACSL, CSL, GSL, Group Chair)

    All posts made by myself are of a personal nature.

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    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by London Scouter View Post
    Until recently, new sections were eligible for a partial rebate on their first year's subs.

    From the website FAQs

    Q: My line manager told me there was a membership fee refund a year after the section received a start-up grant, but I can’t find any information about this?

    A: Unfortunately this funding programme, known as the supplement grant programme, ended on 31 May 2015. You are therefore unable to apply for this grant programme, or find any information about it on our website.

    - so what carpeni is asking about isn't such a shockingly radical idea.

    good find, i was looking for that

  16. #12
    Senior Member BREWBOY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mediamanager View Post
    Not sure if you were referring to my original post but to set up a whole group you require the backing of the district - it's not inappropriate to assume that this support would stretch to advice on funding and expenses due in the early stages.

    - - - Updated - - -



    I like to think it's more about welcome to due diligence and common sense!
    This is just what I'm talking about.

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    We deliberately started in mid January so Beavers were not invested until February so no capitation to be paid. The start up grant is not available before starting, you therefore have to rely on your group to support you financially initially. Our has to loan us 250 to cover start up costs which we will return when we get the start up grant from TSA. I am already budgeting for next January as we get 75 per beaver per year in subs and capitation was 31.XX this year....
    'Simba'

    BSL/ADC Beavers.

    All opinions stated are my own.

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    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomsmum View Post
    We deliberately started in mid January so Beavers were not invested until February so no capitation to be paid. The start up grant is not available before starting, you therefore have to rely on your group to support you financially initially. Our has to loan us 250 to cover start up costs which we will return when we get the start up grant from TSA. I am already budgeting for next January as we get 75 per beaver per year in subs and capitation was 31.XX this year....

    the idea of loans and repayments like this within a group makes me sad

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    Senior Member David Kendall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big chris View Post
    the idea of loans and repayments like this within a group makes me sad
    Fully agree - the key should be in the name, a Group ! (see - "A number of people that work together or share certain beliefs" - Oxford Dictionary
    In between roles/helping out where I can......

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