Dues are Due. Why?
After 4 years in the CG Aux giving hundreds of free labor hours, and spending hundreds in dollars in uniforms/equipment every year to do my part to help support the CG. I get to pay Dues. Why? I don’t understand why do we have to pay dues as well. Every member I have meet pays his/her dues many times over supporting the CG and boating safety. If that money is really needed for the CG Aux to survive, then the CG should pay it. We ask a lot out of our members. Dues should not be one of them.
If I had a Company doing what the CG does, and a group of volunteers doing what the CG Aux does. I would make sure my Company paid their yearly dues. I am also in a Rotary Club, and pay yearly Dues. I get that. It’s not the same. Don’t get me wrong, I love the CG Aux. I have put over 350 CG Aux hours on my boat being a CG Aux Facility, and spent thousands making it a Facility. I am a SAR Dog, love being on the water. But I hate going to most CG Aux meetings. And I hate paying Dues to be a member of something that saves the CG Millions in payroll.
The dues that we pay are pretty insignificant in the entire scheme of people's lives. Even a minimum wage worker would earn enough to pay their national dues in day.
Quite frankly, I'd much rather pay dues, of which my flotilla keeps a chunk, than have the CG pay for everything down to reimbursing Joe Blow for bringing some snacks for the meeting. Can you imagine the nightmare of running all those itty bitty flotilla expenses through the CG?
Local dues/local control is an underappreciated advantage of the Aux system.
|We have met the enemy and he is us. Pogo|
I'll go out on a limb and guess that the dues pays for things the USCG is not allowed to pay for by law - like Grandee junkets, although the USCG pays for some of those.
I haven't looked in a few years but NACON and N-Train were not self-supporting and your dues went to pay for part of them each year.
It gets a little less clear as you come down the ladder. Your district could be sitting on a huge pile of cash and still taking its share of the vigorish. I know that D7 had (and probably still does) over $600,000 in it alleged 'rainy day' fund. However, it wouldn't part with any of that in order to allow the Trained 'Train-The-Trainers' had to travel to the trainees. The trainees (Trident and PWO candidate) to travel all over the district, unreimbursed, to get 'free' training.
A real issue with dues comes with flotillas with buildings. The USCG is not going to pay the mortgage and real estate taxes for a building owned by a district corp (if the title is held according to the AuxMan) or by a non-profit 'recreational boating club' (which was supposed to be phased out years ago). But someone has to pay the mortgage and taxes.
I love what the Auxiliary has done for me and my wife over the past 8 years. It gives us many opportunities that we enjoy and the fellowship and comraderie is the icing on the cake. Also, working with the young ladies and gentlemen in the active duty side has given us a feeling of youth regained.
I support my flotilla in many ways and one is the paying of $20.00 per year in dues. I get to see the impact that money has in our flotilla and AOR.
The flotilla has gotten grants in the past to help us do more than we normally could with just our PE funds and dues from members.
One of the things that does bother me though is that I also pay $37.00 per year in Division, District, and National dues. My point of contention is that I do not see the impact that these monies have in their respective AOR.
I only know that my Division has about $30,000.00 and District has about $300,000.00
I think my shipmates do not know how to put the money to use; in programs worthy of the tradition of the USCG AUXILIARY.
So, when I see a program that I think is beneficial I will try to promote it up through the chain of command. A few things were approved at the Division Level. I have had no success at the District level and have not even submitted for National fund support.
I also make a point of the fact that the AUXMAN states (from memory) that "budgets are required"; yet as a member I have a real hard time getting budget information from the District or National level. I also think that the monies at all levels belong to the members of the respective areas and the members should be respected with an accounting. I think that is the respectful thing to do. I trust the elected officials all the way up the line and would hope that they know what is best for the monies.
If more members would ask for a line item accounting of what your dues are used for it might help in writing the check when the dues bill is received. I know I would feel more at ease.
|We have met the enemy and he is us. Pogo|
If you go to the Documents section of CGAuxAssInc you can find the 2009 Income Tax Form 990 for the Aux. The 2009 return shows the prior year info.
That is as close to a financial statement you will see. It is anybody's guess as to why they are unable to post the 2010 return.
