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Old 06-29-2013, 05:12 PM   #381
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I think the officers and board members are middle and lower management. The staff does clerical work for the most part. This is often the case with nonprofits and does lead to confusion about planning and implementation.

Maybe instead of giving money to the board members for travel, use the money to hire a real exec. director as chief administrator and have that person travel. If the officers and board members want to travel, it is on their dime. They may become disconnected from the membership if they don't travel much, but how would that be different?

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Old 06-29-2013, 05:41 PM   #382
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I think it's kind of nice to meet some of the board members at rallies. I met the current president and the president-to-be at Cortez at the Region 11 rally last fall. And that's kind of the point: To keep the board members in touch.

They don't get anything like full reimbursement for their travels, as I understand it. A good deal of it still comes out of their own pockets.


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I think the officers and board members are middle and lower management. The staff does clerical work for the most part. This is often the case with nonprofits and does lead to confusion about planning and implementation.

Maybe instead of giving money to the board members for travel, use the money to hire a real exec. director as chief administrator and have that person travel. If the officers and board members want to travel, it is on their dime. They may become disconnected from the membership if they don't travel much, but how would that be different?

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Old 06-29-2013, 06:35 PM   #383
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And that's kind of the point: To keep the board members in touch.


Lynn
But, Lynn, does it work? I keep seeing people saying they are out of touch. Some people, no matter what is in front of them, cannot see it.

And an organization this large needs a professional administrator who also can do policy analysis and develop strategies and tactics.

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Old 06-29-2013, 06:50 PM   #384
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The problem with the three strikes rule is that sometimes it takes several times to make good changes. This year is the third time for the caravan change when it should have been approved the first time

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Then we need a bottom-up proposal that limits the number of times the same issue can be brought up for a vote before it's dead forever, i.e. a "three strikes" rule.

Or if dead forever is too unpalatable, then at least require a five-year grace period before the issue can be brought up for another three strikes.

And the great thing is, if the "three strikes" rule itself is defeated three times, we'd still be able to keep bringing it up every year until it does eventually pass.
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Old 06-29-2013, 08:19 PM   #385
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I think it works well enough, Gene. I don't think the new leadership people are quite as out of touch as you might imagine. Indeed, I know a few of them personally and can testify that they aren't in the least out of touch. It takes more than just an Internet forum to know that!

Should they receive partial reimbursement for their club-required travels? Tough question. Some of them wouldn't be able to afford it otherwise, I think.


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But, Lynn, does it work? I keep seeing people saying they are out of touch. Some people, no matter what is in front of them, cannot see it.

And an organization this large needs a professional administrator who also can do policy analysis and develop strategies and tactics.

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Old 06-29-2013, 08:41 PM   #386
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Should they receive partial reimbursement for their club-required travels? Tough question. Some of them wouldn't be able to afford it otherwise, I think.


Lynn
I've served on the board of a national non profit and there were provisions to provide a stipend for members that could show cause. Some yacht clubs provide a travel allowance for a commodore that may not be able to pay the tab out of pocket.

That said, I'm unfamilar with the actual provisions that provide expenses for WBCCI officers. It would be interesting to know exactly how expenses are determined.

Every successful non profit I 've been associated with has an executive director and paid staff. Why doesn't the WBCCI?
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Old 06-29-2013, 09:21 PM   #387
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The message was very clear from the units and their delegates. I can only hope this stays dormant for quite some time so that leadership at all levels can develop a strategic plan with which to engage and attract non-WBCCI Airstream owners to join our AIRSTREAM club.
Thank you!!
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Old 06-29-2013, 09:50 PM   #388
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That said, I'm unfamilar with the actual provisions that provide expenses for WBCCI officers. It would be interesting to know exactly how expenses are determined.
Expense reimbursement policies are covered under the Bylaws and Policy section of the Blue Book, available on the WBCCI web site for anyone who wants to read it:

http://www.wbcci.org/general-informa.../finish/40/176

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Every successful non profit I've been associated with has an executive director and paid staff. Why doesn't the WBCCI?
WBCCI already has a headquarters staff of 4 full time employees. Can't afford an expensive executive director with only about 6,000 dues-paying members.
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Old 06-30-2013, 08:45 AM   #389
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Nuvite-F posted: "WBCCI already has a headquarters staff of 4 full time employees. Can't afford an expensive executive director with only about 6,000 dues-paying members".

