Petition Fee

Discussion in 'The Voting Booth' started by rhitland, Jul 22, 2009.

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Should Lodges Charge Petition Fees

  1. Yes, we need the money and the extra protection

    11 vote(s)
    57.9%
  2. Maybe if we adjusted degree fees down by the amount

    2 vote(s)
    10.5%
  3. I think that practise died for a reason

    4 vote(s)
    21.1%
  4. No, bad idea

    2 vote(s)
    10.5%
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  1. Wingnut

    Wingnut Premium Member

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    the cost of the degrees used to sting a mans pocket. Many felt it helped ensure commitment since they werent just spending the amount of a decent dinner... Yep Im for it.
     
  2. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    i dunno if i'd be a mason today if i had to pay for a petition.
     
  3. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    I would be for it but the bar would need to be raised. I think it should be an option for the Lodge but I think the degree teams should have to meet a criteria, such as certification.
     
  4. Wingnut

    Wingnut Premium Member

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    Look at it this way (Im liking this idea the more I think about it off line). Getting the petition is free, turning it in is say $25 non-refundable. The $25 goes to paying for the background check (publicdata.com subscription for example). Then in the by-laws set up your degree fees to be $50 above the GL Minimum. Same with Dues, $50 above GL minimum. This way you dont have to redo your by-laws everytime GL makes a change so that you can keep the same % of working funds from the dues and fees you collect. Any money left over from the $25 application fee could go toward (for example) the fee you must collect for the Washington Memorial, GL of TX Masonic Charities, cost of Bible, Apron, added to the scholarship fund, building fund, donation to GL building fund etc.
     
  5. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    These are all great ideas Brother. The most common reaction when a candiate came and discussed joining was at the point they asked how much, we would tell them and it was always followed by, thats it? Another thing is if we charged more for the degrees and gave them time insead of rushing through it isn't like coming up with $500 in 3 months it is $500 over 2 years or more. Like it was. I am for charging EAs and FCs dues as well. Maybe not a full amount but something. I am not for breaking people but if you think about it, the active members pay WAY more than the dues fees. You have fundraisers they attend and donations thay make. I know I have spent well over an endowment fund fee just this year alone in additional costs. Just think if we raised the dues a bit and sure some will not be able to pay but if they ask for help we could pay annual returns for them. I just believe we get tied up in numbers too much (we will loose 20 members) chances are those 20 never helped or you never saw them anyways. Look at what you will gain and people may take it a little more serious from day one. Much like the teen that pays for their car as opposed to the teen that get a car from their parents.

    I am just saying before everyone is quick to say "no" think of how many fund raisers you have to throw each year and how much money is shelled out by each member at these. Now just imagine instead of 30 members paying $10 during 5 fundraisers (30 members paying $1500 each year) you raise dues $30 to 150 members (now 150 members pay $4500) and degree fees then you are talking about having Fellowship instead of fundraisers. We raised our degree fees by a third or more and that has not stopped anyone or the flow of cadidates. I have yet to hear a candidate say "wow thats too steep" Just food for thought. This may not be for every Lodge but why not entertain the idea.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2009
  6. Wingnut

    Wingnut Premium Member

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    My only problem with charging EAs and FCs is if you make them pay dues, they should have the right to vote and I dont agree with that at all.

    I more than agree about dues. It never fails that the ones that oppose it the most and loudest and the ones you dont see at the fundraisers or building clean up or maintenance days etc. It ends up being the same people donating the time and money for the chili supper to happen, then buying tickets to eat the chili they donated and on and on...
     
  7. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    i think if they're going to pay a petition fee, you need to also give them something in exchange. is the goal to raise money, or encourage better brethren?

    how can we use that 75 dollars to increase their knowledge in masonry?
     
  8. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    I have been looking at it the same way Brother Windel, I mean 3 Brothers take time out to come and investigate so we are showing our commitment why can't they show a little commitment with some doe ray me and then if blackballed refund but if he withdraws after investigation it is non-refundable.
     
  9. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    Yup charge them, maybe that will help weed out those who will take the Craft seriously. Might be an incentive if a person has a little $ tied up!
     
  10. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    i think ideally it's a great idea, but in the current state of things, wouldn't implement very well.
     
  11. RedTemplar

    RedTemplar Johnny Joe Combs Premium Member

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    I never have thought about it. In my lodge, $25 accompanies the petition and $25 before each degree. Yes, we return the petition fee if petitioner is rejected for the degrees.
     
  12. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    is that common of a GL of Kentucky lodge?
     
  13. RedTemplar

    RedTemplar Johnny Joe Combs Premium Member

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    Its probably a low average. IMHO, the cost of freemasonry is way too cheap. In contrast, my lodge dues are $53 per year. The local Lion's club dues are approx. $25 per month. GLoK gets half of our dues which leaves the lodge with $26.50 to operate each year. I could cry on and on but.......
     
