Dues--What's too low and what's too high?

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by cacarter, Feb 5, 2014.

  1. cacarter

    cacarter Premium Member

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    If you look over at the "Kind of a Roll Call" thread it has talked a lot about dues and what's too high and what's too low. So let's have a discussion about it in a thread dedicated to the topic, instead of hijacking MasterBulldawg's questions.

    What do you consider too low?

    What would be too high for you to pay?

    What is your "Goldilocks" amount you'd pay for dues?

    What should be done about members who are older and on a fixed budget, especially if they don't have an endowed membership?

    What do endowed/life memberships cost in your state?
     
  2. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    At my mother lodge some brothers have long since purchased a life/endowed membership while others request their dues be remitted. There was a vote decades ago to not adjust the dues based on age and to not stop dues for 50 year members. It was decided that reducing the dues by age before retirement has no effect on either dues paying or life membership purchases. After retirement we get plenty of requests for remit where there's a check for partial dues in the request letter.

    At my other lodges 50 year members no longer receive dues bills. They have a sort of "Emeritus" status.

    California 22 times dues (22*70=1540).

    Illinois 19 times dues (19*50=950). 19 times dues (currently 19*90=1710).

    Texas Fixed number 500 (which is the annual 75 times 6 and 2/3rds). Buy one for yourself and posthumous ones for two deceased brothers based on the pattern elsewhere ...
     
  3. Browncoat

    Browncoat Registered User

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    My take on dues:

    This is a nonprofit organization. Dues should be a simple math equation of members divided by operating costs. A Lodge should have a pretty good idea of how much it takes to keep the lights on, and base dues on that. Dues = how much does it cost to affiliate or belong. All other expenses, anticipated or not, should be handled via fundraising events and donations.

    I think $200/yr is the max I would pay for dues.
     
  4. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    1. $100+
    2. It would depend on the experience. Don't expect me to pay out the nose if a group of unrehearsed Brethren show up, feed me a sandwich and put on a crappy degree. Why would a candidate invest their time and effort if the Lodge doesn't?
    3. Right now? The minimum amount required by my Grand Lodge
    4. Can't afford $50 a year? Drop em. $50 is less than a tank of gas. It's one meal with the family. It's less than a month of cable tv. How valuable is Masonry to you?
     
  5. Zack

    Zack Registered User

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    What should dues be?
    The total of what it costs to run your lodge for 1 year divided by the number of members.
     
  6. Zack

    Zack Registered User

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    What should dues be?
    The total of what it costs to run your lodge for 1 year divided by the number of members.
     
  7. jvarnell

    jvarnell Premium Member

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    We just raised our due's because we lost a renter that was renting the ground floor of our building. I don't think it is to high because I have never been a part of an org that has so low amount I pay. Church 10% and business orgs $2000 or $3000 a year. Well I guess the TSRA and HOG group is about the same as my lodge.
     
  8. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    I take it there are other orders that do this. Which ones? Some Elks have told me this is why their dues change year to year.
     
  9. cacarter

    cacarter Premium Member

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    How would non-payment of dues affect this plan?
     
  10. Zack

    Zack Registered User

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    It would be year to year. Non-payment, dues would go up. New member, dues go down.

    Perpetual Membership, what I guess is referred to as Endowment in this thread, has not been a good thing for lodges around me. It does nothing for the cash flow as monthly expenses continue to go up.
     
  11. cacarter

    cacarter Premium Member

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    I guess I mean for that year, if you're operating at a shortfall because dues haven't come in. I guess the savings the lodge has come into play at that point?
     
  12. Browncoat

    Browncoat Registered User

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    Experience + record keeping. There should be a historical record that can predict with a certain degree of reliability how many NPD/demits (dues shortfalls) and new members (dues surplus) a Lodge will have.

    Any shortfalls or expenses outside the budget should be covered via fundraising.
     
  13. MasterBulldawg

    MasterBulldawg Registered User

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    What do you consider too low? 75 or less

    What would be too high for you to pay? 400 or more

    What is your "Goldilocks" amount you'd pay for dues? 125-175

    What should be done about members who are older and on a fixed budget, especially if they don't have an endowed membership?
    not sure would depend on how many the lodge has

    What do endowed/life memberships cost in your state? 20 times your lodge dues
     
  14. Companion Joe

    Companion Joe Premium Member

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    What do you consider too low? I don't have number. Whatever wouldn't allow your Lodge to pay its bills. Otherwise, is your Lodge trying to profit from its members.

