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chriswelker

USPA Membership Dues& Rating Fees going up?

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So USPA members, what would you think about your membership dues and rating fees increasing this year?

After reading Ed Scott's article in Parachutist you get the feeling that something is about to happen at the next BOD meeting regarding dues and fees.

USPA here is a good idea. Try running the club on less than you take in.

We are already being over charged for what we are getting with our money.

Chris

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USPA here is a good idea. Try running the club on less than you take in.

We are already being over charged for what we are getting with our money.

Chris



Sounds like good advice; and as usual of course, the devil is in the details.

Simply spending less than is taken in sounds easy; except you also add that you do not think we get enough for the money already. So it is a bit of a conundrum (you want them to spend less, which boils down to doing less, but you already think you don't get enough).

One thing might be to make the magazine optional. That must cost a good chunk of the dues. Has it ever been considered to make it optional and discount the dues for those that opt out?
" . . . the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging them and kicking them into obedience." -- Aldous Huxley

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The national skydiving museum is a completely separate organization. USPA may be contributing, as PIA is, but it is NOT a USPA operation. The NSM bought land adjacent to the land that USPA bought and IIRC the USPA building was designed and situated to accommodate cooperation between the two.

IF USPA is contributing it is completely voluntary and discretionary.

http://www.nationalskydivingmuseum.org/history.htm
I'm old for my age.
Terry Urban
D-8631
FAA DPRE

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USPA does have some sizable investments also. Dues are not the only source of income for the USPA but the way the market has been lately I would not be surprised to see a negative return on those investments.
Yesterday is history
And tomorrow is a mystery

Parachutemanuals.com

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USPA does have some sizable investments also. Dues are not the only source of income for the USPA but the way the market has been lately I would not be surprised to see a negative return on those investments.



Bernie Madoff? I've heard that guy is the best...


But really, where did the capitol for those investments come from? I have to imagine it was from the membership dues, and that the intent was to see a positive return on those investments, with the returns to be used to furhter the organization.

If the USPA had a surplus, then by all means, donate to the museum. A dues increase would indicate that there is not a surplus, at which point the USPA needs to buckle down, and take care of business.

Provide thrid party insurance, keep the airports and airways open to skydivers, and handle the training and oversight of instructors/demo jumpers.

Everything else is bullshit, and a waste of my money. What I wouldn't give for a non-USPA DZ near-by. I would have unloaded the USPA from my life a long time ago.

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http://uspa.org/NewsEvents/News/tabid/59/ctl/Detail/mid/797/xmid/3017/xmfid/19/Default.aspx

A single action by USPA that made your $50/year worthwhile. If we flew under part 125, jumps would be $40/jump instead of $25-$27 they are today out of anything bigger than a Caravan or Porter.

This is one of the major reasons that USPA exists and one of the major reasons that $100/year membership would actually be worthwhile given the state of the FAA, TSA, DOT etc today.

If you think that you can 'go-it-alone' in taking on the FAA, then be my guest. Or perhaps you are just happy with doing hop 'n' pops from your friends Cessan 172 for the rest of your skydiving career.

'nuff said

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First off, you're all Otter happy now that you're the PIC....

OK really, that press release was updated in April of last year, meaning they did that work with the current level of dues.

Just because their actions may have saved me money in terms of jump prices doesn't give them the right to raise the rates, even if the raise is less than the savings they facilitated.

The USPA is not a business, and my financial picture at the end of the year is none of their business. They are a non-profit organization designed to represent me, as a skydiver in the US, and protect my interests as such.

If they were to fail in one initiative or another, and my jump prices went up, do I get a refund from them for my dues?

I don't think the USPA is obsolete, I just think that they need to adjust their focus before upping my dues. I see too much BS from them, and am not excited about footing the bill.

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I remember when it was $20 per year and we bitched about it then too . . .

But one thing USPA did in those days was publish a full budget that accounted for every dime they took in and spent. The last budget I saw was so general in nature you couldn't figure anything out.

It's all a big secret now . . .

NickD :)

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I remember when it was $20 per year and we bitched about it then too . . .

But one thing USPA did in those days was publish a full budget that accounted for every dime they took in and spent. The last budget I saw was so general in nature you couldn't figure anything out.

It's all a big secret now . . .

NickD :)



Did you get your 30 year certificate yet? :S

Ya know you have to specifically ASK for it now!










~ If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn? ~

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no secret at all, it is a standard FInancial report, required by law, with what items in it that have to be in it.

USPA financials are completely transparent, and anytime you want to look att he budget, I bet you can. Anytime you want to see the financial report, I bet you can.

Just because you do not know how to read said financial report - is not USPA's problem. Wiki it and learn how to read it.

If you have specific questions about what items are int he report, I bet the headquarters staff would answer that for you.

When was the last time you called USPA to gett he report?

