View Full Version : Electronic membership rate and other EAC issues!!
11-18-2012, 11:25 AM
Hate to resurrect a sleeping dog but we need to have this option available and we need to revise how PW is printed. We do not need 100lb glossy paper nor do we need to list attendees to each event. If you want your name in PW, write an article or buy an ad. Local meetings can be posted on the website. Let's publish a leaner, meaner PW. If people do not want to be involved anymore because of change, then let them step aside. There are many publishing programs available. Is this printer doing right by us? Has the board done due diligence and sent the printing for PW out for bids, each year? Or are we just leaving it as status quo. Those of you who want to save PW for the ages, laminate each page of your issue, just make sure you use non PVC laminate. PW is not our contribution to man's genius.
In 2009 it cost $46,000 to print and mail PW. Dues brought in $31,000
In 2010 it cost $52,000 to print and mail PW. Dues brought in $34,000
In 2010 it cost $36,000 to print and mail PW. Dues brought in $32,000
Are we going to pull even?????
How about a preliminary Treasurer's report as of Oct. 31 st. have we turned the corner????
Why don't we as other organizations publish how many members we have, how many joined and were accepted, and what the new membership total is in each issue of PW. This "about the same" member accounting just doesn't cut it.
Looking further into the financial fiasco we lost over $60,000 from our base savings. Who was watching the hen house, when the fox was lurking about? Officers and board members have to be forward looking and not depend on hindsight to correct problems. Is no one taking responsibility for these losses??
Did anybody investigate what happened with the 2010 convention costs? I looked at the financial statement numbers and came up with the following:
Income from bourse fees, EAC sale,reception $35,000
Expenses:Security $9,800; Cases $2,300; Hotel charges $24,000: reception $7,400
The total is approx. $43,600. (net loss ~ $8,500)
We as members need to hold our officers/board members responsible for the quagmire they walk us into. We should not just let them increase the burden on our back with a dues increase to cover up their errors. We should neither have the membership as a whole support the few (% wise) who go to the convention. There should be written in the bylaws that the convention MUST be self supporting. We could if we were more financially secure offer free CDs of PW, but $8,600??? Come on let's institute fiscal responsibility, which doesn't always mean a revenue increase, look also at the expense side.
I still do not have the confidence in the present leadership that the situation is resolved. There is too much dependence on this dues increase alone. How many members have we lost due to this new dues level. We should know by now, and that information should have been printed in this latest issue of PW, the one I got a month after it was mailed. Do we have to wait until next July to find out?? Let's base any further financial decisions on what membership we have.
11-19-2012, 09:54 AM
Step up to the plate and run for office. The club is hardly in a quagmire.
11-19-2012, 07:14 PM
I would certainly step up to the plate if I did have the time, but since I do not presently have the time available, I would not commit to doing a half a** job. However if I did take on a position I would guarantee that I would listen to what the members say and issues such as those outlined above would not happen. Period. The club is not in a quagmire but under who's watch was $60,000 lost???
The rest of my response is copied from another thread I just posted to;
I understand that this, along with most all collectibles groups has positions that are staffed with volunteers. I would not volunteer for a position I couldn't dedicated a decent amount of time to. That is why I am not an officer in EAC or any other organization I am a member of at this time. If I was an officer, I would definitely listen to my membership and try to facilitate a way to accomplish a reasonable request. The job is not what the volunteer dictates it should be, I hope we do not have volunteer dictators. The job is spelled out in the by laws and therefore is not up ti interpretation. Officers, however should be understanding of members wants and if they need to adjust their "volunteering" protocol, then that officer should. It is truly the downward spiraling organization that doesn't respond to it's members needs.
P.S.: If I was in charge of the mailings yes we would have a two tier mailing system. maybe even three tier for priority mailing!!!!
11-20-2012, 02:17 AM
I haven't been around long enough to know if these financial numbers are posted online, are they?
I don't agree with everything posted above but if the club is working at a negative balance each year we do need to change something.
