Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1   Report Post  
Old February 29th 04, 05:36 PM
Angelo DePalma
 
Posts: n/a
Default Most important "dues" statistic


This is so significant in my opinion it warrants its own thread.

I had asked Mike Nolan for statistics on life member playing activity. Here
was his response:

(snip)

Over those five years [ 1999-2003 - adp], 3071 life members played rated

chess.
--
Mike Nolan


In a subsequent post, responding to Paul Rubin's question about how many
life members DIRECTED, Mike wrote:

At least 589.


What this means is that of 10,000+ life members, FEWER THAN FOUR THOUSAND
participated in chess events over a FIVE YEAR period. The implications of
this are colossal vis-a-vis the dues question.

What it means is that sixty percent of members who NEVER HAVE TO PAY DUES
AGAIN have for all practical purposes dropped out. It's safe to say that had
these same individuals been asked for $49 last year, many if not most would
not have renewed.

I'm willing to concede something to the "age" factor, i.e. that life members
tend to be older than the typical USCF member -- Mike Nolan to the
rescue?? -- but the conclusion is crystal clear. Losing interest in chess
happens whether you have to pay dues or not.

We absolutely need to raise kiddie dues, but to lower adult dues at this
time would be stupid, if not suicidal.

Angelo DePalma


  #2   Report Post  
Old February 29th 04, 06:45 PM
Mike Nolan
 
Posts: n/a
Default Most important "dues" statistic

"Angelo DePalma" writes:

What this means is that of 10,000+ life members, FEWER THAN FOUR THOUSAND
participated in chess events over a FIVE YEAR period. The implications of
this are colossal vis-a-vis the dues question.


Here's another way of looking at it.

There are 7385 'original' life members, whose who became life members
prior to 1984. There are another 3334 'new' life members. Here's
a breakdown of life member participation for those two groups:

1999 | 2129 | 1073 | 1056
2000 | 1983 | 1034 | 949
2001 | 1923 | 1002 | 921
2002 | 1853 | 963 | 890
2003 | 1760 | 887 | 873

Five year cumulative participation:
3071 1586 1485

This means that among the 'original' life members, the participation rate
was 21.5% while it was 44.5% among the more recent life members.

I think it is fair to assume that many, probably well over half, of those
'original' life members would not have remained dues-paying members had
they not become life members.

What it means is that sixty percent of members who NEVER HAVE TO PAY DUES
AGAIN have for all practical purposes dropped out. It's safe to say that had
these same individuals been asked for $49 last year, many if not most would
not have renewed.


In a post I wrote the other day, I estimated that had they not become
life members around 4000 (and quite possibly fewer) of our life members
would be dues paying members today.
--
Mike Nolan
  #4   Report Post  
Old February 29th 04, 09:00 PM
ASCACHESS
 
Posts: n/a
Default Most important "dues" statistic

So the other 6000 are collecting a magazine once a month (costing $1
an issue if I remember correctly) but basically not incurring any
other costs to the USCF. So that's about $50K/year, i.e. they soak up
around $1 of the dues paid by each of the other members. That's not
really all that big a deal compared to the USCF's other enormous
costs. I think we have to stop blaming the USCF's deficits on the
need to send mags to the LM's.


Paul,
Your numbers are faulty.
Either these guys (life members like me) are members or they aren't.

Now all overhead and all employee expenses need to be cut drastically, but
whatever overhead and employee expenses that are left are the province of all
the members, not just those poor souls stuck with paying annual dues and all
the bills.

Rp

  #6   Report Post  
Old March 1st 04, 01:32 AM
Angelo DePalma
 
Posts: n/a
Default Most important "dues" statistic


Why does it not surprise me that except for Mike, everyone else conveniently
ignored the main point of my post, which was that:

Adults are leaving regardless of how much they pay in annual dues. Life
members who don't pay a cent to remain in USCF nevertheless drop out of
active participation in numbers approaching, if not exceeding, those who pay
$49.

Although high dues cannot possibly help us retain members, and most probably
frighten away "fringe" members, their impact on declining adult membership
has been, as my father would say, over-exaggerated.

