Dues Increase Proposal—What, How and Why

2019 Spring Ballot

What: Expanding the Members’ Voice in our Future

This year the Board is presenting the members a request for a dues increase. To increase the members’ voice in the division of dues between clubs and individuals, we will utilize preferential voting. This is an opportunity for the Sertoma leadership to help expand the members’ voice by explaining and engaging members in the process.

Preferential Voting: The process of voting by ranking your preference for a series of options.

Members will rank this series of options for the dues increase (including one option that is not an increase).

Rank (1–4) Individual Dues Club Dues
             _____      $110 $175
             _____      $100 $350
             _____      $105 $250
             _____      $80 (current) $175 (current)
How: Preferential Voting

Preferential voting is a method of ballot voting that can be applied excellently to both mail and email balloting. Why? Because it avoids the need to re-ballot in the event of a tie, or where there needs to be more than a “yes” or “no” choice. This enables groups to make the best choice by taking into account each voters second, third or even fourth choice.

Voting is a simple process. Members indicate their choices by order of preference. Ballots are sorted and counted based on the first preference on each ballot. If one preference has a majority of the vote, then it becomes the selected preference. If none of the choices receives a majority, then the ballots with the choice with the least votes are redistributed among the others based on the second choice indicated on the ballot. The process continues until one choice receives a majority of the ballots, and that choice becomes the winner.

This is a good system because it comes closer than voting by plurality (yes or no) by allowing voters to choose among the most desirable options.

Example: Four candidates are running for one office

Candidate 1st Count 2nd Count 3rd Count
Mr. A 91 105 152
Ms. B 96 101 121
Mr. C 35 5
Ms. D 75 95

A vote by plurality (pick one) Ms. B would win, but only has support of 35% of the voters. So Ms. B. may not the best choice to represent the will of the members. So, the 35 votes for Mr. C are redistributed, and the second preference on those ballots are given to the remaining three candidates. The result shows accounting for 1st and 2nd preference, there is no clear majority among the voters. The 75 ballots for Ms. D would be redistributed based on the 2nd preference between Mr. A and Mrs. B. Note in this sample 5 of the ballots that had Ms. D has 1st preference had Mr. C as the 2nd . These have no impact on outcome, but are included in totals to show all 75 ballots for Ms. D were redistributed.

Why a Dues Increase?

It has been nearly a decade since the last dues increase, and cost increases have continued to add up while our membership has not. The result is growing expenses and shrinking revenues.

We have and continue to change programs, reduce staff, limit activities and have made hundreds of decisions to manage our expenses. At the same time, we have made investments in efforts to grow revenues.

  • Training and support efforts focus on the skills and techniques to engage new members and donors in Sertoma.
  • CELEBRATE SOUND Don’t Walk in Silence® events have been an effective way to raise new money from new audiences. An effective and appropriate way to generate funds for club dues while generating greater exposure and support for club sponsorships.
  • Efforts to grow, and to create new relationships to encourage more people and organizations to engage in our mission. The Board is leading this effort and has committed to generate $60K annually with their efforts.

The results, though good, have not been enough to address the growing shortfall in revenue. Until we can build the participation of Sertoma members and engage new people and communities in these activities, we need to build a bridge to the future.

That bridge is the proposed dues increase. It will not solve our problem or give us a surplus at any level. It will simply allow us to continue to support and strengthen our members and clubs. It will allow us to continue to work with new people and new communities to build support for Sertoma.

So the real question in this debate is – do we stop here, separated from our future by a gap in our revenues, or do we build a bridge to our future and assure a second century of Sertoma service?