Many lodges struggle with two problems: Getting members to register for events, and dealing with the administrative aspects of registering participants for each event. Consider implementing the idea of the “event pass” in your lodge. The event pass idea is borrowed from the concept of a season pass or season ticket. It is a way for lodge members to pre-pay their event registration fees for the upcoming year. It has the potential to benefit both the members of the lodge and the lodge itself.
The concept is simple: Offer a one-price pass to all lodge events for the coming year. Begin by establishing what the event pass would cover. It is a good idea to include all lodge events for the following year, along with the lodge dues. Conclave and national events are excluded. Then calculate the total cost if a member attended all of the lodge functions and paid their dues. Finally, offer a discount as an incentive to purchase the event pass. A lodge could even offer a special patch with the event pass as a further incentive. A lodge might want to restrict when the event pass could be purchased—for example, only at the fall fellowship—and also resolve not to permit mid-year purchases at a pro-rated price.
The benefits to the individual member are obvious—the member is already registered and paid for all planned lodge events for the coming year. Therefore, he or she does not have to remember to send in his registration form or fee for each and every event; the member is already pre-registered on the event database by virtue of his purchasing the event pass. In addition, members receive this privilege at a discount!
The benefits to the lodge are also significant—the lodge receives the money for these lodge events up-front, and therefore can plan more readily with their account firmly in the black. There is much less paper to handle, fewer forms and checks to sort and enter, and the assurance that there will be a good start to the attendance for each lodge event! The lodge also recognizes that a typical member will not be able to attend all the functions, but the member’s fee is already paid with the event pass, so the lodge benefits financially in that situation. Also, if a member purchases the event pass, he or she is more inclined to attend the function, thus the lodge benefits from a more consistent participation standpoint.
This concept was submitted by Coosa Lodge, Greater Alabama Council, in Birmingham, Alabama. Coosa launched their event pass idea in 2001 and has realized huge successes. Coosa’s individual event fees, plus lodge dues, total more than $90 for the year. The lodge offers the event pass to youth for $60 and to adults for $75. Coosa is proud of its approximately 1000 members and it sells about 200 event passes each year. If you have a unique practice to share with other lodges, submit it to ChapterResources@oa-bsa.org.
To download the PDF version of this Best Practice, click here.