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UFWDA Community Forum  |  UFWDA General Discussion  |  Membership  |  Topic: Supporting United « previous next »
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Author Topic: Supporting United  (Read 9248 times)
Trish Dinsmore
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« on: March 25, 2007, 07:05:38 pm »

To the four wheeling community:

I find it very interesting that there are associations who show very little support to United. The Virginia Four wheel Drive Association-VA4WDA will send $8992.00 to United in dues for 2007.  They support United with 100% membership.  How do you value what United does for the sport of four wheeling? Is what you send to United in dues, 1%, 10% of your membership?  Is that how you value United?  What United does for our sport is more than the publication of a newsletter.  Our very right to enjoy four wheeling is a continuous battle that United is fighting for us. 
Everyone should be supporting United with 100% membership. If you are a member of an association that does not support United with 100% membership you should be embarrassed.

Trish Dinsmore


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Jim Mazzola
UFWDA President
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« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2007, 10:56:01 pm »

Trish,
So you have 599.46 members!   Roll Eyes
Seriously though, I just got off a conference call with our Board of Directors and I had a long time member of the Association question the value of UFWDA. And if we should still renew as members. And this is a person who does battle with the DNR and our Natural Resource Commission in our state defending the rights of 4 wheelers Huh Huh
Sometimes I just don't know to shoot myself or the person who said it!
Thanks again for your support. I know with Carla being right at your side, you experience first hand the value of her leadership.
jim-kb8ymf
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Scott Hatch
NorthEast Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs
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« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2007, 11:28:26 am »

I support United and the NEA4WDC supports United.

The NEA4WDC doesn't force its member clubs to belong to any organization unless that member club chooses to. We encourage them to join but its felt that the decision should be left to the individual club. Our member clubs support the mission of United and some support United financially.

It is important to understand that the North East region of the US is much different than other areas in our nation. We don't have any BLM land nor do we have any federal lands open to 4x4 use. Our energies and resources here are spent dealing with 6 different state legislative bodies that cover the approximate size of one western state. It is also imporant to understand that the average membership cost of joining any club in the North East is about $40. As such it is difficult to sell United to clubs that would use over 1/2 of a member's dues towards dues to the NEA and United.

To be honest it is a difficult sell considering the above and the fiscal status of the Voice. Many of our member clubs feel that United is not being fiscally responsible when the Voice continues to loose money every year which I hope we can resolve ASAP.

We are working towards increasing United's influence in the North East

We showing our members the value of United by having John Stewart teach the United Land Use Seminar.

We have submitted a proposal to host United in 2008

We are sending delegates to the United conventions

We are meeting with the member clubs and discussing the importance of having a voice on the federal level.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2007, 11:30:09 am by Scott Hatch » Logged

Scott Hatch
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« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2007, 11:57:34 am »

Personally I think supporting UFWDA means having some faith, just a little in the Board of Directors and the Extended Board to do the job they were elected by you to do.  Instead of attacking everything they have done or tried to do and saying that it's good but.. there are not very many people out there who care more about UFWDA then its BOD members (whether you think they have been perfect or not).  Breaking everything down or believing for one minute that the board is trying to play power games is ridiculous.

Give them some rope, let them make the changes they think will ultimatly help the organization, then monitor it. They are the ones who have spent 365 days a year (or close to it) working on UFWDA, not 1 or 2 weeks a year 2nd guessing it.  Give them a chance and I would bet everyone would be very happy with what will happen at the national and international level over the next 5 years.

Or do the same thing that has been done for at least the past three / four years and 2nd guess everything until whatever comes out is a worthless compromise.

My suggestion is to accept the changes as they are.  That to me (my personnal opinion not representing my Organization, Association or Club) is the way to support UFWDA.

My $0.02

- Shawn
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« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2007, 12:41:21 pm »

It is important to note that while BLM and Forest Service have limited opportunities (especially in the northeast), there are many state a private land opportunities.  The core issue is accress for recreation opportunity.

Scott, your concerns about the fiscal status of the UFWDA Voice have been discussed at length by the Board.  We have reviewed al of the options (including elimination of the expense).  The end result was we need to communicate with members and provide a means by which we can attrack business revenue.

