Shocking Dues Stats

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by owls84, Aug 13, 2009.

  1. Wingnut

    Wingnut Premium Member

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    I guess to me it comes down to what your doing the fund raising for... Id much rather be a part of something at the Scottish Rite Hospital than a raffle. To me charity is more than just money, its also the contact you have with people that your helping.

    I sure cant toss out $800, but I can find 2 hours of my Saturday to help with many things. And the look on kids faces when you do something for them and they smile and say thank you or give you a hug is a reward unmatched.
     
  2. Sirius

    Sirius Registered User

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    Amen. I know I would rather participate in a fundraiser that helps someone rater than pays the Lodge light bill.
     
  3. HKTidwell

    HKTidwell Premium Member

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    I was by no means purposefully taking away from the value of giving time and energy to make a difference. Giving up our time is a great thing and shouldn't be negated by dues.

    Wingnut very good point.
     
  4. RedTemplar

    RedTemplar Johnny Joe Combs Premium Member

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    To hold a fundraiser for Shriners Hospital or some other worthy cause is certainly one project masons should support. To extract money from the public at large to pay the lodge light bill in my opinion is unmasonic conduct. Your billfold is usually in the general vicinity of your heart. Or put another way, we should contribute to the lodge "as much as its necessities may require and our ability to permit". Most lodges dues, including my own, are disgracefully low.
     
  5. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    Freemasonry is cheap as hell..period. I spend more on Red Bull.
     
  6. Wingnut

    Wingnut Premium Member

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    At least lodges cant do raffles now to raise money to pay the bills!
     
  7. drapetomaniac

    drapetomaniac Premium Member Premium Member

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    I agree. I would hope most men don't take the time to calculate how much money is lost by sleeping, spending time with family - or sitting in lodge. If anything, I volunteer my professional services as well on occasion (as lawyers are often encouraged to do too).

    The 24 inch gauge doesn't have dollar signs at the measuring mark.
     
  8. JBD

    JBD Premium Member

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    +1,000
     
  9. LRG

    LRG Premium Member

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    Not just lawyers but anyone who can not help or attend and donates money to cause, speaks of high volumes. At least they are helping one way or another.
    Which they really do not have to do. We are a volunteer group, a brotherhood.
     
  10. RedTemplar

    RedTemplar Johnny Joe Combs Premium Member

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    AMEN!

    Nobody can do everything, but, everybody can do something.
     
  11. Skogie

    Skogie Registered User

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    I looked up the numbers on the chart for Arizona, since that's where I live.

    Accurate numbers, no imitation of Gov't statistics. Excellent and accurate chart. The average of $50 dues per lodge is quite accurate and the $16 "per capita" tax from Grand Lodge is correct for 2009.

    HOWEVER! The Grand Lodge "per capita tax" will go up by $4.26 on Jan 1, 2010. A resolution was passed at the last Communication to raise the dues by a very interesting formula after trying for 5 years to raise the tax from $16 and failing every year.

    This time the Budget was presented to all the Lodges BEFORE the annual commnication. If anyone could find a way to reduce expenses or raise income for the Budget, the Administration was open to any and all suggestions. There were quite a few. Only small changes resulted. It was quite simple, really. It costs "X" number of dollars to run GL. When the bucks aren't there, GL has a real problem in serving the lodges and something has to give.

    The resolution proposed that the "per capita tax" be increased based upon a simple formula. The total amount needed to balance the budget divided by the number of dues paying members in the State. It passed with the necessary 5/6th majority present and voting. In this case it amounted to a $4.26 increase in per capita. Therefore next year the per capita tax will go from $16 to $20.26. The Budget then balances.

    Several lodges have increased their annual dues this year also, with several going to $100/yr plus the per capita tax from GL.

    My lodge in Payson has been charging $38/yr plus GL per capita for the last 10 years. Our Utility costs alone have more that doubled in that time. Our total membership has hovered or averaged 95 members every year for the past 10 years. We were once at 115 Twenty years ago. Although we have been raising an average of 3 per year to MM, the GATU keeps calling the older ones home. It seems that every time we take 2 steps forward we slide backwards 3 steps.

    The Officers and Trustees have discussed raising the Lodge dues but due to the current financial/employement problems in Arizona and the fact that many of our members have lost their normal sources of retirement income, we decided not to and wait for the economy/job situation to improve.

    To make up for the income gap, we instead elected to do more fund raisers. Fortunately we have the resources and manpower to do that. We average $1,000 per fund raiser. Now we are planning to do 4 instead of 2 per year.

    This will fill the gap in our budget nicely and also allow us to contribute more to various charities and service projects such as Clothe A Child, Bikes For Books and Child Identification Program (CHIP).

    By paying close attention to cost and income just like any business, a lodge can survive tough times without increasing dues.

    Richard Skoglund, PM
    Secretary
    Payson No. 70
    Payson, AZ.
     
  12. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    +1
     
  13. Timothy Fleischer

    Timothy Fleischer Registered User

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    THanks for this info Brother!
    Masonry is too cheap. Way too cheap.
     
  14. Wingnut

    Wingnut Premium Member

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    Masonry the way it SHOULD be is way to cheap... some would argue its too damn high to read minutes, discuss bills eat some bologna and go home till next month when we wash rinse and repeat
     
  15. Raymond Walters

    Raymond Walters Premium Member

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    Br. Wingnut,

    you have raised a valid question/concern/point. Way back when, in the old days, Freemasons rarely belonged to multiple bodies the way we do today. My grandfather indicated that lodge dues, when based on the economy as it was, were at a higher ratio compared to personal income.

    I have long wondered what is the purpose of needing to belong to multiple organizations when it is tough to devote yourself properly active to one, maybe two. Add to that one's family duties, work responsibilities and anything else, and there is a shortage of time at the end of that 24 inch gauge.

    I have held membership on both sides of the masonic coin. Here is my breakdown;

    On the PHA side, yearly dues ranged from $50 too $100. PHA members are only permitted membership in 1 subordinate lodge.

    On the mainstream side, yealy dues ranged from a low $35 to an exorbitant $450. Mainstream GL's typically permit dual or plural memberships. At one point while a mainstream mason, I belonged to seven subordinate lodges (5 in the USA, 2 in Barbados) for a whopping $1200 per year (just for subordinate lodges).

    Now, a strange anomaly I noticed was that the lodges with the higher dues structure had better attendance than lodges with a lower scale of fees. I simply took it that if you are committed enough to pay a higher rate of dues, you are often more committed to your lodge (I know I was).

    Lodges were not intended to be so large(like they are today) that they grow like weeds squeezing out the purpose of lodge, fraternal relationships! I have wondered what it would be like if lodges would split more often, and new lodges formed with smaller memberships. It would seem that more members may be inclined to participate because there would actually be something for them to do, and they would feel part of the organization.

    I have found this thread interesting and appreciate the time you put into pointing out the average dues structure.
     

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