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Old February 23rd 04, 03:18 AM
Ivan
 
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Default USCF memberships

Hi,

I am a tournament director and run both open and scholastic
tournaments. I am finding a really big surge in scholastic chess
where everytime there seems to be 10-20 scholastic who are joining the
USCF for the first time. On the other hand, I am finding less and
less adult members renewing their USCF memberships. When I ask the
adult members why they do not want to rejoin, they say it is because
they don't want shell out $49/year for a membership.
The other thing is that based on the membership prices, the scholastic
players are paying around $13 per year with the affiliate discount
prices. Some pay $19 or $25 if they are older kids.

Now a couple questions:

Is the USCF losing money on scholastic memberships since they are at a
low cost? I believe the scholastic members gives the player Chess
Life bimonthly. However at only $13 does that really pay for 6 issues
of Chess Life, their membership card, and give enough revenue to the
USCF to run things?
If the USCF is in a financial crisis and since the majority of members
are kids with a surge in scholastic memberships, isn't the smart thing
to raise scholastic membership prices and reduce adult membership
fees. Adults would also be the only ones who would probably get a
Life membership. If adults are moving away from joining because of a
$49/year fee, then they probably would not be interested in becoming
life members anyway.
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Old February 23rd 04, 03:50 AM
Mike Nolan
 
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Default USCF memberships

(Ivan) writes:

Is the USCF losing money on scholastic memberships since they are at a
low cost? I believe the scholastic members gives the player Chess
Life bimonthly. However at only $13 does that really pay for 6 issues
of Chess Life, their membership card, and give enough revenue to the
USCF to run things?


Is the membership form unclear? Are you aware that for $13 an
'economy scholastic' member get NO magazine at all?

For $19 a scholastic member gets six issues of Chess Life, an increment
over the 'economy scholastic' rate which roughly covers the cost of
printing and sending out those six issues.

If the USCF is in a financial crisis and since the majority of members
are kids with a surge in scholastic memberships, isn't the smart thing
to raise scholastic membership prices and reduce adult membership
fees. Adults would also be the only ones who would probably get a
Life membership. If adults are moving away from joining because of a
$49/year fee, then they probably would not be interested in becoming
life members anyway.


The surge in scholastic memberships seems to be subsiding.

I know the Board has considered a reduced adult rate, but that's an
easier step for them to take than raising scholastic dues, which currently
requires Delegate approval.

The key is figuring out the right rate. For a variety of reasons, I don't
think a significantly lower rate would bring a torrent of adult members
back to the USCF, at least not enough to offset the loss in revenue.
And I don't know that a smaller reduction would have the desired impact,
either. If they won't renew for $49, would they renew for $45, or $39?
--
Mike Nolan
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Old February 23rd 04, 04:16 AM
Bruce Draney
 
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Default USCF memberships

Ah the famous official line of USCF politicos. The let's do nothing and
wait and see if things turn around on their own.

That's alright, there's got to be a bottom somewhere and USCF will try
and search for it. They can always raise adult dues again if they don't
squeeze enough juice out of the suckers that remain.

Best Regards,

Bruce
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Old February 23rd 04, 04:43 AM
RSHaas
 
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Default USCF memberships

"For $19 a scholastic member gets six issues of Chess Life, an increment over
the 'economy scholastic' rate which roughly covers the cost of printing and
sending out those six issues." (Mike Nolan)
=============
If the lil rascals can get six issues of Chess Life for $19 then the adults
should get 12 issues for $38.

RSHaas
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Old February 23rd 04, 06:52 AM
Curt Seefeldt
 
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Default USCF memberships

I have to agree with Mike on this, it is not the cost. More likely it is
what our local club is dealing with...and I think a lot of clubs are, that
is, it is very hard to get new members. No idea why, but it could be because
adults don't have the time...less interest in chess overall as compared to
say a decade ago....getting a place where people can gather at a reasonable
cost....etc. One other possible reason also comes to mind....the
availability of internet chess...seems to me a lot of adults today are couch
potatoes...they would rather sit in front of a monitor than get out and play
otb.

"Mike Nolan" wrote in message
...
(Ivan) writes:

Is the USCF losing money on scholastic memberships since they are at a
low cost? I believe the scholastic members gives the player Chess
Life bimonthly. However at only $13 does that really pay for 6 issues
of Chess Life, their membership card, and give enough revenue to the
USCF to run things?


Is the membership form unclear? Are you aware that for $13 an
'economy scholastic' member get NO magazine at all?

For $19 a scholastic member gets six issues of Chess Life, an increment
over the 'economy scholastic' rate which roughly covers the cost of
printing and sending out those six issues.

