AGM - sail buttons

  • Simon Lovesey
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28 Sep 2009 20:25 #20566 by Simon Lovesey
AGM - sail buttons was created by Simon Lovesey
IMCA is going through the ballot process for the adoption of sail buttons, this follows on an unanimous approval for this proposal at the 2006 UK AGM and this year the approval by the Irish membership.

Despite already being approved by the UK membership this is back on the agenda of the forthcoming AGM. So to save more time going over old ground, here is the background to this proposal :

All non single manufactured junior and youth classes, and many of the International classes use the sale of sail buttons as a means of raising funds for the development/promotion of their classes. For most this forms a significant amount of their incomes, which has been used to great effect to help these classes grow and bring on new nations.

The International Optimist class has grown massively in the last few years by being pro-active and having the funds to take action to encourage new countries. See their development scheme
http://www.optiworld.org/develop.php

In the last six years they have helped 30 new countries establish and grow their fleets, all on the back of sail buttons.

Contrast this with IMCA where annual revenues are now only in the hundreds of pounds, with most eaten up by ISAF affiliation fees and other costs, leaving no ongoing funds for development and promotional activities. With falling membership numbers in each Mirror nation this situation is unlikely to improve.

Therefore we should embrace fund-raising ideas from other classes, particularly those who are growing and adopt sail buttons to provide a regular income flow. These work by IMCA selling a button (or similar) to the sail makers. Typically these would cost £10 each, and the feedback from the sailmakers based on their experience from other classes is this has minimal impact on the actual cost of sails, they absorb the additional fee as a growing class means they sell more sails.

We estimate that this scheme would generate several thousand pounds in additional funds pa to IMCA. These would be used to help grow the class through :

<ul><li>Production of promotional materials for the class </li>
<li>Advertising </li>
<li> PR Activities</li>
<li>Grants to new nations to help them establish a Mirror fleet </li>
<li>Grants to existing fleets</li>
</ul>

There are also other benefits, notably the class will form a partnership with its sail makers, and ensure they are kept in the communication loop, we will be able to see which sail makers are active

This proposal will effect very few people but will have a massive impact on the growth of the Mirror class and put into place a sustainable funding structures as per other classes.

IMCA Secretary

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  • mike
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29 Sep 2009 13:00 #16647 by mike
Replied by mike on topic AGM - sail buttons
<font color=navy>as treasurer of the imca and a committee member of the irish mca ...i would just like to make a few short points......
1. ireland used to have 337 members...in 2009 we have 30.....it doesn't take a mathematition to work out that the fees going to the imca will be greatly reduced from now on .
2.it has just been pointed out to me by our president having looked up the isaf rules that we can no longer have an open world championship..that requires 8 nations sailing in the event.

From what i can see being on the imca committee, all we do is pick the venue for future world championships!

However we as a committee want to do more than that...we want to market the mirror
we want to give grants to other poorer nations to build fibreglass mirrors in their own country
we want to give grants to the existing mirror nations that have projects/ideas to increase participation in mirrors.
as i have hinted at we cannot wait ...it may already be too late....hopefully not!...
so..if you are reading this please think about the sail button idea...please support it if you think the imca needs to help the mirror class....if you think we should just carry on as before just picking venues (that we can't call world championships anymore),then don't support sail buttons.
thank you for allowing me to post this on your website
kind regards
mike
</font id=navy>

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06 Oct 2009 08:55 #16651 by Martin Egan
Replied by Martin Egan on topic AGM - sail buttons
A few comments from me:

"Typically these would cost £10 each".

Well, not quite. There are two figures being discussed at International level. An RSA suggestion of £15 and Simon's suggestion of £20 per button.

"feedback from the sailmakers based on their experience from other classes is this has minimal impact on the actual cost of sails, they absorb the additional fee as a growing class means they sell more sails"

I have doubts over this and would be interested to see how many sailmakers are prepared to come on this forum and sign up to absorbing the extra cost ?

Major sailmakers are businesses. They are out to make a profit. My concern is that if that they have to put a button costing £20 on a sail, they will add their margin plus the labour costs of adding the button and the costs of keeping a stock of buttons (50 buttons would mean £1000 tied up). So rather than cost an extra £20, the figure might be closer to £20 + £20 (margin) + £5 labour = £45.

Needless to say, if a button costs a sailmaker £20 to buy, there will have to pay postage on a batch. Also if they pay over the internet using SailRacer or PayPal, the IMCA will not get £20 per button, but a bit less, maybe only £19. So at the end of the day the sailors could be paying £45 extra, and the IMCA gets only £19 of it, not a very efficient way of raising money.

Don't get me wrong, I'm in favour of the IMCA having more money to promote the class internationally. The tone of this forum is that buttons is the only show in town. The alternative being discussed at International level is to increase the cost of class associations in different countries belonging to the IMCA (which has not increased in ages as far as I can see).

By the way, the ISAF affiliation fee (£193.88)is less that the UK MCA's subscription to the IMCA (£261). Don't know what "other costs" Simon is referring to as the IMCA has not been able to pay any money to anyone since at least 2001 (so there has been no promotion, etc.). Thanks to Mike Hill, this situation has recently been resolved.







