Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Membership Structure Changes

 by Rhonda Scheurer

On February 8, 2021, the COC held a Special General Meeting to make some decisions regarding the club's Membership Structure.

Decisions made included:
  1. Retire the "Premier Member" category;
  2. Grant voting rights to active club members;
  3. Grant "head start" event notifications to new club members in their first year of membership.
This move was made to reverse a tiered/privileged structure introduced when the club became a non-profit in 2011 without stripping the ability of non-volunteer members to participate in club decision-making. 

Premier Member Category

The "Premier Member" category of membership will be phased out.  All current Premier memberships will run their course, complete with the existing "perks" of voting rights and head-start notifications.  

As Premier memberships expire, the members will be automatically converted to Regular member status.

Voting Rights

Active members will receive the right to vote at COC's general meetings, including:
  1. Special General Meetings;
  2. Annual General Meetings.
The definition of an Active Member will be at the COC Board's discretion.  The definition that we have chosen as a starting point is:

A member who has been in good standing for at least six months, and:
  • Has attended 3+ events in the past six months; OR
  • Has attended 6+ events in the past year; OR
  • Has attended 20+ events in the past three years,
or has otherwise demonstrated an active commitment to the club, as determined by the Board.

Note that Premier members will also have voting rights for the duration of their Premier member status.  As Premier member terms expire, the members will automatically become Regular members, at which point they must meet the definition of Active Member in order to receive voting rights.

Head-Start Event Notifications

During "normal" times (i.e., not Covid times), new members have had a notoriously challenging time getting on COC events.  The Board decided to grant the four-hour "head-start" event notifications to new members during their first year of membership.

What is a "head-start" event notification you ask?  Well, on the website under "Membership", "My Account", "Preferences", members can subscribe for notifications of new events posted to our event calendar.  The "head start" event notifications just means that the members who receive the "head start" get the notification e-mails four hours ahead of the rest of the gang.

Note that Premier members will also receive the head-start event notifications for the duration of their Premier member status.

Friday, January 1, 2021

Phone-Friendly COC Site - BETA

by Rhonda Scheurer

The COC is pleased to announce we're finally moving forward with a device/phone-friendly version of our site.  

The BETA version of the site is now available.  When you access our web address from your phone, you should be automatically directed to our "friendly" site.  

On the BETA site, you can:

  1. Use the menu to access your available options
  2. View a list of upcoming events;
  3. View the details of an upcoming   event;
  4. Log in;
  5. When you're logged in, you can:
    1. View your list of upcoming     events;
    2. Cancel your registration for an upcoming event;
    3. View your list of waiting list   spots;
    4. Remove yourself from a        waiting list.

Using the Full Site on your Mobile

What if you don't want to use this "friendly" version, or need to access something that is only available on the full version of our web site?  You can, at any time, switch back to the full site by going to the bottom of any page on the "friendly" site and clicking the "Click here for the Full Site" link.

Going Back to Mobile

What if you go to the full version of the web site, but then you want to go back to the mobile version?  You can switch back to the mobile version by going to the "Events" menu (find "Device-Friendly" at the bottom of the menu).

Additional Features for Development

We would like your input into what other features we should focus on adding to the device/phone-friendly version.  We can't add every single thing that is found on our main web site, so we need to cherry-pick the most important items.  

Please rank our "To Do List" here: [Ranking Poll].  

Report an Issue

We are doing our best to test everything thoroughly, but different devices may produce different results, and we don't own every single device that could be used to access our site, so we'll be relying on you to let us know if there are problems.

If you encounter problems using the device/phone-friendly version, please report them thusly:
  1. Send an e-mail to webmaster@calgaryoutdoorclub.com
  2. In the e-mail, include:
    1. What you were doing when you encountered the problem;
    2. What kind of a device/phone you're using;
    3. A screen-shot of the error/problem.

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Club Funding Changes

by Rhonda Scheurer

Effective December 10, 2020, the COC returned to a “voluntary donation” funding model.

Unlike in the past, however, coordinators will not be requesting a “per event” donation at events. The club will find other ways to encourage and request the voluntary donations needed to sustain our club.

Like in the past, voluntary donations will be just as the name says... voluntary.  We will encourage and solicit donations through a variety of methods, however, the amount of your donation (or lack thereof) will not have any impact on your participation with the club. 

Saga of COC’s Funding Model

The Calgary Outdoor Club started off with an unsustainable “Rhonda pays for everything out of pocket” funding model in 2003, and, to Rhonda’s tremendous relief, evolved into a “funding by voluntary donation” model thanks to a suggestion from a creative club member.

The voluntary donation funding model was very successful through the 2000’s, although it did present its challenges with the way it was implemented - coordinators requesting $2 at the start of each event.  This was a hassle for event attendees, who didn’t always have $2 in their pocket, and it was a hassle for event coordinators who would have to request, collect, and then submit the money to the club.

Over the years, our funding model has continued to evolve including:
  1. Introduction of the “Premier” membership option, which cost $25 per year
  2. Replacement of the “voluntary donation” for “Regular” members with a mandatory per-event fee;
  3. Replacement of the per-event mandatory fee for “Regular” members with $15 per year membership fees.
That most recent change, implementation of the $15 per year membership fees for “Regular” members, took the burden off of coordinators to collect and submit money, and was more convenient for some club members, however, it:
  1. Discouraged events which would have, in the past, been offered without a request for a donation (e.g., in-town events, and events which carried additional fees); and
  2. Presented a “barrier to entry” for new members, who no longer had the ability to “pay as they go” and would have to make a significant outlay just to get started. 

Happening Now

On December 9, 2020, the executive committee voted to return to a "voluntary donation" funding model, which will once again allow members to pay what they wish (based on what they can afford, and the value they feel they’ve received from the club). 

Coordinators will not request donations at the start of an event.  The club’s preference is that donations be sent, via e-transfer, to the club Treasurer.  Coordinators are still able to accept donations at events, if and only if, pre-arranged through agreement between the coordinator and the attendee.  Some coordinators may simply wish to avoid money-handling, in which case, the club asks that members respect that preference and submit their donation another way.

Donate Now

If the spirit has moved you while you were reading this article, and you wish to make a donation at this time, please send an e-transfer to treasurer@calgaryoutdoorclub.com.  If you’re not sure how much to donate, we suggest $2 per event attended to a maximum of $20 per year.

If you’ve already paid $15 for a Regular Membership fee, you have two options:
  1. You can consider that to be your “voluntary donation” to the club until such time that you feel it’s time to donate again; or
  2. You may contact treasurer@calgaryoutdoorclub.com to request a refund.
If the spirit has not yet moved you, or if you just can’t afford it right now, that is fine, too.  We are not in dire straits and are happy to wait.

More Information

For more information about how we collect voluntary donations, see our How You Can Help page on the Calgary Outdoor Club website.

Wondering what's going on with Premier Membership?  We're still working on that.  News coming before the spring.

Membership Structure Changes

  by Rhonda Scheurer On February 8, 2021, the COC held a Special General Meeting to make some decisions regarding the club's Membership ...