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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am the Treasurer of our Chapter. During the insurance dustup I wrote an email to the IMBA President & the IMBA Board expressing my PERSONAL OPINION on how the issue was handled. I also asked that the membership revenue share be reversed as a reflection of the loss of the subsidized insurance benefit to Chapters. The IMBA President informed me that the way to address any change to the revenue share would be to bring it up at the Summit in Colorado this summer.

Is there any interest in putting together something like a proposal/petition to institute a change to the share ratio?

60/40 reversal too drastic? 50/50?

I'm looking for ideas on how to best put this idea on paper and get it in front of the IMBA Board for consideration.

I look forward to your ideas, concerns & opinions.

Thanks
Jim Wilbourne
Treasurer - Roanoke IMBA
 

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Ballstein Models
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We'd be happy to assist in drafting a proposal and perhaps we could front run the effort at the IMBA Midwest Regional Summit we are hosting in mid-May. I'd suggest that flipping to 60 club/ 40 national is not too drastic. Frankly we've considered leaving the chapter program entirely.

Cheers
Nelson Donovan
President - Capital Off Road Pathfinders, INC
Madison WI IMBA Chapter
 

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Bicyclochondriac.
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I am in favor of it.... but you already know that from our Board meetings :)
 

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It's about showing up.
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Whatever the ratio, now is the time to build your support group for leverage. IMBA isn't going to change out of the goodness of their heart.

The Chapter program is being utilized to develop the idea that those who pay as Chapters get more comprehensive services. That costs money and that model has already been apportioned. Giving their portion up will not come easy.

There were over 20,000 replies during the IMBA Insurance Failure. There ought to be some influence there.
 

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Tre1nt
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Regarding the 60/40 revenue split, IMBA is definitely listening to the feedback of chapter leaders, and to potential new chapters. But the economics of the chapter program need to be better understood in order to have an informed discussion.

I'm compiling a bunch of related info that will soon be published in IMBA's annual report. The biggest takeaway is that last year IMBA invested nearly $3 back into the chapter program for every $1 received via that 60/40 revenue share with chapters.

This investment totaled about $1.3 million in the form of direct support for chapters -- it includes salaries for region directors and associate region directors, and direct costs of region- and chapter-based programming. It does not include any of overhead that IMBA incurs, such as administering the chapter program, communications support, office rent, etc.

Of that $1.3 million investment in chapter support, about $437,000 came from the revenue share arrangement on chapter memberships.

These numbers are still being compiled and analyzed, but they won't change much. Everything will be published in the annual report, due out in a few weeks.
 

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Tre1nt
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Not in any substantial way. The monies collected from all non-chapter supporting organizations totaled about $30K last year, which is about 2 percent of IMBA's budget. A portion of that $30K would have been directed to the chapter/regional services IMBA provides, but definitely not all of it. And, non-chapter local organizations do receive support from region directors and other region staff, though not at the same priority level that chapters receive.
 

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The 60/40 split was THE reason my group (Saratoga Mountain Bike Association) decided not to join the chapter program. Mike V even offered us a very attractive incentive, we just couldn't justify the expense. Perhaps it is in the cards for us in the future, but for now in it's current structure it is not.

On top of the 60/40 split concern, our regional director had to resign for family reasons after a few months on the job. IMBA decided not to refill the Northeast Director position even though they supposedly had a grant to cover the salary. This was extremely disappointing to me and perhaps a show of how well IMBA values my region. The mid-Atlantic rep is filling the role for now. Frank Maquire is awesome and I love working with him, but there is only one of him and he is already stretched thin as it is with the Mid Atlantic region.

I still support IMBA as an individual and our club will continue to be an affiliate. But the chapter program doesn't make sense for us right now. Unless IMBA modifies the program and shows more support for our area I don't see how we, or any other established group in my area could justify becoming a Chapter.
 

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The mid-Atlantic rep is filling the role for now. Frank Maquire is awesome and I love working with him, but there is only one of him and he is already stretched thin as it is with the Mid Atlantic region.
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Yes, Frank has been awesome.

Unfortunately, he is leaving his position with IMBA next month.

This is a huge loss for us chapters in his region. He will be sorely missed.
 

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Yes, Frank has been awesome.

Unfortunately, he is leaving his position with IMBA next month.

This is a huge loss for us chapters in his region. He will be sorely missed.
Wow, big loss for the mountain bike community across our whole region. He brought a wealth of knowledge and know how.

" Mike V even offered us a very attractive incentive, we just couldn't justify the expense."