So far I have been very happy with PW, the website, and all the people I have met or talked to through the club. I hope to see the club be successful in the years to come.
11-20-2012, 10:21 AM
Ken, You said: The club is not in a quagmire but under who's watch was $60,000 lost???
Money was not lost. Expenses exceeded revenue and we all had a blast. You should have been there!
11-20-2012, 05:44 PM
Camlov; the financial statements are published in PW usually in the July issue.
Craig; I would like to attend the annual convention and chalk up my portion of the blast but I cannot get vacation time when the annual convention is held. I would love to be there and be the only voice of financial moderation in the revelry of the Sodom/Gomorrah atmosphere.
Money was not lost. That is a correct statement as is expenses did exceed revenue. Two points for you. When expenses exceed revenue for the year you have what is called a loss for the year, a decrease in income. That decrease in income for the year reduces the member equity in the organization. Disregarding the Garvin fund which cannot be touched, thank the lord, otherwise there might be a big party, the society of which I am a caring member has had a decrease in total assets:
Total Assets (less Garvin)in 2009: $150,800 (approx.)
Total Assets " " " 2011: $ 98,900 "
Oops!!! It only comes out to a LOSS in equity of $51,900. I apologize when I said $60,000. But it is a loss. Any accountants out there??
So instead of partying to the hilt, why couldn't that money go to better use for all members. Those in charge need to be more financially responsible and forward looking with a clear vision, not just to the next party where a few can have a blast.
11-20-2012, 06:49 PM
Were you also taking into account the thousands they receive in advertising fees per PW issue in your figures? Seems there a lot of funding not represented by your numbers. Aside from that, I'd pay three times the current dues and still be happy. NOt everyone is unhappy, as this is the first I've heard of this.
11-20-2012, 08:21 PM
Those figures you say which are not represented in my numbers, and they are the society's numbers, not mine, are indeed in the income portion of the financial statements. It was a downhill run. If you compare the financial statements for the last three years, 2009, 2010, 2011 you'll see it. No you wouldn't hear about it because no one would want to mention it.
11-20-2012, 09:37 PM
I have two thoughts about this subject. PW is beautifully printed and I would guess that most copies are kept and cherished by their owners and future owners and not trashed. They are like books. Also this makes people want to write interesting articles because of the quality of the publication and a shot at immortality. Not to mention that for 39 bucks, where can you get such a wonderful opportunity to belong to something of this quality?
Perhaps we need to hire or pay a member to be a business manager to deal with the business end of EAC. Get us the best deals on printing and shows and take the time to get the best results. Just my thoughts....Steve
11-25-2012, 11:11 PM
Kopper Ken, you do an awful lot of complaining and offer little in resolutions to solve 'said issues'.....then you come up with excuses as to why you can not volunteer yourself in assisting in resolving 'said issues'. I have been a member for only 27 years and have been volunteering my time for approximately three years. I have only been able to attend 5 conventions during this period of time due to many reasons but am not bitter for not being able to attend more of them. In your first post I'm sure it was just a typo but you mention the year 2010 twice...a little confusing but I do get your point. This club in not experiencing anything that other organizations have not had to contend with as all expenses are and have been escalating during these years of recession. My perception is that you feel bitter because you can not fully utilize all your membership privileges but offer no suggestions of possibilities of how to fix said problems. I have found through life that everyone likes to complain and point fingers at others instead of rolling up their own sleeves and diving in to work towards a solution. My suggestion is to to come up with ideas that will bring 'profitability' back to this club and contact the board members with your ideas. We still have a healthy treasury and are a non-profit organization and remember all organizations plus most of the world is working at reducing debt and expenses and attempting to stay solvent. Please bring your own expertise to the club and work toward a Win-Win outcome instead of just pointing out all the shortcomings!!!
