Band Subs

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by stevetrom, Apr 19, 2005.

  1. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    After our AGM it has been suggested that we re-introduce band subs. They were stopped a number of years ago due to the problem with collecting them from ALL players, etc.

    At present all members of the band have to be members of The Band Club (the princely sum of £4.70 per annum). The band is supported by the Band Club, which we know is a very fortunate situation, but some members of the band have suggested that players should also contribute to the band funds themselves (where else can you have a hobby for £4.70 a year?).

    I am trying to get an idea of the subs paid at other bands and if anyone is able to pm me with what is paid at other bands I would be gratefull as we have to set a rate somehow.

    I would also be interested inknowing how subs are collected (weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually, direct debit, etc) and any other systems bands use to help with funding.
  2. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    It really depends on how much you need to collect and for what purpose. Is it going to be used for maintenance, new music, contest fees or whatever? Is the total amount per annum going to be useful all 'n' all? If it is to be seen as worthwhile to each member, the collection must be directed with a constructive plan in mind ... to encourage payment! What reductions or exceptions are to be considered?
  3. satchmo shaz

    satchmo shaz Active Member

    we do voluntary bonus ball where you can win something and the rest goes into the kitty
  4. hellraiser

    hellraiser Member

    Interesting topic.

    The band membership fee at our band is much smaller than for other bands in the area, so I'm told. I intend to keep things like that.

    There are valid arguments for and against band membership. If people pay for something they tend to respect it more. Also you are entrusting people with instruments which are worth a lot of money so it seems only right that people contribute something for use of this equipment. Banding is still very reasonable when you consider other means of learning music- in fact I'd say it's a bargain.

    However, I do have concerns about band membership. I've heard they can get quite high in some bands which might put some people off. Also, some individuals might start to demand more if they've paid a substantial membership and want their own way much more- in bands it's difficult to give everyone their own way! Finally some people might refuse to pay membership- what do you do then? Players are not always easily available, especially good ones, so the band might be tempted to let it go and keep it quiet but this could lead to resentment from others who have paid the membership.

    Personally I'd rather see bands surviving by playing music. People might complain about standing outside a supermarket playing carols at Christmas but I'm sure they'd complain even more were their membership to go up.

    I'd suggest keep it low and make it an annual payment. Another good way to raise money which people seem to like is to run some kind of lottery where people pay a pound per month for a ticket then they could win prizes. The problem with this is you have to chase people for money each month but people seem happier to give money to something if they have a chance of winning some of it back!

    IYOUNG Member

    Some good points made by Hellraiser there,

    My own view is that subs should be kept to a minimum if the finances of the band are able to cope with this.

    Touched on before and just as an aside how many bands have a big bank balance (in context) and don't use it for the reasons youve earnt it? Or worse still you don't use it at all.
    Ive seen a number of bands who have Treasurers (bless em) who think their responsible is to control expenditure to such an extent the 'growth'' of the band is hindered. That isn't there role at all, the role is to assist the band financially in moving forward as it wishes and giving advise on the Financial aspects of such decisions.

    One of the arts of keeping things successful in the band room is that you give trust to your band members to make the band succesful. By paying subs you take away a little of that trust.

    There are a whole host of ways of earning Income without endless tedious engagements that players hate.

  6. Just Crazy

    Just Crazy Member

    We have the bonus ball idea that shatzmo shaz said earlier, but we also have subs which is £5 a month. It seems a bit steep but everyone is happy to pay it, we pay it by standing order from our bank accounts.
  7. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Our band subs has gone up to £40 this year, having been pegged at £35 for a little while. Most pay this annually, although it will be taken in instalments, and students and those on low incomes are not generally expected to fork out.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2005
  8. Scotty

    Scotty Member

    I pay £10 a month because im a student, other band members pay £20. I don't mind paying it because helps fund trips to Open Nationals and European this year. I feel they are good idea and the best way for band members to contribute to running costs, conductors fees band bus etc.
  9. Just Crazy

    Just Crazy Member

    I wouldnt mind paying that if like you said you can see it being used, in my band we seem to only get a coach to a contest if its a fair distance away(since last june we have got a coach once). But recently we have withdrawn from all the contests and seem just to do concerts!
  10. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member

    Our band subs are minimal, but we will have to get a lot more money in somehow this year to keep the cost of the trip to the Nationals as low as possible. If not, subs will have to go up.

    How do you deal with non payers? Set my ex girlfriend onto them(!) Anne was shocked at the amount of debtors when she took over as treasurer - her predecessor (God rest his soul) was a little "unorthodox" in his accounting methods, and never chased people. Anne calculated exactly how much people owed, sent them a letter asking for payment, and giving them an opportunity to discuss if there were problems. The amounts owing were described as minimal at the next committee meeting.

    Fulham has historically been a fun band that competes. I think that was half the problem - if people owed, the treasurer was reluctant to make an issue out of it, lest the fun atmosphere was lost.

    I also found it funny what motivates people. When I conducted Fulham at the areas, I made a unilateral decision that no-one owing subs from the previous year would be in the contest band. At the time, there were 15 debtors on the list given to me - (given it was the previous treasurer, I conceded that it was going to be approximate) within 2 weeks of announcing it, the revised list had 3 people on it, all whom had made arrangements to pay off the debt with the treasurer. It was not an empty threat, I had one or two options in places where I knew some had paid subs and some hadn't. What was surprising was that everyone paid up promptly, including those who attested not to like contesting and were competing for places.