Edited by - MartinEgan on 06 October 2009 10:01:04

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  • Simon Lovesey
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06 Oct 2009 12:42 #16652 by Simon Lovesey
Replied by Simon Lovesey on topic AGM - sail buttons
Martin

Not sure where you have got the figure of £20 per button, the discussion has been around the £10 mark over two sails, ie £20

Ultimately the final implementation and methodology will be down to IMCA

IMCA's current income is circa £800 pa, other than ISAF affiliation there are other costs such as bank charges and other fees. This all means there is very little left to grow and promote the class.

With a large drop in membership numbers in the big mirror nations, increasing membership fees will not increase income levels, probably even cause them to fall, we cannot see this situation improving in the short term

The class needs multiple income streams, the use of sail buttons is a well proven methodology from other classes, there is NO evidence that their use has caused any problems for those classes, quite the opposite they have all prospered and grown on the back of them.

As Mike has pointed, the class is in a vulnerable position we need action and everyone to pull together. This proposal was unanimously approved by the 2006 AGM, Martin you were present, so why are we spending so much time and energy on this ?????



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  • Simon Lovesey
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07 Oct 2009 07:45 #16653 by Simon Lovesey
Replied by Simon Lovesey on topic AGM - sail buttons
Martin - You are right to point out there are alternative income streams for IMCA, and as you would have seen from the recent discussions the plan is to develop multiple sources of revenue

Just to be reliant on funding from subs is not going to work. The 2009 IMCA AGM agreed to rise NCA affiliation fees to 60p per boat, based on the recent audit, this would only realise a total of circa £400 per annum, as already explained this could be even smaller due to a decrease in numbers.

If the class does not want sail buttons but wants IMCA to be pro-active in promoting and growing the class, it will need an alternative plan. It is estimated we would need to raise affiliation fees to at least £3 to achieve any where near the profit the sale of sail buttons could achieve. So unless UK MCA absorbs these additional costs, membership fees would have to be increased by over £3 per boat for UK members

The IMCA development plans is focussing on income streams that will encompass the following sources :

* Affiliation fees
* Boat plaque fees
* Sail Buttons
* Merchandise
* Advertising/Sponsorship
* Events

These follow well proven methods in other classes, who on the back of sustainable funding structures have significantly grown their numbers


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07 Oct 2009 13:35 #16654 by Martin Egan
Replied by Martin Egan on topic AGM - sail buttons
Hi Simon,

the £20 figure is in the message from Celia May dated 2009/9/6

There is a table within the message, on the 2nd row it says 2 prices proposed and in one colunm it has the RSA proposal of £15, and the other has your proposal of £20. The next line in the table shows the estimate from each country. For the UK, in the "no of sails" column it has 150, so multiply by £20 per sail you get the figure of £3,000 which appears in the column for your proposal.

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  • Simon Lovesey
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07 Oct 2009 13:51 #16655 by Simon Lovesey
Replied by Simon Lovesey on topic AGM - sail buttons
Martin

I can confirm it is £10 per sail button for the proposal

The 150 refers to the number of sets of sails (main and jib), ie two buttons

So 150 * 10 * 2 = £3000

Simon

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  • Simon Lovesey
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08 Oct 2009 07:13 #16656 by Simon Lovesey
Replied by Simon Lovesey on topic AGM - sail buttons
In summary the key points are:
<ul>
<li>IMCA urgently needs to be taking a more dynamic and pro-active role in promoting the Mirror Class, helping new and existing Nations to grow and develop their Mirror Activity.</li>

<li>Membership numbers are falling in traditional nations, new nations are urgently needed.</li>

<li>Additional sustainable revenue streams need to be established to fund the above on an on-going basis.</li>

<li>Sale of sail buttons (or similar) are used by all other junior and youth classes as a means of generating good levels of repeatable revenues. These funds have helped these classes significantly grow on an international basis.</li>

<li>Evidence is cost of sails won't rise, a stronger and more active class, means more sails are likely to be sold. Also, increased volume and competition may even drive the price of sails down.</li>

<li>Additional benefits includes the scheme will bring the class in closer contact with its active sail makers </li>

<li>Ability to track sails</li>

<li>This proposal has already been unanimously approved by the UK MCA, also by the IRL membership</li>

<li>Sale of sail buttons will have a minimal (if any) effect on a few but its impact on the growth of the class will be massive. </li>

</ul>

Please support the IMCA efforts to help promote and grow <b>YOUR CLASS</b>

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  • John Hugo
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08 Oct 2009 13:07 #16657 by John Hugo
Replied by John Hugo on topic AGM - sail buttons
I hope the sail button proposal is implemented soon. Even if sailmakers pass on some of the costs, I think it is a price worth paying to stem the decline and promote a vigorous class internationally. Probably the majority of new sails are bought by the more actively competetive sailors for whom a slight increase in the cost of a sail would form a small proportion of their sailing budget, and would not "break the camel's back". A sinificant increase in class subscription might well deter ordinary club sailors from renewing or taking out membership. (I agree that we need other income sources.)

Go for it!

John Hugo

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