Lodge Dues

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by RedTemplar, Aug 4, 2009.

  1. RedTemplar

    RedTemplar Johnny Joe Combs Premium Member

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    My Lodge Dues are $53 per year. Half of this goes to Grand Lodge of KY. Is this too much? Not enough? About right? How do you determine what is right?
     
  2. Zack

    Zack Registered User

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    What does it cost to run your Lodge for a year? Contingency fund for AC and such, etc, etc.

    We ran on$35- $50 per year for quite a while which made fund raisers and such a necessity. Not fair to those who put on the fund raisers and bought the tickets while the rest did not participate. We were in the red $3-5K each year.

    Finally, enough was enough, we got dues raised to $129.00. We lost a few members but they never participated anyway. A lot of griping, but they didn't bother to get off their duffs and come vote. Some of our problem came about because of Perpetual Memberships.

    For the first time in years we have a realistic budget and the means to operate within it.

    IMO, we cheapen Freemasonry by ridiculously low dues, cheap initiation fees, unkempt Lodges and the like.
     
  3. JBD

    JBD Premium Member

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    Can I get an AMEN, a SMIB, a Chorus singing?
    People will spend 50 bucks on dinner, 200 to go to Nascar/Football/ whatever; travel extensively; buy 20K Harleys; 2K Guns and then complain about 10 bucks a month for BL dues while paying 3 times that much for Shrine dues or some other such foolishness.

    It is ridiculous that people think they should pay 1950's dues. $50.00 in the 50's and 60's meant something when a tank of gas was $5. given that we should be at $500.00 since a tank of gas is now $50.00.

    Really chaps me - I belong to two BL's one is 85 and the other is 50. Crazy - and the 85 was just raised last year. Masonry is either worth it or not. THe people who built the buildings we are in now did not do it on a nickel and dime basis, they did not "Band-Aid" stuff together. Those men believed in Masonry and put their money where their mouths were and we are still sitting in the very seats they sacrificed for.
     
  4. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    Dues are a sore spot with many Masons. My lodge charges $65 per year, this includes Grand Lodge assessments. The lodge is able to pay its bills, and live within its means, and take care of the building, utitilies, etc. However, if there is a need for a new carpet, or water heater, or roof,etc. They throw a fund-raiser.

    Dues vary all over the place, obviously lodges in New York City, with higher overhead costs, and insurance costs, will have to raise more funds, than a small country lodge out in rural Tennessee.

    I met an official at Mizpah Shrine (Fort Wayne Indiana). He said that the Shrine center had kept their dues at $40, for about eight years, and managed to get by. Then they had some financial needs, and the membership voted to raise dues to $80. The Shrine center had about 4,800 members, prior to the dues increase. When dues doubled, half of the membership demitted.

    Now the dues receipts are exactly the same as they were, prior to the increase. (Kena Shrine in Fairfax VA, charges $120 per year). Mizpah Shrine is worse off, because their membership base is cut in half. If the Shrine Center had "nibbled" up the dues with a $5 per year increase, their membership loss, would have been much less.

    Dues, either for Craft Lodge, or an appendant body, have to remain realistic. Ideally, the dues receipts will be enough to cover the lodge expenses, and generate a reserve, that can be rolled over to cover contingencies.

    Fund Raisers are fine, though. Fish Fries, and grapefruit sales, do more than generate revenue, they get Masonry out into the public arena. Interest in Masonry is spiked, and many of these events, result in men asking for petitions.
     
  5. A7V

    A7V Registered User

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    Jumping from 40 to 80 could be an issue for some people. If you go up by 5 or 10 dollars a year to reach a future goal people would be more open to it in my mind. Yes, it would take longer but you wouldn't lose as many members and you are getting more money just not as much.... yet!
     
  6. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    Bro. Bruce, those are some points that I have never thought of. People don't have a problem paying for things they enjoy how could one possibly have a problem paying for Masonry. You know how I feel based on posts to other threads.
     
  7. Zack

    Zack Registered User

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    A large increase in dues will cost you members. But when those same members have been voting down $5-10 increases for years there comes a time when you have to pay the fiddler. If it costs $10K to run the Lodge the dues should be adjusted to pay the costs. Just my opinion

    Our dues went from $50 to $129 in one jump. It had to be done or the Lodge would have folded.

    Fund raisers are fine if you want to raise funds for a specific project or charity, but for me.....I have fried my last fish in order to pay electric and insurance.
     
  8. RedTemplar

    RedTemplar Johnny Joe Combs Premium Member

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    Amen to that, too, Brother Zack. And besides, if a lodge has to depend on public fund raisers to pay the light bill then its probably one bump in the road from the street anyways. Now, this is just my opinion, but masonic lodge that can't support itself is certainly in no position to help anybody else.
     