There is an unaudited statement published in either the Beacon or the Navigator in the Spring Issue. The reporting categories are so broad that analysis is useless. The Aux also changes the report about every 2 years, so year to year comparisons over a length of time is impossible. And questions should be raised as to why an unaudited statement is presented to the membership.
How much are the dues?
|We have met the enemy and he is us. Pogo|
Dues are a real case of Your Mileage and District May Vary.
National Dues are the same for everyone. District, division and flotilla dues are set by the respective unit and will vary all over the ballpark.
My impression is that CG Aux dues are generally going to be somewhere between 40-60 dollars a year.
I can't think of any hobbies (if you want to call membership in a club a "hobby") that are going to cost significantly less.
I do have some sympathy for the argument that we shouldn't have to pay money to volunteer our time to serve our country, but its really how things were done in the militia through a lot of our history. You often had to provide your own weapons, buy your own uniforms, etc.
Paying dues is the raison etre for the too many "social members" who take up space in the Auxiliary.
I was hoping for a good argument why we should pay dues. Not one here. Just more of the same old $hit. Money in the bank, but still we have to give more.
But I did find out that others have lots of money that sit in the bank too. A lot more than I thought. Why don’t we spend some of it to help with the mission. Lots of money sitting in the bank not buying members gear and training is a waist. Why is that put up with? SPEND THE MONEY!
If you keep doing what you’re doing, you will keep getting what you been getting.
|We have met the enemy and he is us. Pogo|
The federal tax return (form 990) that is (or was) on the CGAuxAssInc site is several years old. I found the 2010 form 990 on GuideStar.
Revenue $1,117,804, up from $1,065,674 the year before.
Expenses $1,064,768 up from $1,017,826
Net assets End of Year $1,597,336 up from
Net assets Begining of Year $,155,464
So the Aux is making money.
The revenue (pdf page 9) is interesting
$10,436 came in from the federated campaigns
$385,721 came from dues (the subject of this thread)
$80,192 is other contributions
Navigator $207,068 (I think this comes from the USCG)
National Conference $71,997. Another section of the report states NACON expenses were $80.722, so NACON lost $8,725. NTrain is not shown anywhere in the report.
Beacon $12,150. This would be from the ads.
Investment Income $18,869
The net profit or loss from inventory sales (PE books plus bling) $274,919. I calculated the gross profit percentage from the figures in Form 990. It is 35.8%.
So dues remains the largest source of income to the Aux.
The major expenses (pdf page 10)
Executive Director $70,908. At one time he also got additional compensation from running the 'district' stores that are captured creatures of the national store. I don't know if he still does.
Other salaries (the grunt staff) $135,502
Employee Benefits $31,246
Payroll Taxes $17,106
Office Expenses $53,278
Info Technology $23,,314
Occupancy $60,864 (I'm not sure what this is - the Aux used to own its warehouse/office)
Junketing (labeled travel in the 990) $249,843. Calculated as 23.5% of all expenses.
Conferences, conventions and meetings $99,697. $80.722 of that was NACON
Other fundraising expenses $39,159
Other management expenses $29,178
So that is where your dues (and other money) went during 2010, at least at the GNat level.
|I Love Retirement|
Never entered my mind that you guys pay dues. When did that start? Not right for any reason. The CG should cover all exspenses.
I don't know how long dues have needed to be payed. I have been paying them since I joined (8 years now) and I don't mind doing that at all.
Heck, in my opinion, It's a very small price to pay to help those that have made this their full time job and give back to the public. And besides, it's a hell of a lot of fun!!
Average ski lift ticket for a day: $75
Paintballing: $100 (with all gear and supplies)
Fishing (don't get me started)
Movies (oh really don't get me started).
Spending time on the water enjoying the outdoors, helping the regular Guard and mingling with the public. PRICELESS
|"Tried n' True"|
During the Auxiliary’s formative years it was understood that the Coast Guard would provide some , but not all support to the Auxiliary. Early on, it was also recognized that the operation and administration of the Auxiliary would require additional funding to fully support Auxiliary missions and activities.