That means is advertising; which i swhy we also restructured the business membership to place more emphasis on advertising opportunity.  Our goal is to make the UFWDA Voice self-sustaining on advertising income. 

We are working to establish metrics where we can track progress to that goal.  Early results indicate that business member income (including advertising) for the 1st quarter of 2007 is slightly ahead of the same quarter in 2006.

I just returned from Spring SEMA in Atlanta with one new business member and several high probable prospects.  All are expected to have additional advertising.

I have been analyzing the individual membership numbers.  For the 1st quarter of 2007, our new individual member numbers are higher than any quarter since 3rd qtr 2004.  And, our membership renewals have been consistant for the past three quarters.

While it is too early to tell, these are some positive indicators.  Our goal is to ensure these indicators remain on a positive trend.
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Scott Hatch
NorthEast Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs
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« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2007, 08:36:12 pm »

I'm not attacking anyone or questioning any member of the BOD or officer has anything but the best intentions in mind for United. I am only relaying information and concerns as I have received from my members and I'm not trying to bring back the horrible proceedings from the last convention.

I have faith in the elected officers and members of the BOD that the United will turn things around.

If you have the tools and/or information to bring more member clubs into the fold, PLEASE relay the info to me

I am only responding to what I perceive as an attack by Trish, which was also sent to me in a PM, with the reasons why MY association doesn't have 100% participation in United.
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Scott Hatch
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« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2007, 08:56:12 pm »

Thanks for your vote of confidence.

Several of us are looking for the "tools and/or information" to bring more members into the fold.

I have listened tothe arguements from both sides.  And, there are valid issues.

Crafting a solution is the hard part.

In the end, it comes done to people will inves in what the believe support their goals. 

I would like to see an increase in membership (partiicpation) by the up and coming generation.

I am always looking for my successor...
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« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2007, 10:43:31 pm »

I'm not attacking anyone or questioning any member of the BOD or officer has anything but the best intentions in mind for United. 

It was a general statement in relation to the title of this post "Supporting United".  It is directed at each and every Organization within UFWDA.

I have faith in the elected officers and members of the BOD that the United will turn things around..

Great then direct your Delegates to do the right thing, my opinion (which you don't have to like or even agree with) is to show that faith by believing that the officers and paid staff are doing the right thing and have been looking at this over the years and not just for a few weeks or moments in time like the delegates generally do.

I am only responding to what I perceive as an attack by Trish, which was also sent to me in a PM, with the reasons why MY association doesn't have 100% participation in United.

Don't know what happened in private but put yourself in the 100% associations place.. they feel like they are supporting the non-100% associaitons.  And we all know that the topic of conversation for at least the last 4 years is the inequity of the dues structure.  It is broken and unfair.  The BOD has tried to fix it and been shot down every time.  Now it's more convulauted then ever.  So let them fix it and see what happens in 4 or 5 years.

Again just my $0.02
« Last Edit: March 26, 2007, 10:47:47 pm by Shawn Pagan » Logged

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Scott Hatch
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« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2007, 07:03:43 am »

Don't know what happened in private but put yourself in the 100% associations place.. they feel like they are supporting the non-100% associaitons.  And we all know that the topic of conversation for at least the last 4 years is the inequity of the dues structure.  It is broken and unfair.  The BOD has tried to fix it and been shot down every time.  Now it's more convulauted then ever.  So let them fix it and see what happens in 4 or 5 years.

Conversly try to put yourself in our position, attacking someone is not the way to discuss an issue. The only thing it does is further divide us.

As I stated I would like to see 100% participation in United from our member clubs but my Assocation is not going to dictate to our clubs that they MUST join United.

Give me some additional TOOLS and INFORMATION to sell United and I would be happy to do so

Please do not judge ME from the actions of another, I understand your frustration because I deal with the same thing. I am not judging United from a snap shot of a few weeks time, I believe in United and want to see United grow and prosper.
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Scott Hatch
President NorthEast Association of 4WD Clubs
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Carla Boucher
UFWDA Executive Director & Legal Counsel
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« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2007, 09:14:36 am »

I just got off a conference call with our Board of Directors and I had a long time member of the Association question the value of UFWDA. And if we should still renew as members.