Take it easy.....Leo
11-26-2012, 09:32 PM
Good pick-up the second 2010 should have been 2011. ;)
There is no way to fix the asset loss this club has incurred, the boat sailed a long time ago regarding that issue. I can only hope that the club leadership and board members will now show some financial and fiduciary responsibility by looking at options to reduce expenses. If I seemed to be making "excuses" as to why I couldn't volunteer, my apologies. Here and now I state: If I can serve in some oversight capacity regarding cost control I would be glad to step up to the plate. Even if you just need me to make up a first class mailing list for "premium" membership, I will do so. I did offer suggestions on the reducing the printing costs of PW (paper weight, amount of print on each page, social issues just on the web page, solicit better printing rate, etc.) Time will tell if these suggestions will be explored. Get the costs in printing/mailing PW and make the convention pay for itself (another of my suggestions) and the club would be OK. There should/would be no more asset losses.
I do not feel that contact with just the board members, as you suggested, is appropriate regarding these matters, or the solutions to said matters. The membership needs to be aware of the situation and participate in the discussions. The losses and runaway expenses occurred in what I would call a vacuum, without the awareness of the membership. Some responses both on this forum and to me personally, indicated that there was a membership unawareness of this snowballing situation. Who in the club really reads the financial statements besides me. All that is indicated to the membership is what a blast was had by all (convention) and everybody should have been there.
Wrong perception Bailey. I'm not bitter at all. My membership fee provides me with the same membership benefits as all other members, unless some have gold membership cards. Maybe we should all get copper membership cards. Oops, another expense!!! Scratch that idea.:mad:
We as a club still have money. I want to make sure that the membership (how many???? I don't know, the actual number isn't published) will not see its assets depleted as they have been over the past three years. Also can our membership level (how many???? I don't know, the actual number isn't published) ever be published, does someone know how many members we actually have? Bailey before you tell me I'm repeating myself again, I'm letting you know i did that for emphasis. If we lost members, especially with the dues increase and cut-back to PW, the leadership better be forward-looking for ways to cut back on expenses. Perhaps I can be the keeper of the membership level, sounds like a job I can handle. Couldn't do any worse, at least I'd make the number miraculously appear.
Can we get pro forma accounting statements at this time.? Where do we stand right now income to expenses?:confused:
Bailey, have you posted on this forum asking the leadership to respond to my questions regarding current membership level, what if any membership losses were due to dues increase, production of present financial position (statements), tentative 2013 (hey I got that year right) convention costs/revenue predictions, solicitation of alternative printing sources and reduction in non essential PW content. You said you can contact the board, right?
11-27-2012, 12:26 PM
Thank you for your positive response to my inquiry and attack/questioning of your motives, concerns and frustrations at the mounting losses this club has incurred in the recent years. The current and pending financial struggles I believe are due to the current financial environment and economy of our country. And a direct result of escalating costs in this recession we are finding our nation and world as a whole is in. Of course I am not 100% positive of the cause behind our current treasury losses and am only making educated guesses(which of course I could be wrong)but you are correct in that we need to identify and correct expenses which are spirally out of control and identify solutions to correct these shortfalls or the club will be bankrupt in just a couple more years.
But by saying you do not want to contact the Board to get actual facts and correct information but you do want to instigate and stir the pot by manipulating words with other members here on the Forum is not a positive action. All you are doing is alienating others and creating an environment of mistrust, accusations and in my perception creating.....'Mob Action'...is not a responsible course of action. All you are doing is creating more problems then working toward positive solutions. I thought the goal was to become solvent again and then everyone wins and the club remains viable, inviting and an organization one would want to join and be a member of.....but all I see you doing, at the moment, is being an instigator, manipulator and trouble maker.....
As for loss of members due to increases and as to how many current members we have I suggest you contact the Membership Chairman whose contact information is located and listed on the inside cover of each issue of Penny-Wise. Also the National Officers' contact information is also located on this page as well and I invite you to write to the Board Members and ask them your questions so you can get accurate information and answers to your inquiries. I'm sure they would invite you to give them suggestions as to what the club can do to cut back on our expenses and find solutions to resolve the financial issues facing this club. Give them your ideas and as you said you could 'step up to the plate' and volunteer your time and expertise in finding alternatives to current expenses, like our Publication costs, and assist the club in saving money and coming up with alternative solutions.....
