New - Archery GB Annualized Renewals

PLEASE HELP TO FUND ARCHERY INTERCHANGE

Nictrix

New member
So the way I am reading this is if you join between now and the end of September you get 12 months membership which will renew on the anniversary of you joining every year. After 30th September it then returns to yearly with the renewal being 30th September even if you join in December.
If this is the case, why dont they just have a 6 month membership until September and then continue the way it used to be.
 

Spike95609

New member
I'm still struggling to see a conspiracy here; I can't see anything other than AGB not thinking through the implications of their actions.

But I'm not saying that you're wrong; can you explain to someone who's not up on the politics (ie me) why it's a power grab?
Conspiracy and power grab are probably the wrong words. For the ordinary member who does a bit of shooting at their club it doesn't really make any difference, except that they could choose to pay later than they ordinarily would and save a few pounds. If you're involved in club admin though then AGB have, to put it mildly, complicated your life. If everyone's membership begins on the 1st October it's easy to manage, but if they start expiring at different times of the year then club officials will find it harder and harder to keep track of who is insured and who is not. In a perfect world the member would know that they have to renew and will keep on top of it, but anyone who has managed the renewal process will know that they have to be chased and reminded an awful lot because they are only human and forget things. It's bad enough doing this in September alone, but now I'm facing a situation where I may have to do this constantly, because as the years pass fewer and fewer people will start their membership on 1st October.

I would disagree that AGB are guilty of just not thinking this through. Remember this is not a new idea that they've just thought of, it was proposed in 2012 and again in 2015. They want the membership system to run this way, and during those years they got shouted at a lot by me and plenty of others who made it clear that the plan was insane and would not work. So now they have imposed it. The only conclusion to draw that I can see is that they know that it will cause chaos, they just don't care. They'll have their money and that's all that's important.

As for a power grab, well I suppose it sort of is but it's a very ham fisted one. They're trying to subvert a bit of the membership process by contacting lapsed members and inviting them to rejoin a club that they have left and not reapplied to in any other way. Our constitution, and I suspect almost everyone elses too as they're likely all based on the AGB template, says that members have to apply to join us and we vote on them at the next general meeting. But we can just refuse anyone who they propose, so this probably is AGB just not thinking something through, because if they did they would know that the secretary does not have the authority to accept someone's application without asking anyone else.
 

Kerf

Supporter
Supporter
AIUK Saviour
Conspiracy and power grab are probably the wrong words. For the ordinary member who does a bit of shooting at their club it doesn't really make any difference, except that they could choose to pay later than they ordinarily would and save a few pounds. If you're involved in club admin though then AGB have, to put it mildly, complicated your life. If everyone's membership begins on the 1st October it's easy to manage, but if they start expiring at different times of the year then club officials will find it harder and harder to keep track of who is insured and who is not. In a perfect world the member would know that they have to renew and will keep on top of it, but anyone who has managed the renewal process will know that they have to be chased and reminded an awful lot because they are only human and forget things. It's bad enough doing this in September alone, but now I'm facing a situation where I may have to do this constantly, because as the years pass fewer and fewer people will start their membership on 1st October.

I would disagree that AGB are guilty of just not thinking this through. Remember this is not a new idea that they've just thought of, it was proposed in 2012 and again in 2015. They want the membership system to run this way, and during those years they got shouted at a lot by me and plenty of others who made it clear that the plan was insane and would not work. So now they have imposed it. The only conclusion to draw that I can see is that they know that it will cause chaos, they just don't care. They'll have their money and that's all that's important.

As for a power grab, well I suppose it sort of is but it's a very ham fisted one. They're trying to subvert a bit of the membership process by contacting lapsed members and inviting them to rejoin a club that they have left and not reapplied to in any other way. Our constitution, and I suspect almost everyone elses too as they're likely all based on the AGB template, says that members have to apply to join us and we vote on them at the next general meeting. But we can just refuse anyone who they propose, so this probably is AGB just not thinking something through, because if they did they would know that the secretary does not have the authority to accept someone's application without asking anyone else.
Well said.
 

KidCurry

Well-known member
AIUK Saviour
I think I'm more along the lines of dvd8n. To me it looks like a quick and easy way to get back the lost membership, knowing that waiting another six months before offering another full membership would mean losing them altogether. On the down side it may backfire. If we are looking at another lockdown/restriction in September I'm going to think I may wait a few months before renewing to see if I get an extension. What have you got too lose.
 

TJ Mason

Soaring
Supporter
Fonz Awardee
American Shoot
Some of us have suspected for a few years that AGB wanted to turn clubs into semi-commercial archery providers. There are multiple problems with that, especially if AGB is not up-front with clubs about their intentions.

And, we sometimes have to refuse membership to individuals on safety grounds. This gives them a route to join the club and cause disruption. Even someone who has been expelled from a beginners course on safety grounds can just rock up with an archery kit and flash their membership card. Thanks for nothing, AGB.
 

dvd8n

Supporter
Supporter
AIUK Saviour
I can't help but think that this is almost inevitably going to lead to people, through accident or intent, shooting without AGB membership. This would, according to what AGB keep telling us, invalidate club insurance.
 