I know about 100 people who play chess, and perhaps 20 who have stopped or
who have left USCF. Aside from sad-sack impoverished RGCP posters, nobody
has ever complained to me about dues. Nobody!! Not old people on fixed
incomes, not students, not 30-something men with growing families, nobody.
I've heard every excuse under the sun except, "The dues are too high." The
issue of dues is a red herring, a canard.

And I repeat: Whether USCF officers use our dues to promote chess or feed
the poor or light their cigars with $100 bills is irrelevant to the dues
structure, and should be addressed separately.

Angelo



"Mike Nolan" wrote

In a post I wrote the other day, I estimated that had they not become
life members around 4000 (and quite possibly fewer) of our life members
would be dues paying members today.
--
Mike Nolan



  #7   Report Post  
Old March 1st 04, 02:27 AM
RSHaas
 
Posts: n/a
Default Most important "dues" statistic

I'd be more likely to join if 1. there was good tournament activity in my
town or nearby, and 2, if Chess Life was a world class chess magazine.
I will not join just to "support the cause," because the only chess cause
is what is good for me.

RSHaas
  #8   Report Post  
Old March 1st 04, 02:29 AM
Mike Nolan
 
Posts: n/a
Default Most important "dues" statistic

"Angelo DePalma" writes:

Adults are leaving regardless of how much they pay in annual dues. Life
members who don't pay a cent to remain in USCF nevertheless drop out of
active participation in numbers approaching, if not exceeding, those who pay
$49.


I've been of the opinion that the problem isn't really dropouts.
There will always be dropouts. I think the problem is in our new
member recruitment.

I think the renewal rate may be slightly worse than it was a decade ago,
but the data I have suggests it was not all that great back then, too.

What is down, way down, is new member recruitment. We used to sign up
over 6000 new adult members in a year, now we bring in about half of that.

The dropout rate is the highest in year one, of course, somewhere around
65%. It drops to under 50% at the end of year 2, and by year 5 it is down
in the 10-15% range, where it stabilizes.

But if you start with half as big a group in the first place, I think you
fall below the steady state replacement rate, which I think is somewhere
around 5000 new members (or returning youth/scholastic members) per year.
Below that rate membership will go down, above it the membership would grow.

I remember one of my engineering professors explaining a first-order steady
state model as being similar to a bathtub with no drain plug. If the rate
at which you add water is greater than the rate you drain it out, the tub
gets fuller. (A model of USCF adult membership would probably be a bit
more complicated than that, in part because of changing policies and
external factors such as the dues rate, the economy and the Internet.)

Although high dues cannot possibly help us retain members, and most probably
frighten away "fringe" members, their impact on declining adult membership
has been, as my father would say, over-exaggerated.


Higher USCF dues probably contribute to 'sticker shock' for new adult members,
but so do high tournament fees, state dues, and the cost of a chess set and
clock. Anyone playing out of town will probably rack up more than the
cost of a one-year adult membership just in hotel bills.
--
Mike Nolan
  #10   Report Post  
Old March 1st 04, 03:30 AM
Angelo DePalma
 
Posts: n/a
Default Most important "dues" statistic

Haasie,

I couldn't agree with you more.

adp

"RSHaas" wrote in message
...
I'd be more likely to join if 1. there was good tournament activity in

my
town or nearby, and 2, if Chess Life was a world class chess magazine.
I will not join just to "support the cause," because the only chess

cause
is what is good for me.

RSHaas



Reply
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules

Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
USCF Dues Angelo DePalma rec.games.chess.politics (Chess Politics) 75 May 28th 04 02:54 AM
The Latest Idea yet on Dues. Bruce Draney rec.games.chess.politics (Chess Politics) 69 November 11th 03 06:00 AM
5th Attempt to Post LOWER DUES TO FIVE DOLLARS A1 rec.games.chess.politics (Chess Politics) 0 October 31st 03 01:11 PM
Tim's Dues Proposal. Will it Fly? Bruce Draney rec.games.chess.politics (Chess Politics) 50 September 2nd 03 01:27 PM
The 08/20 Massacre. Bruce Draney rec.games.chess.politics (Chess Politics) 49 August 26th 03 06:12 PM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 08:02 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2004-2019 ChessBanter.
The comments are property of their posters.
 

About Us

"It's about Chess"

 

Copyright © 2017