The fee balance.

| 5 Comments | No TrackBacks
Are 9 pounds per day per participant enough or too much?

During our national board meeting in Germany we recently discussed the new international fee structure for our programmes. At the AIM, a standard fee of 9 GBP per day per participant was introduced for the Village, Summer Camp, Seminar Camp and Youth Meeting programme. 3 out of the 9 GBP are used for international administration. The other 6 GBP are transferred to the hosting chapter as a "hosting bonus".


I was wondering: why did we chose these 6 pounds? Obviously we have to strike a balance between participation fees that are to high so that nobody can afford to take part in our programmes. On the other side the "hosting bonus" must be high enough to help and motivate chapters. I guess that the 6 pounds were chosen as a compromise between existing hosting fees.

The other question is, why 3 GBP for administration? This number easier to explain, because it simply has to cover our international expenses: IO rent and salaries as well as the costs of our international committees (which have been fairly stable during the last years) have to be covered by the 3 pounds per participant. It's nice that the amount we spend on administration is so transparent now, but also shocking to see that we are spending 33% of our participation fees on international administration! Funds spent on national or chapter level isn't even part of the discussion.

So what to make out of all this?

- My feeling is that 33% of participation fee for administration are quite high. Hence,  a major goal should be to reduce the percentage of international administration. The best solution would be to increase the number of programmes we host. Assuming that international administration remains the same, no matter how many programmes we have (which is only partly true), we could easily reduce the 3 GBP administration fee. (See also my post about quality and quantity.) The other alternative, of course, is cutting costs by firing IO personel and killing costly comittees. (Why this may not be as bad as is sounds is covered in the starfish vs. spider post)
- We need some kind of a monitor system to measure, whether the 6 GBP host fee are right: Are we lacking hosts (because chapters can't pay to host) or are we lacking participants (because participants can't afford the fees)? Somebody should be keeping track!

A few more thoughts on the fee structure in general:

- Mosaic is excluded, of course. But IPPs and Interchange should be included: Not for the host fee, but for the administration fee: Every participant should pay the exact same 3 GBP per day per participant.
- Seminar camps are also a bit odd: From the 6 GBP host fee only 3 go to the hosting chapter: Comparing Summer Camps and Seminar Camps from the chapters perspective, you only get half the hosting bonus for the latter.
- Personally, whereas I like the ideas of transparency and alignment o the participation fees, I would still favor getting rid of the host fee altogether: Check out my reasoning on the original motion.

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL:


Hey Nick,

I was waiting untill the day that u would comment on the fees.

The 6GBP number came from the seminar and summer camp host fees that they had before the new system. Since it seemed like a succesfull system.

In fact the seminnar for the chapter may be less, but acording to the IFC study they are also much cheaper to host. Also u have to remember that to host a seminar u need the 3 international staffs, that is where the other 3GBP goes. Are those indispensable? I dont think so.

IC and IPP still pay according to the ols system, which include some fee to the international. A next pahase would be to include them also in a simpler system, but that is a challange for the next TF.

Also u have to remember that If u host more then u send the NA would have a net income. So these way the over hosters will have a small,but still important compesation for these.

Former Hospitality TF member.

Hi, IPP was offered the chance to integrate into the fee system already, but we declined because it didn't seem the best way to develop the program overall. Instead of giving more invitations to the ones who host, it makes more sense to give invitations to new countries which, we see, results very often in those participants returning home and deciding to host. So for the next few years while the program is still getting to a regular hosting plan, we'll stick with the freedom to use invitations to expand IPP to new countries, and then once it is stabilized maybe join the system.

So it's not much about the fees at all - this system goes in a few different directions.

Sarah: I thnk there are a number of reasons, why IPP shouldn't be fully included in the fee structure. Besides the ones you mention, I always felt that IPP was the ideal fundraising programme: Why should we discourage fundraising for external money by giving the host "participant money" for free. Still, I don't understand why an IPP (or IC) participant doesn't share the same amount of "administaration fee", i.e. 3 GBP per day.

Tuca: I know that the 3GBP from the Seminar Camp fee are used for staff travel. Still from a host perspective, a Summer Camp has the same length and only slightly more participants, but twice as much "host bonus".

The more I think about it, the more I think that the "hosting bonus" may be especially important for small NAs. With only few participants every year and few membership families, its difficult to gather the money to host a programme. And since most NAs are small, this could really bost the hosting numbers. We'll have to see.

Nick; the ever returning problem here is that it in the end is a zero-sum game. Taking more money in means the participants must pay more.

My key message here is always that NAs must put together a financial system that fits their NA, their culture, and their ability to fundraise money or goods. You can easily use the hosting bonus you receive to pay the hosting fees your participants otherwise had to pay (maybe because your camp is anyways self funding), or you maybe have to levy even higher fees from your participants to cover the high cost of hosting.

A fee system like what we have should be a least common multiple, making sure that underhosters also have to pay for the hospitality received and overhosters receive compensation for the services rendered.

One thing we need to be careful about is to try to sell the "if you overhost you earn more" message; it is impossible that everybody overhosts, as that means there is a shortage of participants, and hence nobody to pay the bill... leading to less income and possibly financial problems...

Hej Nick

@ 3GBP for IPP, The participants are still paying a participation fee, instead of the old 850 GBP hosting fee, that goes to administration. So it might not be the exact 3GBP pr. day pr. participant, but it's quite close

Leave a comment

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Nick published on December 14, 2009 5:45 PM.

Regional Training Forums. was the previous entry in this blog.

Police Quarrels. is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.