[Osmf-talk] Membership fee waiver

Simon Poole simon at poole.ch
Wed Nov 14 22:17:22 UTC 2018

Forgetting all about making it easy and so on, there is currently IMHO
no reason a potential member couldn't apply for a waiver, it would
simply need to be decided on a case by case base.


Am 14.11.2018 um 23:08 schrieb joost schouppe:
> Hi Rob,
> I can't give an account for the first three years, but I can share my
> perspective about the last. I specifically joined the MWG a year ago
> to help push forward the waiver fee program.
> Over the last year, most of the volunteer time has gone to keeping the
> engine running. There were deep problems with the management software
> for membership (civicrm), which made it easy to lose members. There
> was a weird problem with reminders about lapsing membership. Since we
> do not have a self service area, people depend on these reminders. It
> was a hard problem to fix, which involved a lot of cooperation between
> people, as well as a lot if discussion about whether or not to hire
> consultancy to fix it; or even to make sure they could actually work
> if hired. 
> At all the meetings I attended, I brought up the waiver fee. There
> always seemed to be new barriers to just start with it. A form, a
> procedure, default lettres, membership classes. Since the meetings
> were rather spread out, you also lose time with bringing back to mind
> all the details. Since a lot of the work required knowledge about the
> inner workings of the software, there wasn't a lot of work I could do
> as a not so technical newbie. When there were things I could do
> myself, my own time constraints came in the way - as well as recently
> finding out a lot of thinking work we did together was lost because we
> used an exotic open source tool that disappeared from the internet. 
> So my analysis if the last year would be: too little volunteers to do
> the actual work, and a lack of efficient workflows. 
> IIRC we did get several board checkups on the waiver fee and the
> occasional call to think bigger.
> I don't think there is anyone to blame, except maybe if you start
> looking for the root causes of our lack of volunteers. Since I don't
> want to turn this into my position statement for the Board elections,
> I'll hold that thought for now. I will say that this experience is
> what led me to try and revive the local chapters group as a community
> building group. This group would try to work in and with the other
> working groups to support and push relevant projects forward.
> Unfortunately that try has not really resulted in much just yet.
> All the best, 
> Joost 
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