Geophys2

Active member
AIUK Saviour
All I know is that I'm fully booked up at the weekends for a while running conversion courses for AGB archers wanting to join our NFAS club.
 

Spike95609

New member
People shooting without insurance is the problem. There always had been an obscene amount of smoke and mirrors on the topic of AGB insurance, but if it is true that nobody is insured if someone without insurance is shooting, then the onus will be on club officials to control it, and this is a system which will become difficult to keep on top of over time.

I agree that there is a sense in AGBs emails that they have some sort of ownership over clubs. I have told them repeatedly that ours is a private members club which just happens to be affiliated to them for the services they offer. They have no more control over the club than the AA does over the driver of a car. They provide a service and we pay them to administer it. We are not required to be affiliated to anything. And they should understand that there is a danger for them here because the overwhelming majority of their members, about 80% I would say, are not coaches, judges, and have no interest in competing even at a club level, all they want from AGB is insurance. We reckon that we could get the same insurance cover for about a fifth of what our members pay to AGB. I therefore urge them to be careful.
 

dvd8n

Supporter
Supporter
AIUK Saviour
It'd be amusing if it was the years of FUD about AGB's insurance that scuppered this.
 

Whitehart

Well-known member
I don't know how many archers have re-joined, but before Christmas the membership was dramatically down to 23k this has major implications for AGB and IMO would require a total restructure of the organisation especially staffing levels. It probably has major implications with Sport UK England etc with regards to grass roots funding. Membership at this level also has major implications to the whole of archery the existence of clubs and retail - number of shops, choice and eventually equipment prices. Regular 10% sales are all about turnover and not sustainable especially with Brexit and the additional costs associated with bringing small amounts of items over from the EU - all sectors of our sport are dependent on all the others.

There is an immediate necessity to get back archers who's memberships have lapsed within the last year before they give up altogether, I am hearing of too many people that really enjoyed their archery that have got out of the habit of shooting and now finding it is tough to get back to the level they were before covid and found different interests. Also current restrictions, booking systems for range time and social distancing are barriers for some so it will be June/July before some of these might return.

If some clubs are not trying to bring these people back then I am not surprised AGB are, it is far easier than relying on getting new members.
 

dvd8n

Supporter
Supporter
AIUK Saviour
I do worry about retailers - it seems like barely a day goes past without notification of some flash sale from one of the retailers arrives in my in box. There's never been a better time to buy archery kit. But I'm very aware that they're not doing this out of benevolence - they're desperately trying to drive turnover.

We aren't particularly well served with an abundance of archery retailers in this country and we can't afford to lose any.
 

Kerf

Supporter
Supporter
AIUK Saviour
If some clubs are not trying to bring these people back then I am not surprised AGB are, it is far easier than relying on getting new members.
With respect, I’m not sure that is the case. We have contacted our lapsed members and members who we did not see at all during last year’s various lockdowns and restrictions asking them if they want to rejoin/start shooting again. I’m hopeful that other clubs are doing the same.
AGB’s attempt to bring people back is cack handed at best. There is no guarantee that some of these people would be welcomed back to the clubs they nominate. They are, of course, able to become AGB direct members but without a club, where would they shoot?
 

Whitehart

Well-known member
With respect, I’m not sure that is the case. We have contacted our lapsed members and members who we did not see at all during last year’s various lockdowns and restrictions asking them if they want to rejoin/start shooting again. I’m hopeful that other clubs are doing the same.
AGB’s attempt to bring people back is cack handed at best. There is no guarantee that some of these people would be welcomed back to the clubs they nominate. They are, of course, able to become AGB direct members but without a club, where would they shoot?
I don't disagree with you a poorly thought out strategy but between your efforts and AGB maybe we will not lose so many archers - archers move between clubs all the time and some have private land to shoot on but still want to attend competitions. Like AGB don't own/control clubs - clubs are not the only place you can do archery a fact that even AGB struggle to grasp.
 

natalie_wilson

New member
Have just become my Club's Membership Secretary - great timing!
Am I missing something regarding pro-rata?
If the "18-month lapsed membership" rule for pro-rata has been revoked for the time being, could Clubs not promote/offer returning members pro-rata (albeit at the new member rates but it is only a couple of quid difference).
Which a) might be easier for people financially and 2) would keep them in line with existing membership year.
I understand AGB don't want to highlight this as, obviously, they want the money from full membership.
Otherwise I don't see why the 18 month rule has been dropped as AGB have already said anyone who wasn't a member 2019/2020 needs to pay new member rates and doesn't get the "personalised" renewal date
 

Spike95609

New member
I've just checked the system and surprise surprise I found it confusing, because anyone who was affiliated to them last year only has the option for the 12 month membership from the date of renewal, but anyone who is 18 months out of date only gets the pro-rata option which takes them up to September along with everyone else. We just had to refund such a returning member half the fee because it was assumed that pro-rata had been dropped, but there it still is.

