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Thread: Capitation Refund?

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by campwarden View Post
    .

    TSA is a very inefficient charity - most big charities are. Vast amounts are wasted at HQ while the grass roots struggle. Ask anyone who works or volunteers for any of the big national charities - the RSPCA, RNLI, St John Ambulance, etc and they'll all say the same. Walk along City Road in London and see just how many charities have large London HQs... when they could save a fortune by having their head office on an industrial estate in the midlands or the north and not paying london rental, london staff weightings, etc.
    Maybe - but I think TSA have made efforts to become more efficient; they closed their Central London office years ago. TSA total revenue in 2018/19 was only 37 million - tiny compared with some large charities (e.g. Barnardo's 307 million) - that included the income from SATC, Unity, Scout Shops etc - of that 37 million, only 11.3 million comes from capitation (page 24 last Annual Report) - the rest coming from Donations, legacies, and income from SATC, Unity, Scout Shops etc.
    TSA have already furloughed most of their staff; but they can expect income from Scout Shops to be down this year and donations from Foundations could easily go down as investment returns will poor this year as the stock market is in free fall.
    There are many Districts across the country who are sitting on substantial cash reserves, more than is required, some of which they have accrued from closed Groups - it is perhaps time to use some of that money to subsidise the National Capitation - this is the rainy day we have all been prudently accruing funds for.
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    So tsa has a very small income compared to bernados

    The difference is TSAs income as a charity doesn't include the operational income of the groups as they are separate charities.

    Interestingly Matt Hyde is paid more than the CEO for Barnados.... and indeed more than many other ceos of large charities, despite having a volunteer (tim) doing much of the operational management role.

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    Scouts is weird though. HQ's income may only have been what ever it was, but comparing it to Barnardos (etc) isn't a good comparison. You'd need to add in all scout group income to TSA income for it to be fair. (Thinking about that, I doubt it's still anything like Barnardos right enough.)

    Be that as it may. I don't think there's been a situation where groups have had to bail out HQ, I think that would be a bit of a strange situation - for scouts anyway.

    Our subs is so low, I don't think parents want to rock the boat. I don't think we've ever been asked for a refund. The positive of that is, we are recognised as being more of a charity. Which I think, is as it should be. We're not Centre Parks or a play centre. We're a community organisation, and we're fortunate that the community understands that and for the most part, doesn't regard us as a service.

    Although I appreciate being in a wee village means we can do that. Might be tougher in towns or cities.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnL View Post
    the income from SATC, Unity, Scout Shops etc - of that 37 million, only 11.3 million comes from capitation (page 24 last Annual Report) - the rest coming from Donations, legacies, and income from SATC, Unity, Scout Shops etc.
    Income or turnover is not a great measure without knowing profit. 26m is a big turnover for other incomesuch as SATC, Unity and Shop. I would imagine SATC is just freelance lawyers' fees marked up and with 2 staff in the office and charged to the Groups (poor value I have to say from experience). Unity is just brokers in an office marking up everything - so easy profit. The Shop must be profitable - judging by the prices. Surely Unity must be the biggest turnover? ( 1500pa x say 8000 Groups in the UK = 12m ) That income won't change during lockdown. SATC income won't change during lockdown either.
    Last edited by Paul o; 18-04-2020 at 11:30 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul o View Post
    Income or turnover is not a great measure without knowing profit. 26m is a big turnover for other incomesuch as SATC, Unity and Shop. I would imagine SATC is just freelance lawyers' fees marked up and with 2 staff in the office and charged to the Groups (poor value I have to say from experience). Unity is just brokers in an office marking up everything - so easy profit. The Shop must be profitable - judging by the prices. Surely Unity must be the biggest turnover? ( 1500pa x say 8000 Groups in the UK = 12m ) That income won't change during lockdown. SATC income won't change during lockdown either.
    Where do you get 1500pa from? My experience of unity is that there are other brokers out there who can offer the necessary insurances for equipment, buildings, vehicles, etc at far better value than unity. We significantly reduced our HQ and Equipment insurance costs (including "all risks" on the camping gear) by going through a small independant broker. The minibus insurance was also through someone other than unity (cant remember who but the local school recommended them to us). We decided to take the risk of not insuring the trailer (it was old, and the best quotes for insurance were around 1/4 of its value, so each year we put the equivalent into the ringfenced fund for a new trailer. By the time, 3 years later, the trailer became uneconomical to repair we already had a chunk of money saved towards its replacement.