??????? Details please.
We were offered grant assistance with some expenses we had at the time, if you want more details PM me. I was still on board with joining the chapter program, but was unable to get enough votes within our leadership group to support it. Then our regional director resigned and IMBA decided not to fill the position. That decision basically meant (to me at least) that IMBA was giving up on NY and all the great momentum that was started here. This dramatically changed my vote, and I am now glad we didn't enter the chapter program (even before the insurance debacle).
 

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Anyone have the scoop on why Frank left? I have heard some rumors.
I heard it was related to the insurance problems which he had warned IMBA about for years.


My local club just became an IMBA chapter and I decided to leave my officer position. In part due to a new baby and in part because I didn't feel it was the right move. As a small club 60% of our dues going to IMBA is a huge chunk of money leaving us with barely enough to cover cost. I'd be very interested to see the break down of what the money is used for.
 

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Single(Pivot)and Happy
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Thanks Mark for the info. IMBA putting back $2 for every Chapter dollar is notable. IMBA obviously took into consideration what it would take financially to effectively operate the Chapter program when they arrived at the 60%/40% split.

All Chapters are not equal in membership numbers or share the same ability to raise funds to operate. Therefore, I do not see a "one size fits all" revenue split, regardless of percentage, benefiting all Chapters, nor IMBA.

As in any business transaction, one must consider the cost of investment to the return on investment.

Many Chapters have stated they joined the Chapter program to alliviate membership management. IMBA has stated that approximately 20% of the revenue split goes to cover the cost of membership management. Considering there are membership management software available for free, the 20% costs seems about right.

The big question that each Chapter must ask themselves: Does the cost of Chapter membership benefit both you and IMBA?

If IMBA has to reduce the cost of Chapter membership from what it currently is, it follows that the benefits of Chapter membership will no doubt HAVE to be reduced. Operating costs are operating costs. Lets be real here.

Now the question is: Is reduced Chapter membership costs, whatever they may be, worth it?
 

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It might be time for the IMBA board to consider asking Mike Van Abel to step down. Our club feels that IMBA has been diversifying their organization too much. Spreading resources too thin. Drop the professional trail building and the instructor training and stick with advocacy for all 50 states.
We are a working club and we always get denigrated by IMBA for it. Become a dues paying club and join us they say. Damn you! How about you push for more volunteers to build trails and less about raising money to have someone else do it. Where is the pride in turning over the trail building to "for profit" company.
 

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Damn you! How about you push for more volunteers to build trails and less about raising money to have someone else do it. Where is the pride in turning over the trail building to "for profit" company.
I 100% agree with the volunteer aspect. A sense of accomplishment come from building and maintaining a trail.
While volunteers are great, and the backbone of any successful trail, enthusiasm and knowledge don't necessarily go hand in hand. History is legion with stories of trails shut down, restricted, and otherwise made unavailable due to enthusiastic volunteers who weren't properly trained, and made bad or dangerous trails.

While the personal level of "pride" might be reduced on a trail that isn't fully built by volunteers, the level of "fun" is often a more than reasonable offset. Also, it allows for the project to be done and ridable this summer, rather than worked on all this summer to open mid-summer next year

Also, I have worked with trails that have been professionally built, and at no time when the contractor finished up has the trail been "done". The trail is mostly finished, and needs the volunteers to polish and tweak the build. Personally, I feel quite a bit more pride finishing a 30 foot rockgarden than benchcutting 300 yards of trail.

As for the IMBA, vocal advocacy is great, but boots on the ground from any organization is far more powerful. If the IMBA didn't offer design and build services, their voice would be drastically reduced outside the MTB community. Ultimately it is working with those out-of-MTB folks that generally proves the biggest hurdle to trail building. Presenting your prospective land manager with a large organization, with a history of making successful trails, and the resources to make a quality trail on their land has much more weight than enthusiastic volunteers with the same proposal. Yes, there are more hands in the pot, and yes sometimes getting a project to shovel-ready status can take longer, but the likelihood of the project happening at all increases greatly.
 

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The reality is that in this day and age every person in the country is trying juggle home, work, play and then finding some time to do some volunteering. It is much easier for most to pay their money and have their club do the fund raising to pay for pro trail builders to come in.
And maybe in your experience some volunteers don't know how to properly build trails but don't talk about all of us. We have spent a lot of effort to train our volunteers on what constitutes a good trail and from my travels I can say that we are putting a superior product out that all can enjoy for many years to come. It also can be said that professional and machine built trails are not always great. Too cookie cutter for a lot of us.
And imba is only got one trail crew on the road these days. Hardly a great endorsement for imba. Too much effort into other not so great endeavors.
 
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