After reading "35.2" on disbursements, I think I may reup and take advantage of what I consider an overly generous reimbursement plan. In my opinion, the WBCCI can't afford to not hire an "expensive executive director" that can implement policy and long range planning to increase the membership base. Four full time employees who are directed by a "volunteer" management team lacks real direction.
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Old 06-30-2013, 09:02 AM   #390
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Originally Posted by Denis4x4 View Post
Nuvite-F posted: "WBCCI already has a headquarters staff of 4 full time employees. Can't afford an expensive executive director with only about 6,000 dues-paying members".

After reading "35.2" on disbursements, I think I may reup and take advantage of what I consider an overly generous reimbursement plan. In my opinion, the WBCCI can't afford to not hire an "expensive executive director" that can implement policy and long range planning to increase the membership base. Four full time employees who are directed by a "volunteer" management team lacks real direction.
One reason why an executive director is required can be seen in the Bylaws, pg. 36, paragraph 3. Rearranging the order of the sentences:
Quote:
No more than one (1) member of the executive committee may be reimbursed for travel to the same rally unless their attendance is specifically requested by the President of WBCCI.
Then back up to the first sentence of the paragraph:
Quote:
International officers (President, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Vice Presidents, Secretary, and Treasurer) and Immediate Past President, will be reimbursed…
Am I the only one who sees a conflict of interest, if the President has control over who attends, and the President is one of the people potentially being reimbursed based on his own decision? Where are the checks and balances? The people deciding on the reimbursements should never be the same people receiving the reimbursements.

All I'm saying is that the reimbursement system is flawed. I'm not accusing the President or other officers of anything underhanded. In fact, if they can make the flawed system work without taking advantage of such loopholes, then they're to be applauded for their ethical behavior.
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Old 06-30-2013, 10:09 AM   #391
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WBCCI already has a headquarters staff of 4 full time employees. Can't afford an expensive executive director with only about 6,000 dues-paying members.
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Old 06-30-2013, 10:16 AM   #392
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I think it works well enough, Gene. I don't think the new leadership people are quite as out of touch as you might imagine. Indeed, I know a few of them personally and can testify that they aren't in the least out of touch. It takes more than just an Internet forum to know that!

Lynn
I know there are a few new people who do know what is going on, but they remain in a distinct minority. How long will it take to change the direction as new people move up? And it is important for "new" people to not become "old" people who are co-opted. Never underestimate the force of co-opting—if you've never been in a position where you are a minority on a board and you try to make deals to advance your agenda, you'll can't understand the power of having to get along with people you don't like and you have to convince that change is necessary. You can find yourself changing your views just to get something done. Leadership is a very hard place to be.

Governance of an organization is difficult when you do not have professional leaders experienced with the unique issues of non-profits. No one now knows how to get grants or seek donations for one thing. I thought they had 2 employees, but now I read 4. With computers, clerical work should not require 4 people for a club of this size. Putting out a newsletter does take time, especially if you are not using modern desktop publishing (I don't know what they use). Converting to the internet is very hard for old time organizations—I've fought that battle in other organizations. The oldtimers fight it all the way. If they win, the group shrinks some more.

It has been said many times the board is heavily influenced by ex-military. That kind of direction does not work well in a civilian world. A professional executive director would counter that and help the leaders see how to change in a modern world. They might fire the guy in a year, but they can't stop change forever.

I know it is hard for some leaders to travel on their own and I am well aware that serving on a nonprofit board can be expensive. Maybe some money could be available for those with lower incomes—though they may be embarrassed to ask for it. It may cost more overall to hire a professional, but what is the alternative? Continuing shrinking of the club plus alienating members and having an attitude that keeps people from joining? That is not working.

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Old 06-30-2013, 10:36 AM   #393
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Never underestimate the force of co-opting—if you've never been in a position where you are a minority on a board and you try to make deals to advance your agenda, you'll can't understand the power of having to get along with people you don't like and you have to convince that change is necessary. You can find yourself changing your views just to get something done. Leadership is a very hard place to be.
Personally, I think it's harder to achieve constructive change when dealing with people you DO like. They're less understanding of why your opinions and goals differ from theirs. As in, "How can you say that? I thought we were friends!"

All the more reason why we need professional administrators, as opposed to elected club officials administering the club's purse. They're not hired to be friends, they're hired to do a job.
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Old 06-30-2013, 12:34 PM   #394
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Go-l-l-y-y, sounds like we're getting back to the thrilling days of yesteryear on Airforums, when WBCCI bashing was the popular pastime!

