Your Committee have been looking into moving the ECA website from its current old unsupported platform onto a new and more modern platform that gives us all the features we need.
Having looked at various options over the last year or so, we would like to move to a platform called Sailing Club Manager (See https://www.sailingclubmanager.com ). We are looking at Class 2 membership.
However, in doing so this will significantly increase our annual website costs from under £100 per year to over £700 per year. In order to do this it would require an increase in membership fee over the next couple of years.
Our constitution requires us to approve any increase in membership fee at the AGM. As you know we have maintained a £30 annual membership fee for over 10 years now and the Committee feel that an increase at this time for something that will enable to better support the club and also make communications and events easier to run is a sensible option. We would also like to use the current opportunity when we have some time on our hands to use that time to set up the new site in parallel with our old with a view to cutting over later in the year.
As we cannot have a face to face EGM in the current circumstances, and for the foreseeable future, we would like to seek your support via electronic means in order that we can take this opportunity to move this forward.
The Committee therefore make the proposal:
1. To sign up to Sailing Club Manager starting in May 2020 or as soon as can be reasonably arranged. On assumption that the trial period is successful:
a. To use up to £500 of current cash reserves to partly subsidise the 2020/2021 costs.
b. To increase the membership fee payable from 2021 to £35 and in 2022 to £40. This would result in a net annual difference between income and outgoings over subsequent years of £48 (deficit) as result of the increase in website costs. If the proposal is agreed then at the 2020 and 2021 AGMs the membership fee will automatically include a ‘pre-approved’ increase in line with this proposal, with no vote taken on this component. (Any other change to the membership fee put forward for other reasons are not covered here and remain subject to usual AGM vote).
The reasons for this proposal are:
1. The website is our primary means of communications for all our Association activities and therefore should be fit for purpose.
2. The current website is extremely old and unsupported. Our ECA domain based email system is failing and we have no means to fix it. Our webmaster also needs to regularly write HTML code in order to achieve what we do with it. We cannot rely in future on having a sufficiently technical person in the role of webmaster to support this. Moving to a menu and WYSIWYG driven platform will enable future support by a person with more basic computer skills. We need to avoid the use of a web designer who may cost upwards of £50 per hour.
3. Having reviewed the various options available to us (investigated by sub-committee) there were two solutions in the running which would meet most of our requirements. Whilst WebConnect is a cheaper option, it does not have all the features of Sailing Club Manager and it requires an underlying website to be maintained to support those functions it does not. The effort involved in setup, migration, and subsequent maintenance of such a hybrid setup were considered to outweigh the saving in cost. In addition, with Sailing Club Manager, after the first year we are under a quarterly rolling contract so the maximum financial costs should we decide to terminate after a year will be a maximum of the cost of a 3 months subscription.
4. Sailing Club Manager is in use by many clubs around the Chichester and Portsmouth area, Including ESSC, Itchenor Sailing Club, Portchester Sailing Club to mention a few so we consider this gives confidence that this product has good backing to ensure its ongoing availability and success.
5. We have been building a cash surplus over the last few years so the use of £500 to subsidise 2020, and to not fully cover the annual additional running costs of approximately £48 per year can be borne by the Association.
Please reply to this email (email@example.com) no later than Noon on the 19th April to register your acceptance or rejection of this proposal (one vote per membership). All replies will be acknowledged, so if you do not receive an acknowledgement please contact me. We will be taking any non-reply as your tacit acceptance of the proposal, so if you do not support the proposal you need to positively act.
(Note: This communication is also being published on the website and on our Facebook Group page so you may receive more than one notification).
The ECA Committee