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  • Late Fees

    Does anyone charge them on late dues?

    Our troop charges $100 annual dues. We have a dickens of a time getting people to pay in time for us to complete the re-charter. We recharter the end of next month but so far have very few families which have paid. (Affordability is NOT an issue -- I'll go into that later, if necessary)

    The money really isn't an issue, it's the additional time and hassle of trying to do recharter with incomplete data.

    The deadline for paying is Feb. 1. We're considering charging a $50 late fee for payments received after that date. After Feb. 15 we're going to drop Scouts from the charter. There will then be a $50 reinstatement fee AND the parents will have to take the new applications downtown themselves.

    Could we lose Scouts over this? Maybe, but I don't think so. And if we have so little support from the parents that they won't send a check with their son, or show up at a troop meeting with a credit card, I'd question if they're going to be around long anyway.

  • #2
    A scout is trustworthy. They know it's due on Feb 1. SMC in order for those that are unreliable. The fee may mean nothing more than cost of doing business for the parents. Lack of planning for those expenses is a poor example to be setting for the boy so the SMC can address the issue of what is HE going to do about it.

    Stosh

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    • #3
      My guess is that if you do charge them a late fee, you might as well just go ahead and take them off the roster because that late fee is just even more incentive not to pay. Just a thought.

      Comment


      • #4
        It won't help for this year, but next year, phrase it as an "early bird discount". If they have the fee in x amount of time the price is "discounted" to whater it really costs per Scout. The "regular" price includes the late fee. Somehow, telling them they're getting a deal makes people more willing to get things in on time (somtimes).

        Other things to try - "save the date" type reminders 4 or 3 months early. Time speeds by for people - it feels like things you know to expect (like annual dues) sneak up on you. Make sure dues/recharter deadlines are on the annual planning calendar, and published where parents can see them.


        Some years we offer payment plans, allowing parents to pay in installments, but they pay a premium to do so.

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        • #5
          I'm lucky. We charge just over $100 in dues, and we charge it in September. Almost everyone gives me a check in September. A few reminder emails and the money comes in in October. A few parents can't pay, I budgeted "Campership" for them, we planned to not fully collect.

          For our parent body, it's more effective for the unit to just write off dues from a few people than come up with convoluted structures around Popcorn sales.

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          • #6
            Make it easy on yourself. Drop them from the roster if they don't pay the dues. Let them know they can fill out a new application and turn in a check when they want to join again.

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            • Scouter99
              Scouter99 commented
              Editing a comment
              Exactly.

          • #7
            We added Paypal (yes, it costs us) to the options to pay, with a link that is sent with the reminder. That took care of most of the late payments.

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            • #8
              We've never charged a late fee. We have had some parents not pay.

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              • #9
                Originally posted by packsaddle View Post
                My guess is that if you do charge them a late fee, you might as well just go ahead and take them off the roster because that late fee is just even more incentive not to pay. Just a thought.
                Agreed.

                Follow BSA literature and charge weekly or monthly dues that a thrifty boy can pay himself rather than a large annual fee. Boys whose dues are not current cannot advance, voila.

                Comment


                • Scouter99
                  Scouter99 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  That's what we do--what headache? Boys get behind a month or two, but we have never had the headache of "this boy owes us $100, should we add $50 more?" Reinstatement fee? Give me a break, is this auto insurance we're talking about?
                  Like I said: There's a book with all this basic stuff in it, it's worked for 100 years. Follow BSA literature and collect dues monthly or weekly in small amounts. Families who want will pay up front anyway, families who must/want will pay monthly.

                • dedkad
                  dedkad commented
                  Editing a comment
                  The headache comes from those families who are more than able to pay, but are just too lazy to do it. Someone has to keep track of their continually late payments. 100 years ago people carried cash with them so weekly dues probably weren't a problem. Now, unless your unit is set up to take a credit or debit card, there's a good chance that at least several boys or their parents won't have any cash on hand to pay their dues at any given meeting. But for those families who can't afford to pay it all up front, it does make sense to allow for a monthly or weekly payment option.

                • Scouter99
                  Scouter99 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  People are good enough at making their own excuses without help from me. Our monthly dues are due on the 1st of the month, we expect them then. The boys have no trouble bringing in their money without the aid of time machines, PayPal, or Square and without excuses precisely because the collection of dues in part instills responsibility.

              • #10
                Compromise: taking into consideration all the suggestions... Scribe collects monthly dues. If you're late, you don't advance, if you want to prepay all at once, fine. If you are behind when rechartering time comes around, you are dropped from the roster. Late fees? don't need them.

                Stosh

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                • #11
                  We charge $15 / month dues. You can advance pay or go month to month if you choose. However, the last line on ANY permission slip to go on ANY monthly campout or outing is a line to be initalled by the treasurer. It states that the lad is up to date and paid in full for their dues. If not - they cannot go on the campout - period. That solves the problem with being cash poor at time of recharter. They pay installments every month along the year, or they don't get to participate in troop activities. Its a good incentive for the lad to coordinate with their parent to make sure their dues are up to date !

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                  • #12
                    Dang ...I am Glad I paid 2.00 a Month Dues as a Scout..I can't even afford being in your Troops Working for the State of Texas

                    Comment


                    • Scouter99
                      Scouter99 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      When were you a scout? Two 1975 dollars is equivalent to $8.42 today. That's more than my troop charges.
                      Last edited by Scouter99; 01-23-2014, 10:06 PM.

                  • #13
                    1979 -1986...as a Scout.

                    Comment


                    • Scouter99
                      Scouter99 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      a-ha, I made you a little older than you are the first time. The calculator (http://www.westegg.com/inflation/) uses a different scale pre-1975. 2 1983 dollars is $4.54 today, so you've got a case there. We charge $8.00 and that hasn't gone up in over a decade.

                    • qwazse
                      qwazse commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Our troop charges $55/boy this year. That's about $4.50/month. Just enough to cover registration fees and bling. Adults: $30/year. We'll evaluate if we have increase at the end of the year.
                      Our crew charges $28: just enough to cover registration. We've only had to purchase one medal in the past 7 years. There is a little padding in the treasury for that and any active youth who comes up short financially.
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