    What would be too high for you to pay? Again, I don't have a number because it's a hypothetical question. I won't be able to truly answer unless I was backed into that corner. I could say this or that, but until confronted with it and writing the check, there is just no way to answer. I don't put a number on Masonry.

    What is your "Goldilocks" amount you'd pay for dues? Clearly I am thrifty, so the least I can get away with! I still long for the days of my youth when $10 meant a full tank of gas. I remember others as well as myself losing it when gas went to $1 a gallon. Using the analogy someone did earlier, $50 is a tank of gas. I remember being in a position when I filled up, thinking "That was just five hours of work I'll never get back." Thanks to loyalty discounts, I was able to fill up for $2.83 a gallon yesterday and was giddy. It pains me to fill up with gas. Heck, you can't even go to the grocery store or Walmart anymore without dropping $100.

    What should be done about members who are older and on a fixed budget, especially if they don't have an endowed membership? It was said earlier to drop 'em. Wow. Just this year we had a PM demit because he has retired and can no longer afford to pay the dues. We had a PHP demit from the Chapter and Council because he can no longer afford the $34 combined dues. Both were valuable Masons, and now both are gone.

    What do endowed/life memberships cost in your state? 20X dues+per capita tax. I am a life member of my Chapter and Council. I will do a Lodge life membership this year, which will cost $1300. I wish I was in a position financially 10 years ago to have done it.
     
  15. DJGurkins

    DJGurkins Floresville #515 Premium Member

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    I am going to get an Endowment for myself. That will allow me to pay my dues when I can thru the year( because an endowment is intended to provide for the lodge after you are gone)instead of by Dec. 31 . December is a difficult time traditionally, With Christmas and all. So what I plan on doing is Paying for an Endowment then Paying Our dues for a distressed Bro. and possibly mine as well later in the year. Our Dues are $130 so that don't leave me much wiggle room in my finances in one month so I have to plan accordingly. As for how much is to much? I think this is completely dependent on the Lodge. For instance our building is paid for and not to old. Being that it was built in 1971 I think and made of brick, all of the interior is in real good shape this puts us in a much better place than an older lodge building in a big city with a historical background.
     
  16. goomba

    goomba Neo-Antient Site Benefactor

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    What do you consider too low? Less than $50.

    What would be too high for you to pay? More than $500.

    What is your "Goldilocks" amount you'd pay for dues? $250.

    What should be done about members who are older and on a fixed budget, especially if they don't have an endowed membership? The lodge takes care of them by grandfathering in their dues or waiving them.

    What do endowed/life memberships cost in your state? 15 x annual dues or a min of $600 which ever is higher.
     
  17. Teergear67

    Teergear67 Registered User

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    We voted to raise ours this year to $110. That's less than $10 a month.. I spend that going thru the drive thru for a burger meal.


    William R Teer Sr
     
  18. rpbrown

    rpbrown Premium Member

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    We just voted to raise ours to $100.00 and there was some resistance at that. We were at $80.00
     
  19. bupton52

    bupton52 Moderator Premium Member

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    Do all of these amounts include GL tax?
     
  20. pointwithinacircle2

    pointwithinacircle2 Rapscallion Premium Member

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    I understand that what I am proposing would be a logistical nightmare. It would never happen, I get that. Still, just as an idea, it might be worth considering on a philosophical basis.

    I suggest that a good idea for Lodge dues would be to base them on one days pay. It seems to me that this would be fair to all masons. Frankly, if this system were adopted my dues would increase. I am OK with that.

    Also, it would provide some Masons with an (much needed) ethical dilemma since it would require voluntary self reporting, and would therefore test each mans honesty. Even more radically, I think that no guidelines should be offered for how the value of one days pay should be calculated. Let each man decide in his own heart if he will base his contribution to the Lodge on his gross pay or net pay. Let each man decide if he will divide his pay by the number of days worked, or the number of days in a month. Let each man look into his heart and see who he is.
     

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