If the USCF is in a financial crisis and since the majority of members
are kids with a surge in scholastic memberships, isn't the smart thing
to raise scholastic membership prices and reduce adult membership
fees. Adults would also be the only ones who would probably get a
Life membership. If adults are moving away from joining because of a
$49/year fee, then they probably would not be interested in becoming
life members anyway.


The surge in scholastic memberships seems to be subsiding.

I know the Board has considered a reduced adult rate, but that's an
easier step for them to take than raising scholastic dues, which currently
requires Delegate approval.

The key is figuring out the right rate. For a variety of reasons, I don't
think a significantly lower rate would bring a torrent of adult members
back to the USCF, at least not enough to offset the loss in revenue.
And I don't know that a smaller reduction would have the desired impact,
either. If they won't renew for $49, would they renew for $45, or $39?
--
Mike Nolan





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Old February 23rd 04, 02:12 PM
RSHaas
 
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Default USCF memberships

"What would you have the USCF do $200,000 less of?" (Mike NoIan)
=============
OK, no Mensa stuff this time. I'd ezine Chess Life as the basic package.
Cut the adult dues bigtime. Then explore the possibility of starting a six
times a year world class print magazine as an option. The best online playing
site has yet to be developed, in my opinion. It would help chess locally if
onliners had the option of going into a "room" where they could chat or play
among others in their designated local area. That would help build databases
of players in each location, something of possible benefit to OTB chess.

RSHaas
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Old February 23rd 04, 03:07 PM
Angelo DePalma
 
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Default USCF memberships


I'm beginning to think that an issue with the "dues cutter" contingent on
here is their own personal financial situation, which is apparently (and
uniformly) very bad.

I'd estimate that since I started playing again in 1996, between 150 and 200
players have come through the doors of various tournaments organized by the
Hackettstown and Viking chess clubs here in Western NJ. I've gotten to know
a decent number of these players on one level or another. They've come, and
gone, and renewed, or not renewed.

I've heard all sorts of sob stories about why they quit: family, job,
church, travel time to the club (we had two different guys driving about 75
miles), health reasons. I have never heard one person -- not one -- mention
high dues as the reason for no longer playing chess. Not one. Zero.

I just attended the USAT in NJ and ran into 20-30 chess acquaintances. Not
one mentioned anything about dues to me. Never. Outside this group it's a
non-issue.

adp

"RSHaas" wrote in message
...
"What would you have the USCF do $200,000 less of?" (Mike NoIan)
=============
OK, no Mensa stuff this time. I'd ezine Chess Life as the basic

package.
Cut the adult dues bigtime. Then explore the possibility of starting a

six
times a year world class print magazine as an option. The best online

playing
site has yet to be developed, in my opinion. It would help chess locally

if
onliners had the option of going into a "room" where they could chat or

play
among others in their designated local area. That would help build

databases
of players in each location, something of possible benefit to OTB chess.

RSHaas



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Old February 23rd 04, 03:56 PM
ASCACHESS
 
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Default USCF memberships

OK, that's roughly 10 bucks less than we get today, or about $200,000 in
revenue.

What would you have the USCF do $200,000 less of?

(For the purpose of this question ignore B&E, since it is going away,
and ignore ratings, since that should be close to self-funding at
the new rates.)
--
Mike Nolan


Mike,

Then for purposes of your question, the correct answer will be ignored.

One of the purposes of getting rid of B+E is that we will have fewer employees.

One of the goals of USCF ought to be getting the adult membership to stay
members. Certainly one way to aid this is to reduce the onerous dues
increases.
In both cases, the answers seem to be prevented by your proviso.

Your reasoning seems, once more, to be "that is the way we have always done
it".

Regarding ratings, the reason they are now projected to be self supporting is a
quandry in itself.
USCF kept the old inefficient way of doing the ratings, but doubled the fees.
If this problem existed on its own in the outside world, the ratings financial
model would fall on its face. However, surrounded by the other inefficiencies
in USCF, the same old inefficient ratings business method survives to drag us
down another day.

This is the same logic that refused to see the futility of the dues increases
without modernization of the systems by which we operate.

Richard Peterson
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Old February 23rd 04, 04:01 PM
ASCACHESS
 
Posts: n/a
Default USCF memberships


I'm beginning to think that an issue with the "dues cutter" contingent on
here is their own personal financial situation, which is apparently (and
uniformly) very bad.


Maybe?
Maybe not.
I am a life member and I believe the dues increases are a major issue with
adult renewal.
Declining services combined with increasing dues give the perception of a lack
of value. It gives the accurate perception of management waste and
incompetence.
Thus people don't renew.

If your point is correct that the adult membership is too poor to renew, that
is a problem equivalent the adult membership having ebola fever. It looks like
the adult membership is fated to shrink from one cause or another.

Rp

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