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2021 - New Membership Fees - The hits keep coming.....


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Posted (edited)

So, almost precisely a year ago today BSA announced its new National Fee structure, discussed here

This was the part I want to discuss

Quote

In addition, BSA plans to increase the membership fee to $72 on August 1, 2021, and to $75 on August 1, 2022. No fee increases are planned past 2022. 

I've talked to people in two Councils: mine and the "next door neighbor".

I think both could be true: that in 2020 there was a plan to go 66-72-75 but with COVID and the absolute nosedive in registrations they do NOT want to tack on another $6 right now.

I could also see BSA National being so completely and totally cash strapped it has to come up with a fee increase.

Thoughts?

 

Edited by CynicalScouter
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So, membership including complete units are disappearing.   Participation in national events is dropping off, local camps are closing and being sold, and the National High Adventure Properties have be

$72 for youth.  Yeah yeah, great value etc, but it is getting pricey   Over the last year, we have seen the Scouting community come together, even while being physically apart, to bring solu

I just wish that the people at the national BSA level would be truthful, direct, and transparent to every volunteer that attended a Scout meeting.   I don't mean pages and pages of documents, just pla

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We were told about 15 or 16 months ago that the fees would increase 3 years in a row.  Since last year's increase came after we set council fees for 2021, our council chose to eat that $6 increase rather than pass it on to the families.

My hope is that cooler heads will prevail, and there will be no national increase for quite some time.

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1 hour ago, MikeS72 said:

My hope is that cooler heads will prevail, and there will be no national increase for quite some time.

They may be so desperate for cash they have no choice.

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I wouldn’t be surprised if the fee increases.

I also would not be surprised if the diminishing returns curb increases for a while.

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10 minutes ago, mashmaster said:

I wish they would let cubs have no national fee for the first year.

BSA is pleading poverty in front of a bankruptcy court saying they will run out of cash flow in August. No way they can start giving away freebies.

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I agree - they kinda completely screwed up with charging the $25 joining fee and increasing fees the same year. They are smoking something good and should share with the volunteers if they think they will keep or even more laughably grow membership by making it more Expensive for families to have their kids participate in scouting. 
 

Our pack busted our behinds this year to offer the program as normally as possible. - zoom meetings, outdoor in person meetings because our CO wouldn’t allow us to meet inside the church hall (still not allowed even though our state has opened up) we got zero help from the council on that one. My pack is down to a CM who also has 2 dens, the CC (me with 2 dens) and another leader with 2 dens.  Yet council wants us to do a FOS meeting. Seriously?!  They forget we saw in the annual report - council exec and 2 field directors got raises but they also let all the DEs go during COVID. So heck yea. Please take my money so we can keep hearing them talk about the woes of bankruptcy, pandemic giving being down and how the volunteers need to really work on membership to grow the units. 
 

 

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Reminds me of a Dilbert strip...and I paraphrase the pointy haired boss, "we had to cut expenses so we are reducing membership."  I just saw on another site a Scouter showing off his new James E West knot...the lawyers are drooling.

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My theory on the theory of the $25. Since they prorate, and so many Cubs join in September and so many don’t re-up, they see that as a nearly full year registration foe only 4/12th’s of a year. It hurts everyone and makes the program more expensive, and sucks if you join in January, but that is my theory. 

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15 minutes ago, mrjohns2 said:

My theory on the theory of the $25. Since they prorate, and so many Cubs join in September and so many don’t re-up, they see that as a nearly full year registration foe only 4/12th’s of a year. It hurts everyone and makes the program more expensive, and sucks if you join in January, but that is my theory. 

It's a weird situation. I don't understand adding new fees or raising rates at a time when most other youth organizations lowered rates or gave discounts last year. On the other hand, BSA is bankrupt and apparently desperate. I think it's a case of BSA's reality being out of sync with almost everyone else's reality. Sadly, so many times that has seemed to be the modus operandi. 