  14. tom268

    tom268 Registered User

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    Brothers, I really don't believe what I am reading here. If this is your opinion, then I hope, that you are honest enough to your new candidates to tell them, how hot you are after their money.

    It is absolutely no question, that a lodge needs money to live, and that a lodge has expenses. The annual dues should be for this. But to charge one, to get and hold his attention? Are you really that less confident about your offer, that you need a golden wrap? The value is freemasonry and what he will get through his membership. What holds him is the TRUST and the special EXPERIENCES he will make in the brotherhood, not the FEAR to have invested his money into the wrong club.

    Our annual dues are quite high, so are our degree fees. The degree fee for the initiation is the highest, with about $500, that makes about $1050 for the first year, but we would never ask one to pay for us taking in his petition. Sounds like a bribe in my eyes.
     
  15. Skogie

    Skogie Registered User

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    It's been a while since I have posted (July 09) on this thread. Been busy at lodge & OES, keeping all the lectures and Ritual fresh in the "grey" areas. It can get confusing at times such as knocking on the door as a pro tem Warder in OES or pro tem Junior Deacon in Lodge. Egads!

    Back to the subject of this thread. After much discussion and research the Board of Trustees, with the approval of the membership in 2010 voted to increase the initial cost of an applicant for the degrees to $200. This includes all miscellaneous Grand Lodge Fees and Lodge costs PLUS his first year's dues pro-rated.

    We recently had one applicant Black Cubed and refunded his money.

    Another good man on unemployement and going to the local community college, studying to be a nurse and changing carreers, did not have the upfront money. However he DID have something of more than equal value that the lodge has been needing for a long time: A commercial outdoor propane fired two burner stove on wheels. Approximate value: $300. An approval for a swap in lieu of degree fees was made by the Board of Trustees and membership. Oy Veh! Such A Deal!

    He is a young, strong, enthusiastic Master Mason and donating a lot of his time to maintenance and learning degree work yet has not contributed one dime after over a year. Extremely popular with everyone, good personality and an ulta conserative member of the Tea Party. Now employed after graduation. Lowered the average age in the lodge from 69 years,3 months. to 65 years one month.

    The point being that a lodge has to be flexible in many areas and willing to try something different. This being the first time we ever did a swap and it worked out really well.

    Richard Skoglund, PM
    Secretary
    Payson Lodge No. 70
    Payson, AZ.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2011
  16. Tony Siciliano

    Tony Siciliano Premium Member

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    If we tried charging this much, Freemasonry in the US consist of about 2000 men in New York, Miami, and LA.
     
  17. Skogie

    Skogie Registered User

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    Bro. Tony:

    Yes, that is quite a sum for someone to come up with. Several Arizona Lodges have struggled with the problem of dues, some quoting the inflation factor and that Dues should be adjusted upward yearly and tied to the rate of inflation or CPI. (Consumer Price Index) Others argue that if the price gets too high, we will lose members. Both are correct.

    Some lodges have done just that, adjusted their dues to what a dollar would buy 20 years ago. They went from $30 plus Grand Lodge per capita tax to $200 plus Grand Lodge Per capita. They lost half their dues paying membership the first year. Interestingly, these men did not drop out of Masonry, the simply paid their new high price of dues and then immediately demitted to another nearby lodge whose dues were $60 per year. You must be in "good standing" in order to demit which means you have paid your dues for the current year.

    Then there are the lodges who have a pemanent outside income from rental of commercial space or property they own. This income covers all their expenses for the entire year and more. Therefore they have no need to raise the dues, keeping them low and affordable.

    Others have a "preservation fund" or endowment. While the principal can never be used, the lodge operates on 1/2 the interest received each year, the balance of the interest received deposited in the fund thereby increasing the amount in the fund to adust for inflation. This has worked very well for our lodge in Payson over these many years and we have not had to increase dues except when the Grand Lodge increases the per capita tax.

    We have Fund Raisers, but not for the Lodge finances per se. We have several charitable projects that we use the proceeds for.

    Men do not join Masonry to donate Free Labor to keep the lodge operating. This unfortunately is often the case.

    Proper financial management of a lodge is the key to keeping a lodge solvent. There are many ways to do this without increasing the dues to the point of no return and you end up with members voting with their feet.

    Richard Skoglund, PM
    Secretary
    Payson No. 70
    Payson, AZ.
     
  18. Benton

    Benton Premium Member

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    Two points:

    1) This thread was resurrected from the dead. It was over two years old. If you want to discuss a petition fee, feel free to start a new thread on that topic.

    2) The thread, since being resurrected, is starting to twist off into a dues rates discussion, which isn't the same as a petition fee discussion, as least not exactly. Once again, start a new thread on one, or both of these topics, if you wish to discuss.

    Going to go ahead and close this thread for above reasons.
     
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