Jim, I think the people on this thread could really benefit from hearing how you responded to your member who asked what the value of UFWDA is.  Every association is asked that question by their members and if they can see how you fielded the question they could similarly answer the question.

Thanks
Carla
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Carla Boucher, Attorney
United Four Wheel Drive Associations
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« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2007, 09:42:02 am »

Conversly try to put yourself in our position, attacking someone is not the way to discuss an issue. The only thing it does is further divide us.

You are correct; but letting it fester amoung those who feel cheated also doesn't solve anything so perhaps it at least started a healthy discussion.  While I agree 100% that no one should attack anyone about this I also don't think there is anything wrong with some confrontation as long as it doesn't get ugly.  But that is one of those challenges the bod has right?  Everyone is going to defend their own turf no matter who thinks what is right and the job of the board is to understand what works for UFWDA by taking bits and pieces and melding them together.

Putting myself in your position - I can't, I don't live there and I don't know what your priorities are.  What I do know that without money and control of their own destiny organizations like UFWDA can not exisit.  The work they do at the national level is the work that impacts the future of the sport.  The people that run the organization on a daily basis need the freedom to run the business of UFWDA and not have their hands tied to a yearly meeting where they are told how bad a job they are doing instead of hearing feedback on what need to be done around the country.

We have some of the same issues hear in CO when it comes to money - especially for landuse... while we have open trails and public lands we also have to decide where our money goes - the local club (For me: WagonMaster and Trailridge Runner), the state Association (CO State Associaiton of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs), The State Coalition (CO Off Highway Vehicle Coalition), The state sticker program (Not required for 4x4's but if the % of 4x4's drop then MC and ATV get all the funding), and the national orgs (like UFWDA). 

By the time one spends a little at each place it adds up.  So I do understand that it's not $25.. it's more like $60 or $70. 

As I stated I would like to see 100% participation in United from our member clubs but my Assocation is not going to dictate to our clubs that they MUST join United.

So I believe the new plan removes the inequity and allows your clubs/association to do just that.  So vote in the changes as they sit and see what happens.  The 100% and the non-100% will make their own choices but it will be on a level playing field.

Give me some additional TOOLS and INFORMATION to sell United and I would be happy to do so

Hmm.. the future of the sport should be all that is needed.. but unfortunatly I know it's not.  Land use (your already doing).. but that's a big part.  Awareness training can be used to bring in new people etc. 

I find that just putting UFWDA on the state agenda and the clubs agenda even if for only 1 or 2 minutes at every meeting and talking about things that are happening from someone who takes a few hours a week to read and understand what is happening makes a huge difference.  Just make sure that person you have do this (a delegate or other person) has the ability to break the work down into terms the people understand.  If they talk over everyone head no one will want to listen anymore.  The UFWDA's Voice has material so ask then if anyone needs to understand anything or ask the BOD for a quick update the week before your meeting (or check for PR on the website).

There's a few ideas - some you may already be doing.

Please do not judge ME from the actions of another, I understand your frustration because I deal with the same thing. I am not judging United from a snap shot of a few weeks time, I believe in United and want to see United grow and prosper.

I am not judging anyone from the actions of another.  In fact I'm not judging anyone.  What I said is that the 100%'ers don't think it's fair.  And they don't. That isn't a judgement, it's a fact and a feeling.  If you spent any time at convention the last 4 years then you would understand the truth in that statement whether it's got various levels and whether or note anyone has offered a fix.
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kf6zpl
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« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2007, 11:38:36 am »

Quote
I find that just putting UFWDA on the state agenda and the clubs agenda even if for only 1 or 2 minutes at every meeting and talking about things that are happening from someone who takes a few hours a week to read and understand what is happening makes a huge difference.  Just make sure that person you have do this (a delegate or other person) has the ability to break the work down into terms the people understand.  If they talk over everyone head no one will want to listen anymore.  The UFWDA's Voice has material so ask then if anyone needs to understand anything or ask the BOD for a quick update the week before your meeting (or check for PR on the website).

This is an important point.  One source of information not mentioned is the E-News.  Peter does pull someting together on a monthly basis to keep information current.

