Have you received any answers from Wayne that can be shared with the rest of us that have the same or similar questions as you?
I did not receive any response despite the commitment noted previously in this thread. I did stop by the UF booth at SEMA, and no additional information was provided. Maybe I am not asking the right questions. The only insight I was offered is that some of my information might be coming from a disgruntled former contractor. I admitted that it is always possible that such circumstance might exist, and that I was taking time away from my vacation to visit UFWDA at their booth and get the straight scoop. But no information was provided to counter the one small piece of information I received from this former contractor. It was also similar to information I received from a current BOD member. But this small piece of information is only a tiny part of the bigger discussion I'm trying to have here.
UFWDA currently engages a number of individuals in a contractor capacity. Compensation is based on a percentage commission or a predetermined contractor rate. Commissions are not paid on individual membership sales or donations. Commissions are currently paid on business member sales, advertising and event organization.
This is the first time I've seen or heard an official statement that "event organization" is a component of any contractor commission payments. This has not been disclosed previously on this forum, and it was not disclosed during my conversation with UFWDA at SEMA. There still seems to be no answer regarding Marti's $6K commission on income generated at the Wheel-In. There has been no confirmation, no denial, and no explanation. Again I have to recommend transparency. A couple different people have asked, and it seems reasonable to expect a response detailing the income, costs and commissions associated with the Wheel-In. I'm in no way suggesting impropriety in this case, and merely seeking clarification. The lack of response
I think it's also worth noting that one contractor (filling two roles) is being paid a predetermined rate AND a percentage based commission.
UFWDA Treasurer, Paul Hittie, made this comment in a forum post on 10/27:
Marti is paid a straight commission on her business advertising sales. No salary, no selective-commissions or tiered commission rates.
I'm not sure why the Treasurer wouldn't be aware that Marti Pugh IS paid a salary in addition to a percentage based commission.
UFWDA does not disclose specifics on employment engagements or contracts.
As we discussed at SEMA, it is both my personal and professional opinion that transparency and accountability is paramount for member/donor supported organizations. I've made the same comment in other threads on this forum, and based on responses from other UFWDA BOD members I incorrectly assumed that transparency was a priority. I was informed at SEMA that the UFWDA leadership believes there are some things that should not be discussed with the general membership.
UFWDA is always open to opportunities to receive assistance on a volunteer basis. Clearly though, any offers are evaluated to ensure that the individual has experience that will benefit UFWDA and will be a good fit within the current team. Anybody who feels they have something to offer should direct that interest to the Executive Director, or myself, with a summary of interests/experience that can benefit UFWDA.
I have to question this statement. My own attempts to offer assistance were refused well before any personal discussions turned sour. I was told to just send money.
There has been considerable concern raised over comments I recently made regarding and expected collection rate of 25% of some current receivables. UFWDA has not delivered any services against these receivables. When a commitment is made from a business to UFWDA, an invoice is issued which creates a receivable. Looking forward we expect a 25% payment on these receivables based on feedback from business supporters. The primary causes are budget cut backs or, in some cases, the closing of a business. The point of the comment was to illustrate the fact the supporting business dollars will become increasingly tight in the current economic environment. We always welcome support through membership, donation or the promotion of UFWDA to organizations and individuals through networking, the publishing of articles or positive comments over Internet forums.
I have offered and continue to offer volunteer assistance in collecting on these and any other unfulfilled business pledges.
I'm not condoning any behavior by a couple folks here the last couple weeks, but that statement right there raises my eyebrows and I actually have a problem with it. I am and have been behind everything United has and is doing. I thought United was a member owned and supported organization, and as such I can't understand that statement or policy. The thing is I have no problem with what anyone is paid or has been paid. It may not even be enough. But to hide or keep this information a secret? It's the principle of the matter, and EVERYTHING should be disclosed on request. This is not a healthy track to be on IMO. If I'm off base or I am misunderstanding this topic, then please correct me.
This comment mirrors my thoughts on the issue.
Keith, although this forum is primarily for the UFWDA members and through their membership fees they are de-facto shareholders, this is otherwise a fully public internet site. I'm not so sure that the information you are suggesting should be in the full glare of the wider public, I know that if it was my income being high-lighted then I'd be unhappy (yes it's that low). You need to give some credit to your BOD to manage those matters and understand that we do so with care and with appropriate advice.
Transparency and accountability should be the policy over a message of "trust us".
As Wayne mentioned in his commentary, if there are specific matters that members wish to discuss, he will speak with you.
Regrettably, I have found this statement to be incorrect.
I would like to bring this thread back to the original intent of receiving answers to some specific questions. I will fill in the answers that were provided. Please note necessary corrections for anything that is not accurate.
[quote auther=Steve Jackson]Is there a contractor at UFWDA who is paid a commission based on gross receipts?[/quote]
This questions was answered, and the stated answer is "No". A 30% commission is paid for business membership sales, advertising sales, and "net proceeds" of organized events.
[quote auther=Steve Jackson]If business sponsorship pledges receive only 25% fulfillment, why doesn't UFWDA take advantage of volunteers offering their time to help with this problem?[/quote]
This question was answered, and the stated answer is "UFWDA is always open to opportunities to receive assistance on a volunteer basis. Clearly though, any offers are evaluated to ensure that the individual has experience that will benefit UFWDA and will be a good fit within the current team."