  9. Hippie19950

    Hippie19950 Premium Member

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    I can accept a raise of about $5.00 here and there. In our lodge, we are struggling to get the members to come. Many pay their dues, just don't come to Lodge, or help with the projects or fund raisers. If we have a raffle, or they know ahead of time about the other fund raisers, they will buy a bunch of the tickets, or make large donations, and many times if they win the raffle, they have been told to raffle it again at a later date, to make a little more. One Brother is a truck driver, and is not able to meet with us. Last raffle, he bought $500.00 in tickets, and has yet to pick up the prize. He is also the one who hears about hard times, and will call one of us, and make a contribution to help us out. We have a few who do that, or who help with the dues of some of the older Brothers, or the one's who have been burdened with unexpected bills such as medical. I have done that, so in reality, right now I can afford 3-4 times what I am paying ($40.00), but then I can't help another. I know that if we raised ours more than 1
    $10.00 right now, we'd lose members next year... With the economy like it is, many don't have the money to do a lot, or are afraid to. I like doing the extra stuff, but I can only do so much, and we have a LOT to take care of soon.
     
  10. TCShelton

    TCShelton Founding Member Premium Member

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    Brethren, instead of raising dues, look at raising degree fees. We've raised ours at #148 from $70 to $150, and it has paid off big time.
     
  11. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    I like.
     
  12. Zack

    Zack Registered User

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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TCShelton View Post
    Brethren, instead of raising dues, look at raising degree fees. We've raised ours at #148 from $70 to $150, and it has paid off big time.

    Why not do both???
     
  13. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    $100 @ Ft Worth 148 $85 Tarrant 942 $70 Nash #638

    being so cheap has allowed me to join multiple lodge but I am a firm believer Masonry is to cheap, I often wonder how GL gets by on $14.25 a Mason. I have a feeling that will not last long.
     
  14. Wingnut

    Wingnut Premium Member

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    I do believe your correct... I heard a rumor it was changing this year. Ive seen lodges where the degree fees didnt cover what was spent on the degrees for paperwork, sending to GL, paying GL fees, Apron, Bible, mandatory donations for EA and MM degrees etc. But the lodges refuse to change...
     
  15. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    See a lot of people don't understand that out of those fees there is a $5 charge on the EA that goes to the George Washington Masonic Memorial and on the Masters a $25 (I think it is $25 may only be $15) charge that goes to the Home and School, which I don't know why since we don't have it any longer. Then you have Bible cost and apron if you give them. That is about $60+ so if your Masters Degree fee is less than $80 you're losing money. Which we found out at #148. I don't know why people complain about a $20 increase then spend over $100 on fundraisers and donations. Maybe a few Lodges folding is what we need to help wake some up. (I don't wish this but something has to happen to wake up some of the sleepers)
     
  16. Sirius

    Sirius Registered User

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    It's the age of old discussion:
    Mason1: "Something needs to be done!"
    Mason2: "What should we do?"
    Mason1: " I don't know and I don't want to help either. I just like to point out the problem and criticize whatever someone else tries. "
     
  17. RedTemplar

    RedTemplar Johnny Joe Combs Premium Member

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    Don't forget, at least at my Lodge, the dinners served after each degree will average around $200 each. Brothers, it simply boils down to the fact that if we are going to operate as Masons should, we have to ante up.

    Freemasonry, like freedom, ain't free.
     
  18. Ben Rodriguez

    Ben Rodriguez Registered User

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    Annual dues out here are $100
     
  19. scottmh59

    scottmh59 Registered User

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    quote"Brethren, instead of raising dues, look at raising degree fees. We've raised ours at #148 from $70 to $150, and it has paid off big time. "


    yep degree fees is the way to go.
     
  20. TCShelton

    TCShelton Founding Member Premium Member

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    Ours are too.

    I did some research before raising our degree fees some months ago, and here is what I've found:

    In 1906, Ft Worth Lodge #148 charged $75 just to give a man a petition. Each degree was then $25. Dues were only $10. Then, in 2008, we had no petition fee, degrees were $70, and dues were $100. The crazy part is that when you look at it, over the last 100 years, our degree fees multplied by almost 3, while our dues multiplied by 10. Didn't make sense to me. We have the same "old guy" problems that everyone else has, so I went to these "old guys" individually in the weeks before the stated meeting where this was going to be presented, and I explained all of this. By the time the stated meeting rolled around, we had no opposition, and fees were raised to $150. If you are bringing in new members, you probably won't need to raise dues.
     

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