I again 'Invite you' to be a part of the solution and work toward a 'Win-Win' situation.....
Take it easy.....Leo
11-27-2012, 06:55 PM
Wow it's scary but you could be right!!!!! :( Not that you being right would be scary, but the fact that there would be the need to contact the club leadership rather then expect them to monitor the club website/forum postings would be scary. The financial statements are the correct information, those should be accurate representations of the club's financial position on a specific date.
I would have hoped that there would have been some leadership pickup on the posting under this topic.:confused: It is truly unnerving that there hasn't been.:mad: I will forward a link to these posts to each of the national officers and membership chairman. I will also send the same to each of the regional chairs/secretaries asking that this topic be discussed at their next meetings.
But before I do that I will ask Matt Yohe, the region 8 chair to publish a synopsis of the discussion with the request that members review the complete postings. We'll see if it comes out in this Sunday's Region 8 bulletin. Hopefully Matt is reading these postings and will pick up on my request, letting me know he has. If there is no broader discussion from Region 8, then I will contact those previously mentioned.
Bailey, what more can I do??:confused: Why don't you split the list we me and we could contact them as a team of concerned members!! Wow, what happens if you and I are the only members left????? That could be the situation because I am not aware of the actual number. Are you????????
11-28-2012, 10:20 AM
The best way to communicate with the 'club leadership' is to write a letter to the editor of Penny Wise. Forwarding a link to these postings to all those you mention would serve no purpose. Indeed, the membership chairman is not on line and has no email address. If you want him to be aware of the postings in advance of reading your letter to the editor print them out and mail him a copy. His address is in PW.
The next best way to communicate with the club leadership would be to talk with your regional chairman. He (they are all men) is your voice on the board.
11-28-2012, 04:23 PM
Thank you for your voice in this matter but you are correct. Not everyone uses a computer and is on the internet....let alone be on this Forum monitoring what is being said. You are correct in it would be best to approach and discuss any concerns with your Regional Chairman(protocol)first. Now I am the Regional 5 Secretary but I always clear any club business through the Regional Chaiman first...such as meetings!!!
You of course are entitled to your opinions and thoughts and if you want to continue to go off half-cocked without knowing all the facts...of course that is your right. I do not have all the facts and seeing that I am not a Board Member...I am not privy to all the information and decision making that the Board does go through and consider. But I am on a first name basis with most of the Executive Board Members and talk with them from time to time. I believe they have the Club's best interest at heart and have taken measures to bring the club back to solvency. Time will only tell and if what they have decided does not stop the bleeding then I'm sure other measures will be considered and taken.....
I am done with the verbal sparing with you as I consider it a waste of my time as you are not happy and appear to want to continue to 'stir the pot' and possibly cause more agitation. Take care and good luck to you and above all else continue to persue and collect the coins that interest you.....
Take it easy.....Leo
11-28-2012, 07:17 PM
What statement have I made that I shot off "half-cocked"?:confused:
1) Do we publish membership numbers? No we do not!!! Therefore this is a factual statement and not "half-cocked" Why can't all the members know how many we are?
2) Have I changed the financial numbers, which are published after board approval, to put anyone in a bad light. No I did not!!!! I presented factual information already available to all members, and therefore this information is not "half-cocked"
3) Have I not asked a legitimate question as to what initiatives have been put into place to prevent any further erosion of our asset base? Specifically what we are doing about PW expenses and convention costs. This is a legitimate member request using a society provided communication site. I do not think that is a half-cocked request.
4) Have I not expressed a request that all members be made aware of the current financial position, based on the dues increase, with the presentation of interim financial statements. Again not a half-cocked request.
5) I want the membership to know of my concerns. That's not a half cocked idea. Some of them already know now, thanks to the quick communication over the internet. I will surely consider a letter to the editor but with PW being published 4Xs a year, that would be a very slow process waiting for replies. I will definitely go forward with contacting those individuals as I outlined in my previous e-mail. This tragic situation begs to be made known to all members, not whispered to a few, hoping they will respond to all.
