Open Letter to the Membership - 2018/19 Registration Fees
March 4, 2018
Dear Chilliwack Minor Hockey Members,
Over the course of the last few months the Chilliwack Minor Hockey Association (CMHA) Executive has been tasked with taking a long hard look at the Association and the way it operates. A special committee was struck and tasked to make recommendations to the Executive that would range from how to improve the day to day operations of the Association to how to move forward in a positive and progressive manner both on and off the ice.
While this committee is still in its infancy and has much work ahead of it, a key piece of that evaluation was our registration fees and the Association’s financial health. As many of you know, right or wrong, our registration fees have not increased in a number of years (2014 is the last time the committee could find a fee increase) and as a result our fees have been artificially low.
CMHA has become reliant on the gaming grant we receive each year from the Province as a means of revenue and while that grant is earmarked to cover certain expenses in the Association it lulled us all into a false sense of financial security. Earlier this season, CMHA was at significant risk of losing this grant due to past issues with fundraising reporting by some teams in past years. The long and the short of it is, your registration fees do not cover the costs of the Association and they need to. Relying on funds that are not guaranteed year to year is not the way we want to govern our Association. Like any business, CMHA needs to be financially stable on its own merit first and should we be fortunate enough to receive grants and sponsorship, those funds would be designated to enhance our programming and not just cover the costs of the day to day operations.
As a result of that assessment the committee recommended a significant fee increase. This fee increase was intended to try to catch the Association up to where we should be as of today but by no means puts it in a stable financial position. Had fees incrementally increased to match the expenses then the significant increase would not have been warranted. Attached is a chart that demonstrates where we would be at as an Association had fees increased at a 7% rate each season up to and including 2018. CHMA is a tier 1 association and 9th largest in the province in terms of players. Of the other tier 1 associations in BC, we are near the bottom of the fee scale that other associations’ members currently pay for registration. These increases are consistent with what other tier 1 MHAs charge for fees.
No one likes fee increases, the CMHA Executive included, however, it is a necessary evil in order to run the Association. Last year, the Association posted a $30,000 loss and this year is projecting an even more significant loss of at least $45,000. No business or not-for-profit organization should run this way. Therefore, we must take corrective action immediately and raise our fees.
With those fee increases you will see some significant changes to the Association, for example:
– In addition to the HCR, an online registration system will be implemented that will allow for payment plans to go past August 31st. Final payment will be due on November 15th. Anyone not paid in full by this date will be deemed a member not in good standing and their child will not be able to participate. This is notwithstanding funding from other programs that provide financial assistance for families in need, such as Kidsport, Jumpstart, etc…
– CMHA will be hiring an ice coordinator to manage the ice for the entire Association. We feel this is an important role and very necessary to address the ongoing concerns that you, our membership has with ice and how it is allocated.
While the committee continues to evaluate the Association, we welcome and value your feedback. Good or bad, it is imperative that we receive it so we can gauge how we are doing as an Association. We are planning a Town Hall style meeting before our AGM in May as a forum to listen to the membership and answer your questions. Until a date has been set for that meeting, please send that feedback to our 2nd Vice President Andrea Laycock at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Chilliwack Minor Hockey Association Board of Directors
The document Fee_Increase_Chart.pdf was attached to this post.