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BCA Pride in Membership


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Hi everybody,

I just was slapping a coat of primer on my house when I remembered that I was going to get a membership for my father for Xmas this year as thanks for navigating my last two trips to the Nationals.

Am I getting old and forgetful, or did I just imagine we used to have a lifetime membership? Like Mr. Earl's marble story, I would think we could somehow average out the age and figure out a cost. It would be more of a pride thing, maybe a special license plate frame or something. I dunno, maybe it's too snooty.

Also, what about putting a "member since" date like Amex or USAA does. Again, more of a pride in membership thang.

Just a few thoughts.

Mike

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I recall that the Lifetime Membership issue was discussed at a BCA BOD meeting a while back.

Rather than "Member Since", what about "Years of Membership" (which would be the total number of years the member has been in the BCA, even if they might have skipped a few somewhere along the line)?

Happy Holidays!

NTX5467

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I think I'm at 20 years in 2007, the BCA had a lifetime membership available for many years, was discontinued a couple of years ago, though, because the cost of postage was out of control and also the price of printing was not supportive of a lifetime membership. So Joe's comment is based on the older choice of having a lifetime membership. This could be reconsidered now that we have a lower cost publisher, but I'm not sure, it's a good idea. It ends up in the end costing the club, but it does keep members, so it's something to be considered, maybe a topic for the February Board of Directors meeing in Nashville. Here's the link on the BOD Meeting

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I did a lifetime membership back in 99 and it was $600. I think when I joined in 1991 it was only $400. While I am thrilled that I was able to purchase one before it was discontinued, Roberta is right that generally, in the long run, lifetime memberships end up costing the parent organization more than planning for dues increases as needed.

That being said...it is a great way to generate interest, raise immediate funds and build a loyal base. I believe that some clubs are now doing a tiered level of lifetime membership based on the age you are when you apply for the lifetime membership. I think if the BCA was to bring back lifetime memberships we might want to look at doing something similar to help equalize costs. A lifetime membership for a 20 year old should cost more than someone who is 50.

Our local chapter has awards for 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, & 30 year members. Just a certificate and a pin. We have enough trouble with 170-200 members, I couldn't imagine the BCA trying to keep records on 8-9K, especially since sometimes people do not renew year to year. But, it would be nice to have a BCA pin available for purchase by members who would like to celebrate their membership when it hits a certain anniversary. After all, we seem to keep the best records for ourselves and usually know how long we've been in a club.

Just a thought.

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BCA must keep member records somewhere?

I was first a BCA member back somewhere in the late 60"s or early 70's.

I am not currently a paying member, but I am an on again, off again, BCA member.

I think my number is in the 12 hundreds. It seems to me some one in BCA must keep good membership records, because I got my original # back when I rejoined.

Given that, it may be that paid years may also be recorded... somewhere.

We have a local club here that is challenged to keep member #'s straight. So I'm impressed with BCA keeping old member #'s straight, especially when you consider it started in pre personal computor days.

One interesting thing I heard talked about was that a member can consider that they 'own' their #, and wouldn't it be neat if they could sell their #, just like you can do in some locations with personalized license plates. I heard that talk here as it relates to some of the very low #'s that are coming available. Now that would really bung up the record keeping.

Well I'm rambling and am not really trying to make a point, just observations.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> But, it would be nice to have a BCA pin available for purchase by members who would like to celebrate their membership when it hits a certain anniversary. After all, we seem to keep the best records for ourselves and usually know how long we've been in a club.

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Kris,

That's actually a cool idea for a local chapter fundraiser. Celebrate is a really good word for it. I wish i had thought of it. I realize it's not official, but like I said, it would be (at the least) an interesting conversation starter. I still think somebody should bring back the license plate frames. I would like to put one on my truck...not a Buick, true, but I can't think of a good reason to be advertising for a car dealer.

Mike

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Much of how easily some of these ideas could be implemented would depend greatly upon the existing and ARCHIVED records of the BCA. I highly suspect that when the BCA Office was moved from CA to OH, everything was "analog" with "digital" possibly coming into being in much more recent history. In the absence of these records and their ease of use, we would only have the word of the members and their "best recollection" . . . with all due respect. Mike and Nancy would be the ones to best comment on that part of things.