Bailey, "Time will only tell..." How can you be so ambivalent about this. You hope that they have put in sufficient controls to "...stop the bleeding." I want to know where we stand now so I can decide if the leadership has things under control and if not in my opinion, I want to be able to suggest additional steps, and maybe volunteer to help implement those steps. I cannot suggest what to do if I and the rest of the membership are kept in the dark. We might have some great managers/financial people as members, who may not be able to take on a club leadership position, but who would be willing to analyze the situation and make concrete suggestions
I don't mind people having a blast at the conventions, everyone likes to party and enjoy good company, I wish I could attend, but I would still ask are we on track to balance out the convention costs with the income?
Nothing half-cocked Bailey, just the full cocked concerns of a member.
11-29-2012, 09:53 AM
A quick database lookup shows the current EAC membership (at least, those with dues up-to-date) at 1205.
11-29-2012, 01:35 PM
A couple of comments from the EAC Vice President:
First, with respect to the Treasurer's information, "the bleeding" was stopped last year. Please read the report beginning on page 239 of the July 2011 issue of P-W for an explanation of how the $60K loss over 3 years came about. Measures taken by the Board at the 2011 meeting addressed these issues, and, though they were implemented late in the year, the club saw an operating loss of less than $3,000 in that year. We expect to be well in the black for 2012. The notion that the Board was not responsive to this issue simply does not hold water.
Second, with respect to the general issue of who does work for the club, all of us do so because we love EAC, early coppers and numismatics. Nearly all club officials and convention volunteers have the full-time jobs, families, and expenses that every member has; some Board members have exceptionally demanding careers. I have learned throughout my adult life that I have spare time for almost nothing, but I can do whatever I MAKE time for.
With respect to the membership numbers, these vary up or down by a few percent each year, but generally we can say that membership is quite stable. This year was the first time that all members' dues were due in July. That resulted in a large, apparent decrease in membership in July because of the large number of members who forgot to renew. A bunch contacted Chuck Heck to complain about not getting the October issue of P-W, when the reason they didn't get it was that they had never paid their dues. Several hundred members re-upped late, and my last information from Chuck is that others are still doing so.
With respect to the issue of tiered memberships, this has been discussed repeatedly by the Board and in this forum. The reasoning behind the current system has been explained, and I have nothing more to add beyond what can be found elsewhere in Copper Notes.
Finally, I, personally, generally check Copper Notes at least twice a week to see what issues the members have; you will note frequent responses from me to various issues of importance to members. There are times when I am not able to check this site, and in this case it was because of travel and guests staying with my wife and me. I was definitely NOT avoiding replying to this thread.
Region 8 Admin
11-30-2012, 05:33 PM
I hate to start off this post with an excuse, but I feel I should explain my absence these last two weeks, and thus my lack of input on a subject for which I may have provided some illumination. In my real world life I am an operations manager for a big box hardware chain store. Due to the Black Friday preparation, execution, and subsequent clean up, my days have been spent away from my laptop, with infrequent attempts to log in and make sure new members are being added and spammers are being kicked out. As an officer of this club, the topic of our financial health is near and dear.
Through the efforts of the Board, and specifically through the guidance of Chuck Heck, we made some very tough decisions over the last two years. Some of those decisions have been met with a lot of rancor, and believe me, we knew the sailing wouldn't be smooth during their implementation. Refer to Bill Eckberg's post above to see how those decisions have been of benefit short term. And then, please understand that these results reflect a very short period since these measures have been put in place. We have yet to see their impact over one entire fiscal year.
To all of you who are participating in this discussion, I thank you for your passion. But before we cry that the sky is falling, or that the Board is attempting to smooth over or cover up a terminal situation, remember that this very forum was voted on and unanimously approved by that same Board to bring these concerns and opinions into the open. I will not belittle anyone's concerns on this matter, but until the annual Treasurer's Report is published and we can see the full effects of the measures implemented, a change in direction currently may negate the gains we have already made.
