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Hospitality Points and Host Fees have been a topic at AIMs as long as I can remember. The various changes over the years have led to much confusion and if you add the penalty system to the mess - which is unseparable - things get incredibly confusing.

It's only logical that a taskforce was set up to create a new system that would create a system that...
  • aligns the existing (camp) programmes
  • creates a logical and fair hosting reward system
  • standardizes the host fees rewarded to hosting chapters
  • includes the penalty system in all this
For the AIM this year, this taskforce submitted a motion, that lists different options for hospitality points, host fees and the penalty system. Personally, I find the motion terribly confusing, so I guess a fair amount of discussion is required to understand the true effect of any decision being made on this issue. There are a few thoughts, I'd like to through in:

- Charging participants a "host" fee that is transfered to the hosting chapter makes no sense to me. Looking at the vast differences in exchange rates, purchasing power and the cost to hosting a CISV programme, there is no way this system can ever be fair. Fundraising for a CISV camp must remain within a CISV NA or chapter (who are free to charge their outgoing participants a "host fee" to pay for their camps). Also, I'm extremely doubtful, whether a lump of money will ever work as an incentive for CISV chapters to host more programmes. Finally, I think the sheer amount of money transfers around the globe should be avoided wherever possible.

- I'm all in favour for a hospitality point system, but it must be simple. The suggested system is terribly complicated. If this is to serve as a motivator for NAs to host programmes, NAs must understand the implications of what they do. My suggestion: 1 point for hosting one person from another country per programme, full stop. If you host a village, you host 11 incoming delegations of 5 individuals plus 4 JCs, you get 59 points. The next year, you get to trade those 59 points into 59 participants to send abroad.
- From the psychological research on learning, it has been known for decades that negative incentives ( "penalties") don't work very well. Much better are positive incentives. Let's award extra hosting points to every NA that doesn't cancel late, sends the right gender and submits their forms in time. The other issue is, that any NA that doesn't comply with our rules, obviously is in trouble anyway. Whatever their problem is (lack of volunteers, lack of funds), punishing them by charging them fees won't make things better.

Obviously the whole issue is quite complex, so it won't be easy at all to role out a new hospitality point, fee and penalty system all at once. I hope the trustees are brave enough for change and ready to invest some time until a new system finally works. It is really necessary.

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As I was involved I can comment.

1) I agree that fees are "bad". The "old" CISV way of sharing the burden/effort of hosting rather than the cost of hosting, as you say removing the differences in cost and purchasing power. If everybody hosted a bit more than they sent (the difference goes to ODC) then this would work like a charm. Problem is that this is not the case. Certain NAs do not host at all, even being A nations, where as others are hosting significantly more than the get in return. Some of those NAs have been complaining that they do not get rewarded for their efforts.

The net cash flows here would (on an NA level) be the difference between receivable and payable fees, so for most NAs there will only be a minimal cash flow.

The next point is that this system gives the NAs flexibility; they can choose to "ignore" the system by not asking their participants to pay, and not to pay their own activities. Or they can blend it in their own national fee system...

My feeling is that at the current point this is the least of all evils; and since it has been running for most programmes for a long while, expanding it to village is not a big change.

2) For the point system. Your simpler system has one problem; any cunning NA will start hosting large short youth meetings and want to send village delegtions... the system will break down. Hence some duration factor must be built in, and we found participant-weeks to be the simplest.

The part of village point vs. summer camp points etc. is more optional, and could be removed, though taking with it some steer towards balanced hosting.

3) Fees are difficult. Anything related to points must obviously be agreed in conjunction with this motion. Monetary fees can be discussed separately. Regarding positive rewards; giving points would be an idea but one would have to ensure that we do not give out more points than there are places to buy, or else we will have a fake currency...

I have one point to make about funding. Small NAs who are single chaptered and who are set in a country that is very non-CISV oriented and it's hard to find grants or sponsors ready to support the hosting of a CISV camp, are having not able to host camps on a yearly basis like some NAs who can afford to do so on a yearly basis because they have the appropriate funding for it.

Yet this NA has everything else to host a succesful camp: volunteers, experienced home staff candidates, a strong supporting chapter, people willing to work on making it the best camp ever. Yet the absence of funds makes it an impossibility for them to be able to host a camp regularly on a yearly basis because "the NA will go broke after 2-3 years of hosting and CISV will have to close"

So yes, there is a need for a "host" fee to support certain NAs hosting camps, but all of the points you made above makes CISV in need of an alternative way of getting host fees to be able to give chapters with everything BUT funds a chance to be as effective as other chapters.

While I agree that the motion as it is is pretty confusing, especially for the point system, I have to say that I'm in strong support of the fee per day concept.
In fact I suggested it several times and even worked on the preliminary concept of the motion in 2007 in colombia.
I believe that system is the most fair way to give incentive to hosting, at least resolving almost completely the funding issue, which is an important one.
The real plus of this system is that NAs can actually decide if charge the participants or not, using the invoices coming from the hosting. Moreover also there is the psychological benefit for being rewarded for the hosting.
I really hope that part of the motion will pass since will enable our organization to have a more sustainable structure to organize camps.

Hani: Receiving host fees means that your participants also have to pay them. If your participants can afford it you could already today collect it to use it towards your village. If they can't afford it you will in the future have equally big problems as today. (You'll have money but possibly no volunteers...)

@LLL: You are right that there points per week are more fair, and also to the problem of "point inflation". Also, it does make a lot of sense of creating a host-fee system that is valid for all CISV programmes.

One more thing why I'm generally against the host fee system: Why try to fundraise, if your receiving the money anyway. Currently we have three sources of income: Participation fees, membership fees and fundraising for hosted camps. The host fee system leads to a shift from fundraising to participation fees, which will yield in more expensive participation, which again makes us more...sorry for using the word...exclusive.

If the cost of hosting is solved WITHIN an NA, there are more options of minimizing participation costs through fundraising.

At the end of the day, as usual, the devil is in the details: Are we talking about a small sum to support hosting, or shall the host fee cover nearly everything? That makes a big difference.

The strongest point in favour of this motion, is that in fact it creates a standard system for all programmes, which will make things more fair and easier to understand.

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