Proposed Pickleball Fees for 2021
After reviewing several reasons to increase and decrease our membership fee for 2021, your board proposes fees remain at $30 (plus GST), if paid before April 1, and $35 thereafter. More specifically, it was recommended the fees:
- go up $20 to build our capital reserve for future facilities,
- go down $10 due to possibility of a shorter playing season or other Covid restrictions,
- go down $10 due to shorter membership year, which will end December 31, 2021 to align with Pickleball Canada,
- possibly go up $5 due to higher Pickleball Canada fees (effective Apr 1), and
- explicitly show the GST added-on.
Details, Rationale and Your Input!
Thanks again to each and every one of the 30 SAPC members who reviewed the club's proposed Capital Reserve Strategy called "Investing in our Future." Twenty-eight of the 30 respondents agreed the club should be building a small reserve to become the down payment or seed money for possible future indoor and outdoor pickleball facilities.
When we asked for your input to this strategy, we specifically asked if we should build a capital reserve by adding 15% to our future prices, or whether we should take a more aggressive approach, as some clubs in BC have done, to more quickly expand their indoor playing capacity. For example, one BC club doubled their membership fee from $30 per year to $60 per year, and together with sponsorships and municipal funding, were able to put a $1 million structure over some outdoor courts, turning them into indoor courts. The majority of the respondents to our informal poll favoured this more aggressive fund-raising approach.
In keeping with this support, your board had initially considered a membership fee increase that would be moderate-- more than 15% but not as aggressive as some BC clubs. In particular, the Board considered recommending an annual fee of $50 for 2021, with the surplus funds for the year going to a capital reserve for future facilities. However, there are other factors which now cause us to rethink this approach.
- One factor is that COVID-based closures or play restrictions may inhibit some play or shorten our playing season in 2021. So for this reason, we thought we'd recommend an annual fee of only $40.
- Another factor is that we need to change our membership year to be compliant with a new Pickleball Canada national standard pickleball membership year which will now go from Jan 1 to Dec 31, starting in 2022. This means our 2021 membership year will only go from May 1 2021 to Dec 31 2021. So now your board recommends our membership fee for 2021 be dropped back to $30 plus GST.
Do you know that $10 of the $30 we collect has been relayed to Pickleball Alberta ($5) and to Pickleball Canada ($5), to secure your membership in those organizations? This not only supports the national development of our sport, it buys you sports injury insurance while playing in club-organized events.
This leads to a fourth factor affecting rates for 2021. Pickleball Canada needs to charge $10 per member. Insurance costs are rising and their volunteers are well past any reasonable volunteer capacity (and we can vouch for all the hard work they are doing -- it is phenomenal.) So they need to hire a part-time Executive Director this year. At $10 per member in Pickleball Canada, they will still run a deficit this year. Although not yet officially announced, Pickleball Canada's price increase is expected to be effective April 1, so if you buy or renew an SAPC membership between March 1 and March 31, you would see it still available at $30 plus GST. Consider it a sale price!
When to Pay
Membership fees for 2021 are due before May 1. If Covid keeps us shut down past May 1, some of you may wish to delay renewing your membership until play actually starts. We understand. Please also know that your club does have some on-going costs, like IT systems costs, that must be paid whether we collect revenues or not. Also, as your club is still 100% volunteer run, our costs are very low compared to all other organized sports. We encourage early payment, even if you are not yet playing -- consider it a donation to support your future fun, because you know we will be playing again eventually.
Process will change likely in June
And while we are talking fees and systems, please also note that we are working closely with Pickleball Alberta and Pickleball Canada to bring in a new national system for membership management. This will complicate our club's membership registration process when it goes live in Alberta, sometime after May 1, so you can save yourself a bit of trouble this year by renewing using our current process, on or before May 1. Stay tuned for more on this new system in upcoming communications.
If you have a comment, concern or suggestion regarding club, Pickleball Alberta and Pickleball Canada membership fees, please email your board c/o Ray Keroack at Treasurer@pickleballstalbert.ca