12-01-2012, 12:39 AM
I would like to take this opportunity to Thank Matt (who answered all of my mails and made a strong pitch to join) for getting me set up for the homepage and forums, and for Chuck Heck who also took the time to answer all my questions about receipt of PW and the Starter Pack, all which I have now received.
I believe there are great opportunities for this organization to attract new members. This group has some of the most knowledgeable, respected and enthusiastic members in the community. Collecting and preserving early coppers is about our history. We seek to learn, acquire and pass on to future generations the first coins that our country minted. Holding an early copper is a way of holding a result of the hard work and struggle of the persons who fought to make this nation.
Perhaps in the next convention we can have a good discussion on how to open the EAC and all that it has to offer to more collectors. It would be beneficial to move from stable to growing.
Thanks to those who put in the work to keep this organization going. Let's help make it better.
12-01-2012, 08:13 AM
Gentlemen, thank you for your timely input on this matter.....and thanx for volunteering your time for all of us here.....happy hunting and good luck with finding your next 'Cherry Pick'...
Take it easy.....Leo
12-02-2012, 08:57 AM
Thanks to the EAC VP for his response to my concerns. It was nice to hear from an indivdual in a leadership position within the club, and from some others also. I am still concerned on the following issues::confused:
1) The past is the past, that money is gone. Forget about it and let's move on. OK. Steps were implimented, the bleeding stoped and we had a small loss last year. I have a problem with the statement "We expect to be well in the black for 2012." Has the board looked at interim financial statements at this point, and can assure membership now, that indeed we will be in the black. I cannot believe you are waiting for the treasurer's report to be published. Get him to do an interim with projections? With a month to go in the year, I think that is a do-able task.
2) Let's not be embarassed about publishng membership numbers. That's the only reason I can think of for not publishing them in each issue of PW. It's simple math, you list the new members, those that left for various reasons, add one and subtract the other from the prior total and there you go, current membership numbers. If we're stable so be it. If we lost some due to the dues increase so be it. Keep the membership informed.:eek:
3) The board doesn't want to do "tiered" membership brcause we need all the members at the present level to support the printing of PW. That was the jist of the conversation previously posted. Sure theree are many members who collect PW and want to save these tomes for posterity, but I do not. I clip out the articles of interest and file the away under appropriate categories. If the board is digging in their heels and is firm about not offering either an electronic membership option or a first class mailing option, then shame on them. With an electronic option PW will have to change in format and style. So what!!! Is everyone tied to what PW looks like? Personally I'm tied to the content, not the appearence. We can have a number of copies of PW printed and sent off to numismatic libraries. This will preserve the integrity of the information even if storage devices change, which was another suggested roadblock stated by a member. Why as a club do we need to be threatened by an individual who will resign if changes are made?? Are we being held hostage because one individual will leave if we change the look and feel for PW? Be gone with him, there are plenty of editing programs out there.
4) Continuing with the tiered membership thought, but wanting to separate it from the electronic membership option, how does a 1st class mailing membership option negatively impact the club. You would pay your regular dues and then some for getting PW mailed 1st class. Stagnation is terrible for any organization. If a person who volunteered cannot do the job of keeping two membership lists for the mailing of PW, then let that person un-volunteer. Come on, it's a simple process, many organizations do this, why is EAC being sooooo stubborn????:mad:
5) Getting back to PW. Slim it down in format and content, reduce printing costs, place more of the "event" information on the website.
6) Lastly I once again offer to volunteer to assist in anyway possible to implement any of the suggestions I made.
12-29-2012, 09:33 PM
To Copper Ken
--- Chuck Heck, Treasurer for EAC
12-31-2012, 06:41 PM
To Copper Ken
--- Chuck Heck, Treasurer for EAC
Hey, chuck it's now been over two months...did the gentleman give you a call???
Take it easy.....Leo
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