Y-Join-th-SCA-art - 2/5/02
"Why You Should Join SCA, Inc.?" by Meg Baron.
This article was submitted to me by the author for inclusion in this set
of files, called Stefan's Florilegium.
These files are available on the Internet at:
Copyright to the contents of this file remains with the author.
While the author will likely give permission for this work to be
reprinted in SCA type publications, please check with the author first
or check for any permissions granted at the end of this file.
Mark S. Harris
AKA: Stefan li Rous
stefan at florilegium.org
This article was first published in Tournaments Illuminated, Issue #141, Winter 2002.
Why You Should Join SCA, Inc.?
by Meg Baron
Greetings, gentle reader:
If you are reading my words, you are either a paid sustaining member of the Society, or you are sufficiently well-acquainted with a paid sustaining member of the Society that you are able to read their copy of Tournaments Illuminated. If you are a member - thank you for financially supporting your Society. If you are not a member - have you considered becoming one?
If your answer is "Why should I?" that's not surprising. It's a natural question to ask what your membership fee pays for. Perhaps I can help answer that question.
There are many costs associated with operating an organization the size of the SCA. Membership fees are our primary source of revenue to cover those costs. Note that the fees you pay to attend local and Kingdom events go to your local group and/or the Kingdom - none of that money goes to the Corporation.
What does the SCA, Inc. have to pay for?
1) Insurance. Without our General Liability and Directors & Officers insurance coverage, which provides coverage for all officers down to the local group level, we couldn't exist. In the modern world insurance is an absolute requirement. Local groups or Kingdoms might be able to purchase their own coverage, but the cost would be far greater than the "volume discount" we are able to obtain for the Society as a whole.
2) The Registry. The Registry maintains the database of our members, processes membership applications and mails out cards, provides the mailing labels for Tournaments Illuminated, Compleat Anachronist, the Kingdom newsletters, and special mailings such as those for Baronial pollings, pays the bills, fulfills Stock Clerk orders, provides insurance certificates when a site owner requires one, and all the other things necessary for the day-to-day operation of the Corporation. Though volunteers fill most of the jobs in the SCA, we do have a small number of paid employees who make the gears turn. Part of your membership fee pays for the overhead of maintaining our very small office.
3) Newsletters. Part of your membership fee helps pay the postage and printing costs of the Kingdom newsletters and Tournaments Illuminated, if you are a sustaining member. A significant advantage of the SCA, Inc.'s status as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit educational corporation is that it entitles us to nonprofit postal discounts for third-class mailings, which saves a lot of money in postage.
4) Maintenance of Society-wide rules and culture. The Board of Directors is a body of seven individuals drawn from the membership to manage the real-world affairs of the Corporation and plan for its future. In addition, the Board's duties, and the duties of the Society officers, including the Society Seneschal, Marshal, Laurel King of Arms, Exchequer, Minister of Arts and Sciences, Chronicler, and Chirurgeon General, include maintenance of the rules under which the Society operates. This provides stability to the organization, and guarantees that, whatever cultural differences exist between Kingdoms, there is a level at which the "game" remains recognizable for everyone. Thus, if you move to a different Kingdom, you will recognize what the Crown is, what a Barony is, what a Knight is, and so on. The rules of combat will not be alien to you. Your name, arms, and awards will be recognized wherever you travel. The SCA, Inc. is the "glue" that unifies the sixteen (going on seventeen) individual Kingdoms into the Known World of the Society. Part of your membership fee supports the work of the Board and officers.
The fact that the SCA is a legally recognized corporation enables many of our activities to go on. It gives the SCA a legal presence which many localities and organizations require in order to do business with us. Banks require a legal entity to open and maintain an account. Facilities used for our events require a legal entity with which to negotiate a contract. The SCA, Inc. provides that legal entity. The existence of the corporation means that our members are relieved of the risk of personal liability and expense in conducting these transactions on behalf of their local group or Kingdom.
The SCA permits broad participation from people who are not paid members. Membership is required for very few things - to enter Crown or Coronet Tournament, or to serve as an officer or event autocrat, for example. It is estimated that two to three times as many non-members as members take part in SCA activities on an occasional or regular basis. Thus relatively few people, compared to the total number of people who participate, foot the bill for the running of the corporation. Despite this fact, SCA membership fees are remarkably low compared to other organizations. Help us keep fees down. Be a member of the Society.
In service to our Society,
Chairman, Board of Directors
[Meg Baron is known in the SCA as Baronessa Francesca di Pavia.]
Copyright 2002 by Meg Baron, 4502 Driftwood, Boulder CO 80301.. <meg.baron at experian.com>. Permission is granted for republication in SCA-related publications, provided the author is credited and receives a copy.
If this article is reprinted in a publication, I would appreciate a notice in the publication that you found this article in the Florilegium. I would also appreciate an email to myself, so that I can track which articles are being reprinted. Thanks. -Stefan.