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Membership Dues Committee Charter

Beit Am Membership Dues Committee Charter

adopted 12/12/18

Background

As Beit Am has matured as an organization, our expenses have increased. Unfortunately, our income has not kept pace with our expenses and we find ourselves regularly in a deficit situation. Since the greatest portion of our income is from membership dues, it makes sense to re-examine our dues structure to see if we can become more financially sustainable. In addition to financial concerns, there are issues of equity as well. While some members pay their two percent, many do not and simply pay an amount based on the value they believe they receive, treating the organization as a fee-for-service. Beit Am does not want to be in the position of policing dues, yet we are certain that many members pay less than required, unrelated to financial hardship. Another problem with the current dues structure is that it has been a barrier to membership. We know of several families that have not joined because they felt that two percent was too much, particularly when they were new and didn’t know much about Beit Am and how they would fit in. There are other situations where two percent just doesn’t seem right, e.g., non-local members or students. 

Overview

The Membership Dues Committee (MDC) shall review Beit Am’s current membership dues structure, evaluate alternative structures, and recommend to the Board what changes, if any, should be implemented. 

Committee Members

The MDC shall be composed of a Committee Chairperson and additional members who are appointed by the President of Beit Am. Subsequent additions of committee members may be selected and approved by the Chairperson and President. The Rabbi and President shall be ex officio non-voting members. It is expected that appointments to the MDC will continue throughout the duration of the Charter.

Guidelines for the Committee

  • The Committee Chair or a designated member of the Committee shall make quarterly progress reports to the Beit Am Board or as requested by Board President. 
  • The MDC shall not be authorized to make explicit or implicit financial commitments without the written consent of the Board.
  • In developing its recommendation for changes to the Beit Am dues structure, the MDC shall consider the short and long term financial impact of changes. The MDC should evaluate all alternatives, including, but not limited to, the following:
    • Alternative or variable percentage instead of the current 2 percent of net income 
    • Categories of membership, e.g., student, young family, first year, senior
    • Associate membership
    • Restrictions, if any, on alternate membership categories
    • Fixed dues amounts
    • Minimum dues amounts

The Charter for this Committee shall expire once the MDC presents its final recommendations to the Board. This final recommendation shall include a written explanation of the process and rationale behind the recommendation.

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