So my club right now is facing some financial constraints with the upcoming year. Like many other clubs, we have annual dues, paid in two installments. This gives the club members full access to our training building and field, equipment, and covers any helper fees.
Although we have a good handful of members, many of them pay their dues, come for a few weeks, and then disappear. I personally train every session, unless it's cancelled, and haven't seen some of our "members" in months.
And I mean like, between 6 and 12 months...I know that since they paid their dues, they technically can come whenever they want, but it's pretty unimpressive to prospective club guests to see that only 4 or 5 people show up each week, and it's the same people every time..
That being said, I also think that our "initiation" into the club is far too extreme and outdated, and is a big reason as to why we haven't had more members join..
Our policy is that you are registered as a "guest member" for the first 6 months of joining the club. You pay a set fee at each training session, and are required to attend 50% of the time (we have club twice a week). At the end of the 6 months, the members at club vote on your membership based on progress you have made and the level of commitment to the club.
I think this is our biggest problem. I am totally against this. Reason being (as stated above), most "members" don't even come half of the time!
I haven't even met some people listed as "members" and I've been a "member" now for almost a year! Yet these are the people get to vote on who gets to join or not? How could they possibly know the prospective members progress or level of commitment or anything about them if they have never/hardly met the person? Right?
I personally think that changing these rules around will open doors to new members. Financially, we need more people, but the whole initiation factor turns a lot of people away. The weekly guest fee can really add up. Being voted in by people you have never met can be intimidating. And personally, if you are a real "member", then I think that everyone
should be attenting at least 50% of the time. If you can't come at least 4 times in a whole month, then you should be considered a "guest" as well, and pay the weekly fee.
I would like to approach my club officers with these concerns before the start of the new year. Am I overreacting? Are these "rules" normal? How would you approach the situation?