I believe the BOD meeting where the discontinuation of the Lifetime Membership was in Kokomo. Even back then, it was (as I recall) noted that a very small percentage of existing BCA members were taking advantage of the lower cost (in total) Lifetime Membership. It was noted that it was a cost burden at the price it was then, due to increases in mail costs and such. This was also a time when the BCA Board was trying to lessen and minimize the flow of yearly red ink on the club's financial statements.

At that time, mail costs were a significant "rising" expense, including (as I recall) international mail expenses. Printing costs were an issue too. In those scenarios, projected out for about 10 years or so, there was something that needed to be done and the end result was the discontinuation of the program.

I know there are many new people in "here" and also in the BCA now. Perhaps the take-rate of the Lifetime Membership would be greater now than it was 10 years ago? That would be open to speculation at this time, although it would appear to be a desireable situation in the small statistical sample we have here.

It could also be a good deal for those approaching their "fixed income" portion of later life, yet with many people living more than 20 years past their normal retirement age, there could still be issues with costs rising in the future, much less in 20+ years.

From a business perspective, attempting to project/predict future costs past current contractual agreements might be an interesting thing to attempt. As good of a deal as the Lifetime Membership might be, it still should still be a financially viable situation for the BCA . . . and that's where the catch would come in . . . pricing accordingly.

Now, in one scenario, the cost of the membership AND number of Lifetime Members would be reviewed every few years, to gauge both participation AND what the program was actually costing ("costing" being defined as actual costs of implementation + production & mailing expenses and NOT the amount of potential income lost due to the program's reduced yearly membership cost).

It would not bother me if the Lifetime Membership was reinstated IF the costs were reviewed periodically (every two years) and adjusted as necessary. Participation would ALSO be part of that mix, too, with a possible minimum number of members in the program to justify the time spent in administering the program.

From an accounting standpoint, I can see where it could be more complicated than you might expect. For example, just where you counted the income from the program (incrementally or "up front"). I just remember some of the Corporate Finance class work I had in college, about where certain costs or income would be counted (current year, amended past year, or at some future date). Without some of these considerations, it could cause some unnatural spikes in some of the figures on the financial statements.

Another scenario on pricing a 20 year Lifetime Membership would be that you price it as a "good deal", but a deal that would make money in the front side of things, then move toward neutral profits later on, and possibly into "the red" toward the end of the term. In average, it'd all work out "+", hopefully, but could easily go "-" with NO chance of increasing existing members' rates (although new members' rates could be adjusted accordingly).

In the "Number of Years" issue, it might be intersting to see the data on how many BCA members might skip a year or more in continuity of their BCA memberships and then return. In theory, this could allow somebody with a low BCA number to skip a few years (or a year of so every so often) and still appear as a long-time member. This would need to be verified by the BCA Office and could be a "point of contention" between the BCA Office and the individual (with respect to the "accuracy" of the BCA Office's records). Although the pins would be a chapter project, the BCA Office would still be the "holder of the official records" and would have to verify each pin's recipient.

One thing to ALSO consider is that as more and more work might be required of our great BCA Office managers, it could also reasonably result in an increase of BCA Office operating costs due to the increased workload from prior contracted levels. If you do more work than you contacted for, you might tolerate the increased workload until a certain point is reached when you would determine that more compensation would be desired to continue what you're doing--look at that from YOUR own perspective. Of course, these things would be the judgment call of those actually involved in the situation.

License plate frames can be a good chapter project too, but some states (including TX!) now have statutes on the books about license plate frames covering up "original artwork" on the license plates themselves. Therefore, that project would need to comply with these existing statutes as necessary . . . or mirror what many auto dealers are now doing, just put "Buick Club of America" where the dealer's information would be. Gold or silver? Might even put the model year of the car they are on in the mix too? What ever happened to the BCA decals?

In one respect, the club decals and license plate frames might be a better way to display "BCA Pride" than a Lifetime Membership that would be invisible to the general public. Lots of interesting ideas and possibly some investigation can be done to explore implementation thereof.

Happy Holidays!

NTX5467

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