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That stupid surcharge

Tadhg wrote the following:

> I wonder what you would think of some alternative approaches:
 1) Make event donation only-- no surcharge is collected;
> 2) Make event donation and dinner fee-- again, no surcharge;
> 3) Put a bucket out for non-member fees--they pay into bucket;
> 4) Establish a "typical Atlantian ratio" and write a check;
> 5) Just keep doing it the same old way--pay through the nose.

To which Henry answered, in part:

>> I would not characterize the non-member surcharge as "stupid".  I would
>> call it wrong [snip] for what I consider fiscal mismanagement on the
>> part of the corporation.....

He then proceeds to make an elegant argument for not charging those who can
not pay, and without the necessity of having them come to the troll and,
essentially, beg.  He suggests the line:

>> We want to see _you_ more than your _money_.  Pay the fee if you can.
>> If you cannot afford it, please accept our hospitality.

What a GREAT phrase!  I am the autocrat for the Highland River Melees in June.
Fortunately for us, the site is free, so the only charge we will have is for
the feast; ergo, no $3 head-tax for non-members.  If I were using a site that
cost, and had to choose from the list that Tadhg presented, I think I would
opt for #3, or possibly 2.

A hundred years ago, when I first started playing SCA in Atenvelt, (4 kingoms
then,) when a dress feast meant _clean_ Levis under your T-tunic, I asked,
"How do I become a member of the SCA?"  The answer I often recieved was,
"Show up!"  I did, I had fun, learned things, and wanted to return.  I was a
starving student then, and $3 would many times have made the difference
between showing up, or not.

When the BoD can show that it has improved its accounting and management methods, perhaps they can appeal to the generosity of the populace for what they need,
and receive it.  Until then, they will continue to be like the IRS, the but of
derision and evasion.

I agree with Henry, the fee isn't stupid.  I would call it the result of an
ignorance.  Thankfully, ignorance can be cured, and hopefully the BoD will
overcome its ignorance of ethical management and accounting techniques.

    I remain, a servant of the Dream;
                                     Mustafa al Wali