Participation Membership Proposal

The Proposal itself:

1.         Do away with "membership" in the SCA, Inc. as it is currently constituted. The SCA, Inc. will no longer sell "memberships" from the central Office. (For those who are not aware: the SCA, Inc. is a non-member corporation; there are no legally recognized members of the SCA, Inc., not even the Directors.) "Advisory Membership" for the purposes of polling, ability to impeach Directors, etc. will be determined by attendance at events or other regular group activities (business meeting, guild meeting, fighter practice or the like) of SCA groups. Anyone who attends one event or two group activity meetings within the space of two years will be a "member", instantly. (See proposed rewrite of sections of the Governing Documents (link).) Note that these people would not necessarily be "members" of the group hosting the event. They would be "members" of the SCA. In terms of membership in a local group, see my default proposal for maintenance of membership rosters.

         Those who wish to contribute significant amounts of money to the SCA, Inc. (threshold amount to be determined by the Board of Directors) will have their names publicly acknowledged and be given the sincere thanks of the Board of Directors as well as a letter acknowledging their contribution, suitable for use in documenting such contributions for the IRS. However, the privileges of advisory membership cannot be purchased by such donations.

         Waivers (for U.S./Canada events) would be signed at the gate, using a roster-type waiver which would also be used to count the attendees. They will be stored by the Kingdoms as has been currently mandated. Proof of attendance at an event, such as a dated receipt, would act as a proof of a waiver on file for the purposes of fighter practices and as proof of membership for pollings and the like. (See new procedure on polling.) A receipt could be as simple as a business-sized card with the name and date of the event, a space for your name (to be filled in by you) and a validation stamp on the back. It would be handed to you with your site token. Proof of membership by attending other group activities would be a signed receipt from the Seneschal or other qualified officer of the group. Such receipt would not be proof of a waiver on file unless one was executed and properly sent on to the Kingdom Waiver Deputy and its presence noted on the receipt..

2.         Kingdom newsletters will be run by the Kingdoms, on a subscription basis. T.I. and CA will be run on a subscription basis by their editors. Subscriptions to T.I. and CA would be handled on a cost-recovery basis by the Corporate Office. Anyone may subscribe to a Kingdom newsletter or to T.I or CA, member or not. Kingdoms may establish a subscription secretary to handle subscriptions, or may opt to continue to use the SCA Corporate Office as a subscription fulfillment service. If they do so, the cost of the clerk will be part of the budget cost of the newsletter and included in the subscription price. Oversight will be provided by the Kingdom Exchequer and Seneschal in those Kingdoms which opt to operate independently. The Society Chronicler will monitor all newsletters, just as now, and make sure that they are operating properly and the Society Exchequer will monitor their funds to make sure that they are calculating subscription liability correctly. (See Discussion for transition implementation.)

3.          The SCA, Inc. Corporate Office will move to a two- or three-room, *small*, office with one direct employee, the Administrative VP, possibly reduced to part-time status, to answer outside questions, coordinate the meetings and business of the Directors and handle requests for insurance riders, etc. (See Discussion for cost analysis.) The Corporate Office would also host any clerks necessary to act as a subscription fulfillment office for Kingdom newsletters which elected to use that option. Corporate documents, including officer manuals, will be available for download from the SCA web site. The Stock Clerk will be removed or converted to a cost-recovery basis. The few necessary requests for printed documents will be met by on-demand printing and mailing at cost.

4.            Covering the necessary costs of the SCA, Inc. - Costs of Board Meetings, the Corporate Office, liability and other insurance, salary of the Administrative VP, and stipends for the Executive Assistant, Society Seneschal and Treasurer, will be funded by a franchise fee of $1 per attendee per event for "standard SCA events", $5 per attendee per event for "large/long wars" and $10 per attendee for Pennsic War. Events which charged no entrance fee and for which the total group outlay was less than $1 per person would be immune  from the franchise fee. (Events which had a "voluntary donation" would be charged the franchise fee, based on attendance.)  Children under 12 years of age (or admitted free of charge) would not count towards the number of attendees. (See Discussion for income estimate and other details.) Business meetings, demos, guild meetings, fighter practices and the like will not incur the franchise fee. (Note: The fee would be incurred by the group hosting the event. Funds to pay the fee could come from any source the group wished, not necessarily from the event itself -- although that would be the easiest way to calculate and raise the money.) 

          Non-US groups. In acknowledgment that currencies are generally weaker outside the U.S. and that currency exchange costs can be substantial and that some of the corporate benefits are less tangible for those groups located outside the United States, the franchise fee for such groups shall be half of the standard fee set out above (in U.S. dollars) and shall be held locally for use by the SCA, Inc. Optionally, a separate franchise fee shall be negotiated between a foreign corporation and the SCA, Inc., by the Board of Directors.  (The relationship between the SCA in Australia and the SCA, Inc. can serve as a model for other non-U.S. groups.)

(Onward to my Discussion of the Proposal)

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(modified 2 December, 2002)