As UFWDA is "national", providing a sentence or two about "national" issues helps frame the goals of UFWDA. 


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Scott Hatch
NorthEast Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs
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« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2007, 12:27:10 pm »

This is an important point.  One source of information not mentioned is the E-News.  Peter does pull someting together on a monthly basis to keep information current.

As UFWDA is "national", providing a sentence or two about "national" issues helps frame the goals of UFWDA. 




that is a good point, thank you
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Scott Hatch
President NorthEast Association of 4WD Clubs
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Steve Jackson
Utah 4 Wheel Drive Association
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« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2007, 04:09:08 pm »

Wow, VA4WDA has a lot more money that Utah 4 Wheel Drive Association (U4WDA).  I commend you guys for being so supportive of UFWDA.  We try to keep our organization membership up to date ($1000/annually), but that cost is about 6% of our entire annual budget.  Is it worth the money?  Would it be worth the money to sign up all 1000 of our members?  I don't think there's a way to put a dollar value on it.  Just the IDEA of a national organization representing the 4x4 community is worth the investment.  Add to that all the great work that UFWDA does, and the value becomes obvious.  While worthy, we certainly can't afford to spend $15,000 to have 100% membership in UFWDA at this time, and I don't feel embarrassed about it but thanks for suggesting that I should be.

Too many individuals, clubs, associations, and businesses are asking, "What do I get for my money?"  They're asking for tangible benefits so they can equate their money with some perceivable benefit.  More people need to be thinking of the cause, and contributing based on what we COULD be doing if EVERY 4x4 user, 4x4 club, 4x4 association, and 4x4 related business got financially involved in the fight we're facing.  Lead by example and contribute what you can.

There's always room for improving any organization, and we should continue to make UFWDA as strong as it can be.  In the meantime, we know that nothing gets done without money.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2007, 04:14:20 pm by Steve Jackson » Logged

Steve Jackson
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« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2007, 04:51:48 pm »

Wow, VA4WDA has a lot more money that Utah 4 Wheel Drive Association (U4WDA).  I commend you guys for being so supportive of UFWDA.  We try to keep our organization membership up to date ($1000/annually), but that cost is about 6% of our entire annual budget.  Is it worth the money?  Would it be worth the money to sign up all 1000 of our members?  I don't think there's a way to put a dollar value on it.  Just the IDEA of a national organization representing the 4x4 community is worth the investment.  Add to that all the great work that UFWDA does, and the value becomes obvious.  While worthy, we certainly can't afford to spend $15,000 to have 100% membership in UFWDA at this time, and I don't feel embarrassed about it but thanks for suggesting that I should be.

Too many individuals, clubs, associations, and businesses are asking, "What do I get for my money?"  They're asking for tangible benefits so they can equate their money with some perceivable benefit.  More people need to be thinking of the cause, and contributing based on what we COULD be doing if EVERY 4x4 user, 4x4 club, 4x4 association, and 4x4 related business got financially involved in the fight we're facing.  Lead by example and contribute what you can.

There's always room for improving any organization, and we should continue to make UFWDA as strong as it can be.  In the meantime, we know that nothing gets done without money.

I think what you have shown here is a big part of the rub.. different areas of the country have their own priorities.. but also you (Utah and others as well) looks at the money that goes to UFWDA as part of your budget while other Associations (Virginia for example and others as well) look at it from the historical intent that the Association collected money from the Individual and it was passed thru - never intending that money to be part of the Association Budget but giving the individual a discount for joining thru the Association.  Over time that commitment / understanding has gone away and is creating the perception of the inequaity by Association / Organization in UFWDA.

FYI - I'm not saying whether either view is right or wrong.. one is historical that is all.

And I believe that is exactly what the board is trying to address with the new dues structure and business plan.  Equality between the associations/organizations, something monetary back to the Associations and/or Organizations for promoting UFWDA and a equal and reasonable fee to those individuals who choose to join.

Would I like all the Associations / Organizations to join at 100% - yes.  Is it neccesary - no.  In time if UFWDA grows and is able to do the things the members want them to do insted of just trying to survive then more and more will join to support the cause.

- Shawn
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