    SATC charge a lot for what are always standard pre-packed responses. It is a very expensive workaround for what is essentially a glitch in uk law (non incorporated charities not being able to own land - and, IMHO, TSA should have lobbied parliament to get that law changed to allow registered charities to own land in their own right. (I've just got involved in a project near home to set up a community woodland, and we are going down the Community Interest Company route to avoid that same problem)

    Interestingly, Navigators, adventurers, etc manage without an expensive HQ function. It is easy to get DBS checks done these days - there are online services out there. There are countless insurance brokers, and underwriters, out there. I assume navigators use their local authority for any safeguarding issues (possibly with a designated safeguarding lead within the group? - in fact, its pretty arrogant of TSA to think they're well placed to investigate external - e.g. family, school, etc - safeguarding matters anyway). As i've said countless times, much of the HQ function could be removed, with groups being independant charities affiliated to a national scouting movement, rather than managed by it. But of course TSA's trustees are never going to vote for a plan that would essentially result in the association's destruction, even if it would lead to a better scouting experience at grassroots level.

  8. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by campwarden View Post
    much of the HQ function could be removed, with groups being independent charities affiliated to a national scouting movement, rather than managed by it...it would lead to a better scouting experience at grassroots level.
    Now that's a bold claim!
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    Quote Originally Posted by ianw View Post
    Now that's a bold claim!
    I didn't say it definitely would.

    I said that the national trustees would be unlikely to vote for it, even if it would.

    I imagine there would be a balance. Some groups, those that are closely aligned to TSA's way of working, those which use lots of TSA resources, those that aren't willing to do a bit of extra work themselves... those groups would suffer.

    On the other hand, groups whose leaders have a vision which differs from TSA's, groups who have strong execs who are willing to shop around and find a better quote for insurance, groups who are willing to become aware of, and follow, charity law - those groups would go from strength to strength.

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    Quote Originally Posted by campwarden View Post
    Where do you get 1500pa from? My experience of unity is that there are other brokers out there who can offer the necessary insurances for equipment, buildings, vehicles, etc at far better value than unity.
    I agree - we reduced our premuims from 2400 to 600pa by leaving Unity. They are not a broker. They can't find you the best policy - just the one from their tied Insurer. However the vast majority of Groups use Unity as default - so my estimate was based on a below average premium x estimate of number of Groups.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by campwarden View Post
    SATC charge a lot for what are always standard pre-packed responses. It is a very expensive workaround for what is essentially a glitch in uk law
    I agree 100%

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by campwarden View Post
    much of the HQ function could be removed, with groups being independant charities affiliated to a national scouting movement, rather than managed by it.
    I have to agree with that too.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    I don't think there's been a situation where groups have had to bail out HQ, I think that would be a bit of a strange situation - for scouts anyway.
    But that is what we are expected to do. If we decide we can't, hand on heart, charge parents for a full service we are no longer delivering, then why should TSA play hard ball and demand a full capitation - because they can't reduce their costs? I also do not want to call upon parents to pay subs in this most difficult of times for families. Our Group can afford to subsidise the TSA by paying full capitation when we are receiving no income from subs...but I believe in principle we should not.

  11. #24
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    There is (i'm pretty sure) more than one buildings policy provided by Unity with different terms and from different providers. Most groups come under one underwritten by Lloyd’s Syndicate Number 609 managed by Atrium Underwriters but i am almost certain that my last group came under a different one.


    NB > if you do come under onme underwritten by Lloyd’s Syndicate Number 609 managed by Atrium Underwriters then you get free event cancellation insurance. see the unity website for more info

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    Last edited by big chris; 18-04-2020 at 12:29 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by big chris View Post
    There is definitely more than one buildings policy provided by Unity with different terms and from different providers.