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Governance of an organization is difficult when you do not have professional leaders experienced with the unique issues of non-profits. No one now knows how to get grants or seek donations for one thing.
Actually, Gene is kinda right. Robert Putnam's classic book Bowling Alone, which recounts the steady decline of practically all broad based membership organizations, indicates that the most successful have made the transition to "mailing list organizations" , meaning that they have large numbers of members who seldom see each other in person. Financing for the national organization is usually accomplished by spending a large percentage of gross income, 80 - 90%, on fundraising. If the organization spends a million dollars to raise $1.1 million, hey, they've netted a hundred grand, so turn around and do it again next week.

I'm not sure I would stay in WBCCI if it became that kind of organization.

An RV club more or less along those lines is Good Sam, which appears to be a thinly disguised insurance agency. They keep the money coming in by selling all kinds of RV-related insurance. But I have heard that Good Sam's membership and rally attendance is declining, too.

Quote:
It may cost more overall to hire a professional, but what is the alternative? Continuing shrinking of the club plus alienating members and having an attitude that keeps people from joining? That is not working.
Actually, I am kind of optimistic about some of the leaders now in the pipeline. But they have their work cut out for them, and I wouldn't presume to predict any outcomes.

Also, the news may not have made it onto Airforums that WBCCI membership is up by about 2% this year. So who knows, WBCCI may have turned a corner.
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Old 06-30-2013, 02:05 PM   #395
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I think this thread has just been hijacked.


In terms of the Moho issue, I'm glad it's done for this year. Next coming years we will continue the debate if need be. Time to enjoy your summer.
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Old 06-30-2013, 04:15 PM   #396
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Nuvi, there are some organizations that spend 80% or more on fundraising (called "development" now), but it doesn't have to be that way. It does cost money to do it, but costs can be much, much lower. An ED (Executive Director) would do some if grants could be obtained for some sort of worthy project, or donations were to be forthcoming from members.

More important at this point is to find someone who would show the present leaders how to better run the club, develop membership programs, modernize the newsletter, improve efficiency of employees, tie in with the internet more and then look at fundraising.

Yes, a hijack but threads tend to wander after a while and maybe someone should start one about improving WBCCI administration and have the mods move the posts about that to the new thread.

Gene
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Old 06-30-2013, 04:18 PM   #397
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Yes, a hijack but threads tend to wander after a while and maybe someone should start one about improving WBCCI administration and have the mods move the posts about that to the new thread.
At least the hijack happened after the vote, when the thread had outlived its original purpose. At least until the "WBCCI MoHo Issue - 2014" thread needs to be started.
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Old 06-30-2013, 10:05 PM   #398
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Glad to hear the MoHo proposal failed. I chose NOT to attend this year's International Rally because I do not want to belong to a WBCCI that allows anything but Airtreams.

I plan to attend the International Rally next year as long as this is not brought up again. Reducing attendance is my personal protest of this issue.
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Old 06-30-2013, 11:13 PM   #399
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I try not to get too involved in the motor home discussion too much, but I am so sick of it being raised year after year ... with those in favor of it acting as though they can beat down the opposition simply by re-introducing it every year.

One of the main arguments of this minority who wants to allow owners of Thor-manufactured motor homes to remain members of the WBCCI when they no longer own an Airstream product is that they "can no longer manage" to tow a trailer. They want a motor home because it's "easier"... and it's made by Thor, after all...

Now imagine the idiocy of a parallel situation where members of a hypothetical "Corvette Club" whose only membership requirement is Corvette ownership... and they were forced to accept members who once owned a Corvette, but don't anymore because they can no longer "deal with the power" of a Corvette ... they want to remain members but own an Impala "because it's easier"...after all, it's made by Chevy, so what's the problem?

Virtually every WBCCI member I have ever spoken to about the motor home issue has the same reaction. "What part of 'Airstream Club' do they not understand?"

I predict that if owners of non-Airstream products were ever allowed to be members that long-time, enthusiastic Airstreamers by the hundreds would bail (myself included, and I'm a membership guy!). The hemorrhaging of lost members would be fatal to the organization, which is exactly what it would deserve.
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Old 07-01-2013, 07:27 AM   #400
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A couple of our monthly guests, Brett and Diane, arrived yesterday. These are folks we've been around since, oh, the late 60s! They just restored a very nice Safari-brand moho and came in from the FMCA, Caterpillar, and Safari rallies, where Brett does tech seminars. (I think Caterpillar may be a subunit of FMCA, but not sure.) Over dinner and way too much wine, we talked about the situation with their clubs and ours. And it all sounded so very familiar: Rapidly falling membership in their clubs; the push to include some-other (non-mohos, non-CATs, and so forth) into the clubs to staunch to decline.

I noted my opposition to some-other, though Brett disagreed. I did note that we managed not to fall in membership this year, and that impressed him, I think!


Lynn
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