If I remember right, in 2012 the motivation behind this idea of everyone affiliating whenever they wanted to was because AGB didn't like processing 40,000 renewals at the same time but wanted to spread them out across the year to make it easier on their admin. As with all incompetents their solution promised to not only create a chaotic system for everyone to administer down the chain, but at the same time it didn't really solve their problem either because the overwhelming majority would still have renewed in September anyway so not a great deal would have changed. If all they want to do is spread their workload and keep an even amount of money trickling in through the year, why don't they just assign different renewal dates to clubs and spread them out across the whole year? That would have solved their problem, and after a single awkward year of giving out reduced or increased fees to different clubs to make the adjustment, it wouldn't have made that much difference to them either.
 

Nictrix

New member
My club is not affiliated with AGB and has its own insurance to cover everybody.
There are possibly only 5 or 6 people who shoot that are members of AGB.
Starting AGBs membership anytime throughout the year could work for us as it makes no difference to the club if we have insurance through AGB or not as they are insured anyway. The only difference would be the club fees that have an extra payment for non-AGB archers.
If all clubs had their own insurance memberships to AGB would not need to be checked by anybody other than at competitions. Even then the club holding the comp would be insured anyway.
 

mk1

It's an X
Supporter
Quite a few years ago now AGB offered all Regions the possibility of collecting all the fees and then pass it down to the Regions and Counties, not all agreed to this so it didn't happen. I don't know whether it's been discussed since the new membership system came into being, but it's still possible to do.
Currently I'm a secretary for a club in another organisation with annual membership from when you join. I log in and can see who's rejoined, who's pending, who's lapsed etc and I don't find it a problem at all. I don't have to handle any cheques, complete BACS or fill in any forms or even badger people as the reminder comes from HQ and many are on auto renewal.
I recall the days of the duplicating sheets where you had to score off folks who hadn't paid once you reached a deadline, only to have to fill in repeated forms for those who didn't renew on time as they trickled in late despite frequent requests. That was time consuming and in the days of cheques that needed two signature and postage was involved too. I guess what I am saying is that all that paperwork has been swept away and a club secretary will have no problem at all keeping track of a membership, new members get signed up a usual and then the system would take care of it all.
 

natalie_wilson

New member
Currently I'm a secretary for a club in another organisation with annual membership from when you join. I log in and can see who's rejoined, who's pending, who's lapsed etc and I don't find it a problem at all. I don't have to handle any cheques, complete BACS or fill in any forms or even badger people as the reminder comes from HQ and many are on auto renewal.
I recall the days of the duplicating sheets where you had to score off folks who hadn't paid once you reached a deadline, only to have to fill in repeated forms for those who didn't renew on time as they trickled in late despite frequent requests. That was time consuming and in the days of cheques that needed two signature and postage was involved too. I guess what I am saying is that all that paperwork has been swept away and a club secretary will have no problem at all keeping track of a membership, new members get signed up a usual and then the system would take care of it all.
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That's nice for you in your "other organisation"
1. But AGB don't issue membership reminders - the Club does.
2. There is no auto renew
3. We do have to handle cheque with 2 signatures - 3 times over
4. Who makes sure the Club fee has been paid when the archer joins through AGB?
5. We have make sure County and Region get paid - more cheques and forms
6. We do have to fil in forms and remind people.
7. We do have to check who has and hasn't renewed so they are insured to shoot.
8. The paperwork has not "been swept away"
9. The system will "not take care of it" because there is no system
 

Spike95609

New member
Nictrix - Yes if a club has it's own insurance then none of it really matters in the slightest. We're an affiliated club so everyone has to be a member of AGB, and getting our own policy would simply be doubling up on what we already have for additional expense. It would, however, remove the problem, not to mention my interest in who has paid and who has not.

Mk1 - The membership database is indeed brilliant compared to the old carbon copy sheets and the more recent paper system, it's infinitely quicker and easier to affiliate our whole membership. I don't know how many members your other club has, if it's small then this idea of people renewing at different times of the year would be simple enough to keep track of, and possibly also if it's large but meets at set times with officers on hand to keep tabs on everything. Mine though usually has about 100 and they can turn up and leave at any time without any officers being present. The idea of that lot being up for renewal at different times of the year, and likely changing slightly the dates on which they do it from one year to the next, is not something that officials should be expected to manage. As I said before, in an ideal world the member will know when they have to renew and will pay on time, but I know from experience they have to be chased and reminded continually. It's hard enough keeping track of that just in September, but having to do it all year? It will be chaos.
 

williamsga

New member
In order to reduce the administrative burden/responsibilities placed on Club Secretaries to monitor annualised renewals perhaps AGB should be obliged to advise a club when a member has not renewed by the due date? That would at least give the club an opportunity to take appropriate action.
 
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