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Letter from the BoD
I pulled this off the An Tir list and sent it on here as requested.
As it states in the letter: "Please send all commentary to the Member Services
Office in Milpitas by April 1, 1996 for inclusion in the materials for the
April Board Meeting." (Address in the Acorn.)
Date: Sat, 20 Jan 1996 18:33:48 -0600 (CST)
From: Susan Earley <email@example.com>
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,
Subject: Letter from the Board of Directors, SCA, Inc.
Please post this message to any mailing lists which may be interested.
It has been posted to West, Caid, An Tir, Middle, SCA Reform and the Rialto.
In early 1994, the Board of Directors became
aware that the SCA, Inc.'s financial health was in
distress because we did not have enough money in the
bank to cover the amount of our subscription liability.
One of the methods implemented to address that situation
was the "non-member surcharge" (NMS). This was always
meant to be a temporary means of fund raising. Although
we have reversed the subscription liability situation,
we have another goal to reach in order to prevent future
financial distress. The Board is hereby soliciting
commentary on the means to reach this goal.
The Board has a fiduciary responsibility to ensure
that the SCA, Inc. has available to it adequate cash
reserves to meet its just financial obligations if an
emergency need should arise. Current prudent and
responsible practice sets this at a minimum of six month's
worth of operating funds -- at present in our case,
about $230,000. This amount is separate from the subscription
liability, which is now fully funded, thanks in part to the
NMS, and in part to overestimated budget expenses in 1995.
As of the end of 1995, we have about $75,000 saved towards
the reserve. This means we need to save another $155,000
before we can stop this fund-raising effort.
The Current Methods.
The NMS was a moderately successful means to raise
funds over the last 21 months or so, and has been a source of
funds to the Kingdoms through the $1 rebate per surcharge
collected, but it has generated varied amounts of controversy
throughout the Known World.
One suggestion was that the Board make a blanket
request for donations. Therefore, we hereby make a blanket
request for donations. All donations received decrease the
amount that must be raised through formal means, and the time
those formal means must be in place. Please send all donations
to the Treasurer, Susan Earley, (address in back of this
newsletter) who will keep track of and publish the current
balance, and the amount and names of the donors as the donations
come in and deliver them to the Corporate Office. Make checks
or money orders out to 'SCA, Inc.' and include a note that it
is a donation toward the Operating Reserve.
We are making all reasonable efforts to cut corporate
expenditures, but we also need to determine what other avenues
would be acceptable to the membership to generate adequate cash
reserves to protect the organization in case of emergency.
The avenue chosen would also be the preferred method used for
any other fund-raising efforts toward special projects in the
future. Please remember that any change in our current
procedures will require at least 60 days to implement.
Some options which have been suggested in the past are as follows:
--Collect a $1 (or other nominal amount) per person surcharge
on all Kingdom-level event fees, to be sent to the corporate
office until the reserve is funded. Considering four kingdom
level events per year per kingdom (not counting wars or
Drachenwald), with at least 500 people attending each event, this
would collect $24,000 per year.
--Collect a $.25 surcharge on each participant at each event until
the reserve is funded. Depending on enforcement, this could
collect almost $100,000 in slightly over a year.
--Collect a $10 per year "assessment" on members for contributions
to the cash reserve until it is fully funded. This could be
accomplished in a single year. Many other organizations, such
as country clubs and some religious institutions, raise funds
--Conduct an aggressive annual fundraising campaign (or pledge
campaign) within the organization. This would require significant
volunteer help and widespread member support. The Boy Scouts of
America and PBS stations, among other organizations, raise funds
--Ask that each local branch "tithe" 1% of their annual event
net income ('Net Event Related Income' on the new Exchequer
report forms), to be submitted with their year-end report.
This wouldn't happen for the 1995 domesday due now. Branches
choosing to voluntarily do this now would have our gratitude,
but no obligation to continue unless this is the method selected.
--Assess each Kingdom a proportional amount (by membership) of
what is needed for the reserve, and allow each Kingdom to choose
its own way of raising the money.
--Make a blanket request for voluntary donations. This is
currently being done (see above), and can be done in conjunction
with any other method, although it is usually not very reliable.
--Require paid membership for all participants, with some kind of
temporary or event-specific membership available at the door
(sometimes called "pay-to-play"). Exact implementation would
take some time to develop.
--Institute an annual branch registration fee payable to the SCA,
Inc., with fees set on a sliding scale depending on branch size
and type. Branches would be allowed to choose their own way to
raise the money for the fee.
--Reinstitute the NMS until such time as the cash reserve reaches
a prudent level. This requires much effort, and affects those
kingdoms formerly depending on their rebate.
At its October 1995 meeting, the Board passed a set of
fiscal policies intended to keep the SCA, Inc. in compliance
with Federal and state laws (or native government laws) and
commonly accepted accounting practices, and to ensure that our
budget and accounts are regularly overseen and audited. This
will eliminate any surprises that may surface during our normal
As you can see, the Board is actively seeking your ideas
on how best to raise the funds we need and the best method to use.
We want both your opinions about the possibilities listed and your
suggestions for other alternatives. Please help us find a way to
meet our financial responsiblities and ensure the SCA's long-term
stability. We look forward to hearing your thoughts on these
matters (this means everyone from Royalty on down to the newest
person on the block). Please send all commentary to the Member
Services Office in Milpitas by April 1, 1996 for inclusion in the
materials for the April Board Meeting.
<E.F. Morrill, President>
<L.J. Richards, Vice-President>
<Susan Earley, Treasurer>
<Carol O'Leary, Secretary>
Maestra Margherita Alessia, called Ghita Member # 32315 Susan
Shire of Rokkehealdan [SW Chicago Suburbs] firstname.lastname@example.org Brookfield,
"A shy, retiring young thing" Director, SCA, Inc.
Purpure, a sword palewise or between two winged cats rampant combatant, that
to dexter Argent, that to sinister Or.