    Anne's proactive stance, plus our current treasurer's direct debit drive mean that arrears of subs is hardly an issue. (And we give a marginal discount to people paying by DD - just enough to make the 4 or 12 installments equal.)
  11. Cornishwomble

    Cornishwomble Active Member

    I've just recently joined Emley and I have to pay £1 per week or £52 pounds a year subs. For that I've been given a cornet which will be maintained by the band, I've been given a uniform and I get to take part in my hobby twice a week.

    If you look at other hobbies such as football, swimming, martial arts or even craft type clubs, you find that you have to pay a lot more.

    I think that £1 a week is a bargain and I can't understand people who would not be willing to pay anything
  12. Scotty

    Scotty Member

    Yeah that was my point ive only been in the band since January and i can see the benefits, fair play were having to foot the bill for Groningen, but without sponsorship what band would be able pay for a full band of players (Flight, Hotel, coach when we are there etc) My subs also allow me to have a band maintained instrument as well which i forgot to mention before!
  13. Okiedokie of Oz

    Okiedokie of Oz Active Member

    An interesting topic, which I tried to research earlier in the year for my band.

    - That is, Aussie dollars!!!!!!***

    At the moment the band charges an annual membership fee, plus (for new members) a one time refundable bond. The bond is nothing extravagent which is why we talked about raising it. We have just purchased (OK, nearly 2 years ago now) new uniforms, and I am fighting to get a lot of instruments replaced. The $50 bond doesn't even scratch any of these costs, especially repairs on instruments!!!

    However we decided that if we are to remain a viable form of entertainment and education for today's youth (and older members, but its kids we're trying to recruit for now) we need to keep parental outlay to a bare minimum.

    We also have as part of our income for the band, council grants ($5000 per annum but we are looking at getting that changed - after all, we DO go into musical battle wearing the council's banner!!), and my own lovely invention of the Gladstone Brass Academy. Nice supplemental income for the band, great way to send me broke....long story.

    My general feeling is keep subs low.....but let players know that should a time come when the "yellow tuba on wheels" (our busking piggybank) comes aknocking on their door, please give generously. It could be your euphonium that gets upgraded!!!
  14. daisygemma

    daisygemma Member

    As treasurer at Emley the income from subs is vital.

    We are lucky to own our bandroom and the subs go towards the general running of the band and the bandroom. By the time you add up water, council tax, gas, electricity, instrument and buildings insurance the monthly expenditure is quite high. These have to be paid no matter what.

    By the subs covering these items it means that the money we make from concerts can go towards new music and equipment.
  15. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    Subscriptions at our band are covered by the constitution and also deals with what happens if "members" don't pay - non-payment can result in cancellation of membership. Subs are £60 and £30 pa (unwaged etc) and the committee propose the amount each year which is agreed or otherwise by the membership at the AGM.

    We have in the past taken a view that the level of subs should cover the bands fixed cost assuming that there is no income from jobs etc. Subs level is decided by cost of rent, instrument insurance and conductor fees. All other costs e.g. music, new instruments, uniforms etc could be curtailed and the band would be no worse off financially following a year of no performances.

    There is often a view that the members should not be required to pay subscriptions as the income for jobs more than covers our annual cost, we usually have a surplus at the end of each year. However we received lottery funding 8 years ago for a full set of instruments and it is not certain that we would be successful with a future application to replace these intruments.

    Before the lottery money we aimed to set aside 10% of the instrument value to replace them on a 10 to 15 year cycle.

    It is a difficult choice as to whether we should be prudent and continue to set aside a surplus to ensure we can replace instruments when needed or spend the lot as we go and hope that in X years time we can still apply for more lottery money.

  16. Craigsav83

    Craigsav83 Active Member

    Agreed. My band doesnt charge any subs at all, although there is a weekly raffle at £1 a time. As an example... £1 per week per player = 1 new piece of music, cant be a bad thing in my opinion.
  17. postie

    postie Member

    I am Treasurer at Bestwood Black Diamonds and absolutely agree with you that subs do form a vital part of the income of the band. While in a perfect world you would love not to have to charge subs we unfortunatly don't live in such a world.
  18. hellraiser

    hellraiser Member

    Very true. I play 5 a side football every Monday and that costs me £2. It was £4 when I lived in Manchester.

    Band is two nights a week and doesn't cost anywhere near that.
  19. IYOUNG

    IYOUNG Member

    We are lucky enough to have a more liberal view in the fact that no subs are charged to band members as there is not a big financial need.

    We are lucky enough to own our band room and the majority of players own their own instruments so we don't really have any large expenditure items.
    We have decided that other than grant monies we are unlikely to have enough cash to but say a set of new basses so we don't worry as such.

    We take the view that what we earn we re-invest back into the band for onm going improvements (stands music uniforms etc) and this works very well indeed. We also ensure the band members know that we as a committee appreciate the fact they are giving their time free to the band when we rehearse and carry out engagements and this in my view is a happy working arrangement.

    Certainly new players are surpised though we don't ask for subs.

    I do appreciate though that not all bands could handle things this way
  20. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    We pay £1 a week, and also have a bonus ball which I seem to have stopped winning regularly ;)

    The subs are collected monthly by SO or DD although some people pay twice a year. Students at uni don't pay, but kids living at home are expected to, I think.

    It's a trivial amount which I am happy to fork up. It supplements our earnings from jobs, pays for coaches and keeps us in new music, instruments and uniforms.

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