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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.)

        - Anarra

Date: Sat, 20 Jan 1996 18:33:48 -0600 (CST)
From: Susan Earley <ghita@mcs.net>
To: sca-west@ecst.csuchico.edu, sca-caid@ecst.csuchico.edu,
Subject: Letter from the Board of Directors, SCA, Inc.
Message-ID: <Pine.BSI.3.91.960120183115.3544D-100000@Mercury.mcs.com>

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 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.  

Another Method.
        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. 

Other Alternatives.
        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 
this way.
--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 
this way.
--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.

Another Improvement.
        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>
<Lee Forgue>
<William Colbert>
<Carolyn Richardson>

Maestra Margherita Alessia, called Ghita     Member # 32315      Susan
Shire of Rokkehealdan [SW Chicago Suburbs]   ghita@mcs.net     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.