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    I asked that very specific question 4 years ago - Unity could not offer us anything other than their "top end" policy from a single insurer Atrium. (this was contents and buildings) We had no choice. It was at that point we mentioned our quotes from 2 outside brokers. We ceased using Unity and have now saved 7200 since then.
    Last edited by Paul o; 18-04-2020 at 12:38 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul o View Post
    I asked that very specific question 4 years ago - Unity could not offer us anything other than their "top end" policy from a single insurer. (this was contents and buildings) We had no choice. It was at that point we mentioned our quotes from 2 outside brokers. We swapped brokers and have now saved 7200 since then.

    i just looked at our old policy and we used unity as an agent and the insurance was not their standard policy but arranged through CASE charity inurance. so thet told you wrong, i guess

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    Also, to their credit, it was the cheapest around and our secretary got loads of quotes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by campwarden View Post

    Interestingly, Navigators, adventurers, etc manage without an expensive HQ function. It is easy to get DBS checks done these days - there are online services out there. There are countless insurance brokers, and underwriters, out there. I assume navigators use their local authority for any safeguarding issues (possibly with a designated safeguarding lead within the group? - in fact, its pretty arrogant of TSA to think they're well placed to investigate external - e.g. family, school, etc - safeguarding matters anyway). As i've said countless times, much of the HQ function could be removed, with groups being independant charities affiliated to a national scouting movement, rather than managed by it. But of course TSA's trustees are never going to vote for a plan that would essentially result in the association's destruction, even if it would lead to a better scouting experience at grassroots level.

    Couple of points arising.

    Navigators is a small "association" in the UK, even in the US where it is larger it is not massive. It places the burden of "legislation" or management of the Group with the Group by having the applicant group sign an agreement that includes " to abide by the law of the land". I can tell you that more than one applicant to set up a group has been declined, and one had a shot fired over his bow for using the term "Navigators" for a group that had not approached "HQ" for approval. However, it is a worry that, with a sparse and low level "association" we run a higher risk of infiltration because we do not have the "behind the scenes" investigations that go on in TSA ( or UKBPSA).

    We do use the local authorities for DBS checks and Safeguarding, and there is potential to train new Leaders through council youth work schemes to NVQ L2.

    There needs to be a little bit of clarification on Safeguarding - If we are talking about in-house bitching leading to suspensions, TSA seems to have mastered that art. However, in the case of any reported abuse - you go through the system, it is recorded at HD by the Safeguarding team - who can give Leaders support and guidance - but any reported abuse goes direct to the authorities. TSA does not investigate any alleged abuse cases. That is not their job. It never has been. If you report an abuse issue today, it is with your local Police force the following day, maybe sooner. TSA does not investigate.

    I would like to have the centralised Safeguarding and legal team that TSA has. I can live without the marketing and the branding and the strategies.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ianw View Post
    Charity commission advice is to have a year of reserves in case you have some time with no income. So here we are, potentially some time with no income.

    And actually, you're saying 48% of your income goes to AMS. And it's £3000 a year. So let's assume this term is a right off. So you're down £1000. Poor show if you haven't got £1000 in reserves. ...

    ... And you're suggesting they don't collect their only remaining source of income, membership fees? Well that's another £11m hole in the income! I'm betting even with collecting all the AMS they'll have to dip into reserves to stay afloat this year.
    So let's apply the same approach to TSA as you are suggesting I should to our Group. Have we contingency reserves to weather the storm of no income?.. yes. Have the TSA? No? "Poor show".
    Are we supporting our community in reducing or waiving the subs from parents for services we aren't delivering? Yes. Are TSA? - no - not even a little bit to help the community. I half expected at least a 25% reduction. That would be about £2m - the same as TSA would have as a contingency if they hadn't negligently wasted it on Compass.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul o View Post
    So let's apply the same approach to TSA as you are suggesting I should to our Group. Have we contingency reserves to weather the storm of no income?.. yes. Have the TSA? No? "Poor show".
    Actually, as far as I can work out, they do have 30m in reserves, so they do have one year of expenditure in reserve. Membership fees is currently their only stream of revenue bar insurance that won't have stopped or reduced to a trickle. It would seem reckless in the extreme to decide to forego 11m of income by not collecting membership fees, and if unable to reduce costs, burn through reserves in a year, rather than preserving one income stream and enable reserves to last much longer.

    It's good that hq have at least made it clear and in good time. So that we can all make the financial decisions we need to depending on our circumstances.





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