[quote auther=Steve Jackson]Why does UFWDA repeatedly claim it does not require any assistance in selling advertising or business memberships even though the production of The Voice is losing ~$38,000/year?*[/quote]
This question has not been answered except to say that this is a component of a long term plan. Please see the note at the end of this post.
On a related topic, in response to a specific request for assistance from Carla and Paul, I require the following information.
Job descriptions for currently defined contractor and employee positions.
Copies of previously offered contractor RFP's, employment advertisements, and other solicitations for human resources.
Copies of existing contractor agreements in place for currently active contractors.
Copies of any proposed contractor agreements for unfulfilled positions (if any).
Copies of commission structure and other payment definition documents for current contractor positions (filled or unfilled).
None of this information was provided.
Here is the text of the request from Carla and seconded by Tom Sumner (I apologize, I referenced Paul instead of Tom):
Can you please assist us in finding a contractor that will work for a base salary and would you please work with our Treasurer, Paul Hittie email@example.com in re-writing the 2009 budget to pay for this contractor? Can you discuss what the base salary would need to be to attract someone? We would sincerely appreciate your help with this undertaking.
Steve I second that request. I too thank you for that undertaking. It would be very much appreciated with your expertise in this field.
At this point I am left to assume that the request made by Carla and Tom was put forward without expectation of acceptance or as some kind of sarcastic comment. They made a request (which I interpreted as literal and official) for asssistance. I accepted this request. When I tried to collect the information required to complete the request for assistance, the information was not provided. It seems particularly hard for someone to help out after they've already sent their money and want to donate some time.
It has gotten lost in all these discussions, so I'll reiterate a few points.
I worked for seven years as a consultant at a direct response marketing firm that caters exclusively to non-profit clients.
I offered services in general business operations, fundraising, marketing, data collection, trend analysis, branding, communications, print production, television targeting, and more.
I have worked the last four years as a private consultant continuing to work primarily with non-profits while expanding into for-profit markets.
I have seen first hand what can go right and what can go wrong in donor/member supported organizations.
I had a small window of free time where I tried to offer some assistance to UFWDA, specifically on business and ad sales. I made this offer strictly as a volunteer trying to help an organization that protects the privelage of 4x4 recreation. Admittedly, I can be very brash, but the "turf protecting" and stonewalling began well before our discussions became heated. I was met with a response I've seen too many times at even the most well-intentioned non-profits. I was told there is no need for any assistance in business membership sales or ad sales. Every suggestion was met with rhetoric and canned responses defending the current course. I was told that UFWDA is concerned about funding, but then told that it needed no help in this area. I was told that the lack of support was the result of user apathy rather than any problems with marketing or the message. If this is how UFWDA operates, I fear that this organization is not reaching the potential that we all hope for and need. I have received several comments supporting the concerns I have raised. These comments have come from other associations, other UFWDA members, and even two UFWDA BOD members.
If someone is reading this and thinks I'm just here to cause "trouble" then you have no idea who I am. I only have one objective with these discussions. That objective is to protect 4x4 recreation on public lands through any means necessary.So to sum up, I'm dissapointed with the lack of openness shown by UFWDA's leadership. I would expect considerably more responsiveness from an organization howling about a lack of support from the same community it feels shouldn't be privy to the details of how it operates. I continue to contend that those two conditions are related.
*Issues with the cost of The Voice:
I should make a correction to the figure noted. A fat-fingered session at the calculator lead to "$38,000" when the correct number should be "$32,000". This calculation was a surprise to the UFWDA leadership at SEMA. It is based on the actual expenses and income for The Voice from the third quarter of 2007 through the second quarter of 2008 (4 issues). Based on the numbers from that time period, the existing commission payment structure, and previous ad sales, net cost after production, commission, and advertising income is $32,000. I look forward to seeing the actual numbers for 2008 if that information can be made available after the end of the year and prior to the 2009 meeting.
I have put forth that spending ~15% of UFWDA's total income on The Voice is a poor use of scarce resources. $32K is money that could be spent elsewhere on any number of badly needed areas of improvement. I have suggested that through a combination of increasing the ad to content ratio, reducing production costs, and reducing the number of pages, The Voice could become self-sustaining on a much faster schedule.
The arguments against this approach are reasonable and generally sound under different circumstances. Under the circumstances existing at UFWDA, it is impossible to justify such an expenditure in my evaluation. It is quite common for marketing budgets to be allocated to a publication to offset hard costs, but not in the neighborhood of 15% of total income. Expecting the publication to grow into the cost makes perfect sense in an environment where the cost is 2-3% of total income. There are many unquantifiable benefits provided by The Voice in its current form. Meanwhile, there are quantifiable lost opportunities while The Voice is being paid for by the general fund. I equate this strategy to buying stocks while you have credit card debt. Despite any gains made in the market, those gains (and more) will be consumed by accruing interest.
That's my personal and professional evaluation. I feel pretty strongly about it because of my concern for the cause in general. I hate to see money wasted or incorrectly allocated when other more immediate opportunities exist.