4specs.com    4specs.com Home Page

Meals included with dues? Log Out | Topics | Search
Moderators | Register | Edit Profile

4specs Discussion Forum » Chapter Discussions » Meals included with dues? « Previous Next »

Author Message
David Axt, AIA, CCS, CSI
Senior Member
Username: david_axt

Post Number: 560
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Friday, October 07, 2005 - 05:24 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Do any of you belong to a chapter where their monthly meeting meals are included in the chapter dues?

Can you please explain how the dues/meals were determined and if this has been successful operation?

Lynn Javoroski
Senior Member
Username: lynn_javoroski

Post Number: 242
Registered: 07-2002
Posted on Friday, October 07, 2005 - 06:04 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

We looked into doing that a couple of years ago, but because we have a couple of large firms that pay the dues of multiple employees who do NOT attend many meetings, we decided against it. We didn't want to lose the support of those large firms.
This year, we went to a system whereby a member can pay for the entire year's meetings/meals (8) for the price of 7. We have our meetings in one location for the entire year and the meals are a fixed price. Those of us who attend every meeting are getting a bargain. If I miss 1 meeting, I'm still even. If I miss 2, the chapter is ahead. I can't remember the last time I missed 2 meetings in a year.
J. Peter Jordan
Senior Member
Username: jpjordan

Post Number: 142
Registered: 05-2004
Posted on Friday, October 07, 2005 - 06:25 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

The Houston Chapter has for several years now included meals with dues. The cost covers, I believe 10 meals. The awards banquet in June is no-host (usually a slightly better dinner than usual). Our Christmas party is usually a hosted bar (out of the President's budget) and a no-host dinner.

We do have a number of visitors. First-time visitors are hosted by the chapter.

I am not quite sure exactly how the economics work out, but I am sure, knowing our officers, that the chapter comes out ahead.
Harold S. Woolard
Senior Member
Username: harold_woolard

Post Number: 20
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Friday, October 07, 2005 - 08:38 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

The Houston Chapter that J. Peter is talking about, I was the treasurer at that time and did most of the leg work so here is what we did. We increased dues from $45.00/yr to $100.00/yr., we had charged members $20.00 per meeting attended, since our membership at that time was at 207-211 in that range our meetings where drawing about 30-45 average. This includes 10 months which takes care of the 9 meetings we hold at our regular meeting place. We have a "field trip" usually in April or May that is included, but most times we have to limit these to around 40 which is what most tours can handle, but we eat at an agreed place. Then X-Mas we meet and our President pays for drinks and snacks,(a budgeted item) which we take up can goods and groceries that we donate to a needy family with-in our market area. Most members stay and eats on their own after the "Happy Hour-Party"is over.

Our awards banquet is held in June and we ask the members to pay the $25.00 meal cost for that night,(it usually cost $20.00),any vistor that night we charge, except any of the Ex-Presidents and their guest, that night are comp. All other meetings we comp your first meal, then if want to try us again we comp the meal again. Everyone that attends our Chapter Meeting gets one free drink ticket from a hosted bar we have, then you purchase any other drinks. We charge students $5.00 per meal that actually cost us $18.77 with drink ticket included. We had a membership change of -2 the first year with membership, who elected to kept their membership to Institute but drop their Chapter membership. We since have had one person come back, and we have had a steady growth which now is around 231 with 29 student members. We have 36 Institute Members in our area, that are not chapter members. We had 40 Institute Members when we started this dues increase.

Here is one of the reason to go to this we inceased our meeting attendance from 30 to 45 to 55 to 80. We averaged the home meetings the last two years at 71. We had our bank account incease $12,000 the first year just on membership reinbursement checks from Institute. Which helps support members to attend our Region Conference and any other travel expenses. Any other questions contact me at hwoolard@wrmeadows.com
Sheldon Wolfe
Senior Member
Username: sheldon_wolfe

Post Number: 167
Registered: 01-2003
Posted on Saturday, October 08, 2005 - 10:51 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

The Minneapolis-St. Paul chapter went that route several years ago, but only after our membership committee did a fair amount of research, including discussions with chapters that had already gone to meals-included. The increase was about equal to the cost of four meals. I was skeptical, fearing a huge increase in attendance that would cost far more than the increased dues would cover. That hasn't happened, though, and there has been little net effect on chapter finances.

Our chapter awards banquet is also free for members, but the policy for spouses has varied from year to year - sometimes no charge, sometimes $20. The golf outing is not included.

We did three things in a short period, so we don't know the effect of any individual change:

1. We went to meals-included.

2. We started moving the meeting time from Monday evenings only to an assortment of Monday lunch, Monday afternoon-evening, and Monday evening.

3. We started moving meeting locations from a single location in Minneapolis, to traveling meetings in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and suburbs.

As noted, we don't know what any one of those did, but the net effect was good. We now see members at lunch meetings that had not attended before, and the average attendance for all meetings increased by about 25%.

Our total attendance has dropped, due in part to the dues increase, but also in keeping with the membership decrease seen throughout CSI. I'm not too upset, though, as we now have higher percentages of members who are active and who attend meetings.
John Bunzick, CCS, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: bunzick

Post Number: 424
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Tuesday, October 11, 2005 - 08:43 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

The Boston Chapter includes meals with membership fee for a few years now. Prior to that, we had a discounted pre-paid plan similar to the one Lynn describes. By the way, this information is posted on the CSI web site under chapter information.
Vivian Volz
Senior Member
Username: vivianvolz

Post Number: 44
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Tuesday, October 11, 2005 - 04:53 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

In the San Francisco chapter, we pre-pay two dinners a year. We receive our vouchers when we re-up. As a "captive" specifier, my dues are paid by my firm, as is my dinner meeting participation. So I use my vouchers as an easy way to invite my colleagues to join me at meetings. (That's "evangelizing," and don't underestimate its power!) So I love it. Many of our members give their vouchers to our student liaison, who uses them to bring students to meetings for free.

But I do know one person who isn't a member of our chapter anymore because she moved out of the area and can't attend enough meetings to justify the cost increase. I can see that it might impact those people who are multi-chapter members.
Peggy White, CSI, CCS, CCCA (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Tuesday, October 11, 2005 - 07:10 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

As a long distance member of the DC Metro Chapter I was concerned when they raised the dues to include meals. Even though I'm unable to attend meetings I like maintaining that DC connection.

BUT, thankfully they will give long distance members a refund after the annual dues are paid. Since dues are paid via Institute they can't have a separate dues structure when we are billed, but the refund idea is a great way to maintain memberships for members who are not able to attend meetings.

The San Francisco Chapter had a LOT of discussion about including just the two meal vouchers with the dues, and we were very concerned about losing members. However it seems to be working out quite well - it encourages people to attend the meetings, and, as Vivian mentioned, it also encourages us to invite others so that they get to know our Chapter.

Add Your Message Here
Username: Posting Information:
This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.
Options: Automatically activate URLs in message

Topics | Last Day | Last Week | Tree View | Search | Help/Instructions | Program Credits Administration