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How do you utilize the member's annual dues?

Ebony

I'm new to Meetup.com and a group of my friends are interested in expanding our crew. We have many ideas for parties and events, but as far as charging dues to the members, we aren't sure how to or what to charge?

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Ed Aug 05, 2013 10:12AM EDT
Hi Ebony, welcome to Meetup.com
Charging is a rather hot topic for a new meetup as you are giving potential members a first impression. The following ways are some of the common financial structures meetups are organized as:

1- Annual Membership Fees
2- Pay per event
3- By donation event

The first one requries memberships to pay to join but it may require a lot of policing and chasing down members who havent renewed their fees yet. The sight of having to pay to join a group that is rather new and hasn't proven itself yet may make it harder to build up a membership base. A pay per event may work but it depends on the nature of events you do. if these are free event at the pub, members may find it pointless to pay a middle person for free event and join a competitor group that is offering free pub nights.

A by donation system is probably the most reasonable way to go as members come out, they see how welcoming you and your team are. they believe in your group and its future and would freely donate to the group.
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A. Colin Flood Aug 16, 2013 03:16PM EDT
My Aspiring Writers group charges $5 per person per event and ½ to a dozen people come to hear a unique speaker each month. The Suncoast Audiophile Society charges $50 per year, first meeting free. It has 80 members and reimburses hosts for events at their homes. Tampa Bay Adventures charges $10 per year, but waives the fee if you host an event.
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Rick Drew Sep 03, 2013 01:28PM EDT
I charge a minimal yearly fee of $4.00 - I have around 200 people paying this. It covers my meetup fees and the two-million $$ bond I need to carry to keep some locations happy. That's around $500. The rest covers my printing and gas.
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D'Arcy Nov 05, 2013 04:33PM EST
A many Groups, I charge a minimal yearly fee of $5.00 per individual ,member, and this fee covers Jan 1-Dec. 31st each year. I offer Applicants a Free 7-Day Trial Period, which ends at midnight on the 7th day of their Trial. If they do not pay the required $5 fee to join, then I remove them and allow ONE reapplication with immediate pmt. Thus requires my time and papaerwork to keep track of each applicant, but it is a fair method to use for new applicants. My membership dues covers my web-page costs and natural Organizer time used and event planing costs. I have a busy Group which I host most all events for 3-5 times a week and it is like a part-time job, with very low pay for the time I put into it, but I am not in Meetup to make money, but the fee covers costs and makes each Member commit more fully to their RSVPs. $5 is cheap fpor that many events all year, or even just a week!
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Karen Nov 30, 2013 10:27AM EST
Hello Ebony,
I have a dues/donation button that I use in February and March.
When I had a just dues I lost members but the members I lost where NOT Active.
I Use an Optional donation/dues button that I use only in February and March
after the Holiday Season. I typically get enough donations to cover monthly Meet up Fees.




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Kat Kombrinck Mar 11, 2014 11:42AM EDT
Hi, Ebony, I agree with Meetup that a donation of dues is probably the best way to go. I ask for a $5.00 annual dues donation from every member I approve, but only ask for "renewals" of dues if my "meetup bank" does not have enough in it to cover the bi-annual fees. I know there are a lot of members who never pay/donate, but there are also a number of members who pay more than the $5 because they feel the activities are worth much more to them. I usually break even, or do slightly better, when it comes to paying the fees from the donations. I also clearly state that the donation does not guarantee continued membership nor does the non-payment of donations prevent members from attending our meetups.
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Alex Warren Nov 20, 2014 11:26AM EST
Hi Ebony,

i have been to a number of different meetup groups. At the end of the day it really depends what value people receive. Many networking events I have been too i have enjoyed but in reality received little value. People are prepared to pay for value, your job would be to convince them that they will. Instead of paying to join the meetup event potentially offer the first event for free. If they see value then they are likely to be prepared to pay, especially if you get raving fans writing testimonials about your group.

Cheers
Alex
desk@meetup.com
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