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I'm not kidding, TK, I've seen many of the older budgets, when Jack Bergman was USPA Treasurer they published a line item type budget in the magazine every year, but when I looked at a more recent one everything was buried in broad headings.

I was specifically looking for how much the ED was being paid and in the budget I saw it wasn't spelled out. I did some digging (shouldn't have had to) and found it to be a 100 grand a year . . . which I thought was excessive. Nobody else, however, seemed to think so saying D.C. is an expensive place to live and all that, but it still sounds like a lot to my old school ears . . .

NickD :)

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This is a question that should have been asked before the election. This subject was discussed at the BOD meeting last summer and as I recall most of the board seemed to be in favor of raising dues on all members.

IMHO USPA has spent a lot of money in the last decade on wastefull programs, ongoing lawsuits, and bad decisions and now they want the membership to pay the bill.

I was one of the few that dared to suggest that we should look at cutting costs before asking the membership for more money. I would suggest you contact your regional and national directors and ask them their position on raising your dues and how the money will be spent.

With only a small number of new board members the BOD remains largely unchanged so the question of a dues increase is going to be not if but when.
Onward and Upward!

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This subject was discussed at the BOD meeting last summer and as I recall most of the board seemed to be in favor of raising dues on all members.



Scott, for the "record", I am certainly not one of the "most".

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I would suggest you contact your regional and national directors and ask them their position on raising your dues and how the money will be spent.



Good idea. (800) 435-1975

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There's no need to guess that "something is about to happen" with regards to dues and fees. That agenda item is clearly listed in at least one of the public, published agendas for the upcoming BOD meeting.

I, too, have been opposed to any dues increases in the past. I think this year they may be unavoidable, but we shall see. A couple of salient points, miscellaneous thoughts, and general ramblings:

Last year, the USPA budgeted $200k in income from our investments, and that didn't happen due to market conditions. The actual number turned out to be an $80k loss (pretty good relatively speaking). We need to get away from relying on any investment income to be a bit more responsible. Any investment proceeds should be used for capital projects or other one time things rather than an ongoing backstop to the organization's operating expenses.

So, that's $200k we have to find for 2009 right there, and we haven't even adjusted for the costs of doing business going up. What about any new programs? For example, online balloting for the next election is a pet project of mine, but I guarantee it will not be free. Fortunately, there's basically no expenditure in 2009 for the 2010 election.

Let's just say we have a $300k shortfall that we need to address.

What can be on the chopping block? We've already eliminated one full time position at HQ, so there's a savings of $50-75k. There's probably no more significant cuts to be had in payroll without seriously impacting services.

We have a PR consultant on which we spent $60k last year that's up for renewal. Many are certain this was money well spent based on the national exposure the sport has received which has, in turn, increased I am less convinced of the true value of this.

There's a proposed $70k expenditure on software to purchase the ecommerce module for the software HQ uses. This would allow true ecommerce (online renewals, etc). The system we have now only kicks a printout to the staff which is then entered by hand. It's very inefficient and costly, but we may not have the money to fix that this year?

What else can we chop for significant savings? Competition and Safety & Training are each sacred cows in their own right. Would you rather the Association not support one or the other? Not a good choice! Parachutist is unlikely to go down much. We have to budget less for advertising due to the fall off in the economy, and we don't see any real costs savings by letting members opt out of the magazine unless we were to ensure a large opt out percentage or eliminate it entirely. We may see a decrease in our third party liability insurance premium, but that is currently beyond our control and in the hands of the insurance company.

We can always look at reducing the exorbitant salaries paid to our pampered members of the Board of Directors. Oh, wait, that's right, that number is already zero. :)

So, how can we increase revenue to cover some or all of the shortfall? Of course, there's a dues increase - that's already on the table. There's also increases in ratings and license fees. How about increasing group membership dues? Bad news is they have all renewed for 2009 already, so it would take an extra year to have any effect. Increasing ad rates in Parachutist would probably have a negative effect on our income there. Although, with Skydiving mag going under (bummer!), there's some potential upside there.

So, there are more questions than answers. But this is not a simple problem and solution lies somewhere in the middle, probably with both spending cuts and revenue increases. Just some food for thought...

See you in Reno, where we can hash it all out in person.

Cheers,
--Q
-----
Chris "Q" Quaintance
ccqquaintance.com
D-23345

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There's a proposed $70k expenditure on software to purchase the ecommerce module for the software HQ uses. This would allow true ecommerce (online renewals, etc). The system we have now only kicks a printout to the staff which is then entered by hand. It's very inefficient and costly, but we may not have the money to fix that this year?


Cheers,
--Q



Qulp.

Tell the "boys in HQ" to PM me, email me, or call me, if they want something custom written, designed for exactly what they need, for much less than that. Much less.

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how much does it cost for a tandem rating?

$50 doesn't sound like very much for an annual memebrship, try $200 over here in Aus.
"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, then the world will see peace." - 'Jimi' Hendrix

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