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, yknot said:

On the other hand, BSA is bankrupt and apparently desperate. I think it's a case of BSA's reality being out of sync with almost everyone else's reality.

Two things:

1) There's a membership spiral effect. I've been part of volunteer orgs. Your membership declines, but your infrastructure hasn't, so you raise fees "a little" to compensate. That drives out more members. Rinse and repeat.

2) The fee increases at this point are "baked in". The BSA has already told the court that fees will continue to increase.

Quote

Registration Fees – Consist of membership fees and joining fees for youth members and adult volunteers. Assumes marginal annual fee increases for traditional youth members from 2021-2025, roughly corresponding to an inflationary rate.

And from a business perspective, they have to. In the same document, the BSA admits to more membership losses.

Quote

Membership  Levels  –  Membership  levels  are  assumed  to  decrease  in  2021  by  13%, primarily due to the impact of COVID-19 on programing, but are forecasted to stabilize between  2023  to  2024  and  achieve  modest  growth  in  2024  and  2025  driven  by  the following factors:

There's only but so many people you can layoff (I've heard numbers ranging from 40-90% of National staff are now gone). So, what are you going to do? Raise revenue.

In addition, say that the BSA announced in the reorg plan it was CUTTING fees. The TCC and others would pounce: if BSA's got enough cash to cut fees, it can use that cash to pay for abuse victims, instead.

Edited by CynicalScouter
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Tough situation. I'm also not convinced of the post Covid membership rebound for scouts. Over the past 14 months, a lot of kids and families found out they have other interests. 

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, CynicalScouter said:

Membership  Levels  –  Membership  levels  are  assumed  to  decrease  in  2021  by  13%, primarily due to the impact of COVID-19 on programing, but are forecasted to stabilize between  2023  to  2024  and  achieve  modest  growth  in  2024  and  2025  driven  by  the following factors:

This reminds me of every sales forecast meeting I have ever attended.  Yes, sales this year are down or flat, but in 4 to 5 years they will increase.  Skip forward 4 to 5 years and they basically just change the dates and use the same data and slides again.

To assume there will be modest growth in 4 to 5 years, when there has been a steady decline in membership for 40 years is at best a fantasy.  There has NOT been a concrete plan presented to change the trajectory, and my thoughts are that "increase membership fees" and "increase the burden on volunteers" is not a winning strategy.

Edited by Jameson76
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2 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

There has NOT been a concrete plan presented to change the trajectory, and my thoughts are that "increase membership fees" and "increase the burden on volunteers" is not a winning strategy.

They did a fireside chat about membership growth. Video should be up soon. In short, the plan is that between the new rebranding/marketing campaign and plans to reach out to millennial moms (millennial moms were mentioned no fewer than 4 times) that parents will be eager to get their kids out into the outdoors and that is what BSA has to offer.

Let's see how that goes.

They also told the court what they think is the real cause for the decline in membership/what will be the cause and their solutions. This is as "concrete" as they are going to get. https://casedocs.omniagentsolutions.com/cmsvol2/pub_47373/213bd53f-b44f-45c9-97fc-246bcb7ca06b_4108.pdf

  • Adjustments to programming and operations to account for reduced membership, including the departure of Scouts affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
  • Channeling all Abuse Claims to the Settlement Trust, which will remove a significant impediment to the Debtors’ continued operational success.
  • Broadening program access for girls and young women, thus potentially doubling total potential participants in Cubs Scouts and Scouts BSA age groups.
  • Reimaging public relations campaign to bolster positive visibility and move the organization past bankruptcy, which can generate new interest in Scouting and generate increased donations.
  • Improving the organization’s online registration system.
  • Improving the rechartering system for Local Councils and Chartered Organizations.
  • Expanding delivery methods that make it easier for individuals who might not have access to a local Scouting unit to participate through lone Cub Scouting and increasing these Scouts’ virtual experience.
  • Gradual restoration of Local Council resources / refocus on membership growth.

 

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  • Jameson76 changed the title to 2021 - New Membership Fees - The hits keep coming.....

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