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Forums: Questions and Answers About Building Your Site
Created on: 11/19/12 12:38 PM Views: 4951 Replies: 17
Monday, November 19, 2012 at 12:38 PM

Has anyone thought about charging for Alumni to join the site? My site covers every school year. It is getting so big and taking most of my day to keep up with it. We have over 2500 Alumni and growing daily.
I am not sure even if you can charge on the site. Then the next thing would be is how to stop log in without paying.

Monday, November 19, 2012 at 1:09 PM - Response #1

2 cents (or less).

It wouldn't be easy to charge without CC changing the system. I can think of some ways, but suggest other alternatives. That would go against the grain as plainly stated on your site. (this is the next size up hereCool

The site is FREE
There are NO membership fees!

You can ask for donations though and explain why. I'd also ask for volunteers to help you manage. It is a lot of work.

Others can chime in with how donations have worked out. We had a slight surplus $ from the reunion and have 3 of us that do 'the work'.

Having a 'free' site, helped organize events. Although we are now resting - next year will have a small informal 70 year old thing. More like a giant family gathering. We learned from our reunion what works best - turns out it was the least expensive and most casual.

Hope that helps a little on money and help.

Edited 11/19/12 1:10 PM
Monday, November 19, 2012 at 1:58 PM - Response #2

We asked for donations and had a great response.
We are paid up for 10 years.

Monday, November 19, 2012 at 2:14 PM - Response #3

Bill, we too took donations at our last reunion, and paid for ten years!
You have probably seen this idea before, but I have seen other multi-year sites have one person from each class responsible for their year.
That might take some of the load off of your shoulders.
Might be a 'learning curve' for them, as well as a 'teaching curve' for you, but I am sure it would pay off in the long run.
Good luck!

Monday, November 19, 2012 at 2:27 PM - Response #4

Bill, is your question really, how do I become a paid Admin for my multiple year site?

Monday, November 19, 2012 at 7:53 PM - Response #5

I would like to have the option of charging a small fee for access.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 7:15 AM - Response #6

We are a 501c3 non profit and we would like to have the ability to charge a small fee for the site in order to support our scholarship program. Not really a fee for the site only but a fee to be a member of the Alumni Association

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 10:21 AM - Response #7

Hmmm - a fee to be a member of a 501[c]3?
I might be wrong, but I think you might be pushing the envelope there.
Not so sure Uncle Sam would be too happy with that.
That might be against the rules of a 501[c]3, and I have never heard of such.

Perhaps not allowing anyone access to the web site who has not paid a small fee to be a member would work. Then again, you will have some folks giving out their passwords to allow other to see what is going on with the site.

With 2500 members, asking for a one dollar from each would go a long way to perpetuating the site!

Edited 11/20/12 10:23 AM
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 10:46 AM - Response #8

501(c)3 organizations operate on a membership basis all the time. The trick is that you have to discount the *value* of membership in terms of benefits received from the amount paid for that membership in order to determine the tax deductible portion of it, which you then have to provide to the member as documentation (including your org's tax ID number).

However, please note that I am not a lawyer and the above comments are my personal conclusions based on my own experience and are not intended to be conveyed as definitive or as legal advice.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 10:52 AM - Response #9

You are current, we are allowed to charge annual dues which support the mission statement of our non profit.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 11:08 AM - Response #10

I sit corrected <> because I am not standing <>.
I should have figured that out, since I know that not 100% of all donations to 501[c]3 organizations are able to be written off. [I go through that when I get everything together to file my Income Tax.]

Re: which you then have to provide to the member as documentation

As I recall, there is a dollar figure there where the organization HAS to provide, and I don't recall the amount

- O.K. Eric, surely you know of a CC member who is a tax attorney or CPA you can call upon to 'chime in' on this!Laughing

My bad - I will go back to my corner.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 2:24 PM - Response #11

Interesting topic and answers.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 2:28 PM - Response #12

Steve, I am the son of a tax attorney, and I was chair of the board of a small non-profit at the time it applied for and received 501(c)3 status. Does that help? Wink

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 3:21 PM - Response #13

Works for me.
But then again, you are in MI, and here in Texas, we are an entirely different country! LOL
Just kidding.

And yes, going back to my corner again!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 8:39 PM - Response #14

Thanks for correcting that, Eric. I was going to speak up. In the non-profit I managed, we charged an annual fee that has since been increased... as have the life memberships.

By the way... Girl Scouts have a membership fee and pay dues. Just sayin'... Smile

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 8:48 PM - Response #15

Okay, with the above said...

A few cents of mine...
1 cent: Class Creator sites are free. (period)
1 cent: If one site were able to charge classmates/alumni for access, eventually the word will get back to other classes (slowly but surely) and could hurt the rest of us.
1 cent: There are many other ways for a 501(c)3 to bring in funds. I'd love to be in your shoes and would be seriously hunting down volunteers and putting them to work!

Okay... three cents. That is my limit.

Let us know what you do. We always like to hear of fundraising efforts -- the pros and cons.

Monday, May 31, 2021 at 11:17 PM - Response #16

Resurrecting an old thread to ask a related question.

I have reunion sites, but this site that I "root admin" but other co-admins do the day-to-day stuff, is a retiree's club. We *do* have yearly membership dues, and access to the club's CC website is also conditional on having paid for membership.

I can't find anywhere (i.e. Preferences) to change the Join Here message which says "Participation in this site is free. There are NO FEES of any kind".

One of the co-admins asked if we could change that wording, but I can't find a setting for that anywhere. Did I miss it or are we stuck? Of course, when a retiree does join, they'll be aware of the yearly membership dues, but it'd be useful to avoid the ambiguity.

Any hints? Request CC for a change?

Cheers, Allen.

Edited 05/31/21 11:18 PM
Tuesday, June 1, 2021 at 8:27 AM - Response #17

Have you considered a 'Purpose Statement' in the form of an announcement that stays at the top of the home page?

We have such an announcement, but it does not necessarily stay at the top, though that is easy enough to do - see our web site.

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