In an effort to maintain the Auxiliary’s standing as the premiere maritime volunteer organization, the Commandant of the Coast Guard approved establishment of the Coast Guard Auxiliary Association, Inc., in 1957. Shortly thereafter, the Association was granted 501 (C) (3) non-profit status as a charity by the Internal Revenue Service.
The Association is dedicated to enhancing the lives and missions of Coast Guard Auxiliary volunteers - you.
Here’s a brief rundown on how Auxiliary funding works:
The Coast Guard funds:
• The Office of the Chief Director
• DIRAUX offices
• District training
• Board and staff support
• Patrol expenses
• SAMA allowances
• Catastrophic claims
• “C” School training, and
• Operation of the Auxiliary National Supply Center in Granite City, IL.
To meet other critical needs, the Association operates the Auxiliary Center in St. Louis providing boating safety education materials, operational and special logo items, Auxiliary unique uniform articles, etc. The Association also produces:
• VSC decals
• Outreach materials
• Education program pamphlets and posters, and
• Training for various District Staff Officers.
Your Coast Guard Auxiliary Association pays for
• Auxiliary national, district, division, and flotilla websites on national servers
• NACON and N-train
• National Directorates, allowing them to perform their tasks working with Coast Guard, District, Division and Flotilla Officers.
Lastly, it supports the Auxiliary National Board and provides a medium for flotillas to receive grants and donations.
Simply put, the Association’s purpose was and continues to be to strengthen its fiscal commitment to the Coast Guard Auxiliary by producing the necessary financial resources and capitalization required for present and future needs of the Auxiliary, and, for those missions not funded by the Coast Guard.
In order to provide the necessary financial resources to sustain the Auxiliary’s missions and activities, the Association seeks funding and other outreach activities on behalf of the Auxiliary; engages in strategic partnerships and alliances with key suppliers of safety equipment, software, services and financial instruments, providing you the members with significant discounts and savings that in some cases provide royalties to the Association that help us sustain Auxiliary programs.
The gap between what the Auxiliary requires to perform its missions and activities, and the amount the Coast Guard is able to fund continues to widen.
Auxiliary members make extraordinary contributions in time and money. That is really appreciated. The goal of the Association is to seek funding from outside sources. One example is our strategic partnership with Pentagon Federal Credit Union. Auxiliary Association members can become full members of PenFed receiving full benefits including the Association’s affinity credit card that pays you cash back directly on your monthly statement for purchases made with the card (5% for gas at the pump and 1% on all other purchases). In addition to the benefit PenFed provides to you, it also provides the Association a royalty that helps support Auxiliary programs.
Other programs include affinity marketing programs with merchants such as Amazon.com, West Marine, Cabela’s, Office Depot, WalMat, and others. While it costs you, our members, nothing extra to buy from these merchants, the Association does receive a royalty on your purchases when you buy through “Shop Auxiliary”.
In 2011, the Association received a $25,000 grant from Chase Community Giving. Those funds are now being used to provide many flotillas around the country with public education teaching aids. Thank you for helping make that happen.
These funds directly benefit the Auxiliary and you.
As the Association looks for ways to raise necessary capital to support and sustain the Auxiliary and its programs, we promise to keep you informed and aware of issues and new benefits. We intend to use various media to get the word out while safeguarding your personal information and privacy.
Our goal is provide you with a better understanding of what the Association is doing to support you, the volunteers, and the programs of the U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary in saving lives and serving our country.
Outstanding post tnunes. BZ all the way!
|"Tried n' True"|
You mentioned that the CG funds catastrophic claims. Is their separate funding for non-catastrophic" claims?
Good information, thanks!
Still, one thing I don't understand about dues:
Why start collecting in May???????
This consumes SO much time up the whole chain of leadership.
Why not send out the bills on 1 December, and dis-enroll anyone who hasn't paid on 1 January?
The people we end up having to chase to pay their dues are not typically active contributors anyway. We're better off without them on the roster.
Tom - Yours sounds like a flotilla&/or division problem. Presumably all flotillas are strongly urged to do close to what you suggest - to send the notices out in early fall in order to leave plenty of time to process disenrollments well before the Diraux deadline sometime in December.
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