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If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

Old 07-21-2010, 02:00 PM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...


ORIGINAL: greengoose

Just my 2 cents if it matters much, My 2 brothers and I used to watch pattern meets and different early RC contests in the late 60's through the 80's, my bigger brother ended up a full scale pilot, my other big brother ended up a ukie pilot and yours truly ended up starting RC in the early 80's, all 3 of us took up a rewarding hobby because it was on tv where the whole world could decide if they liked the hobby or not, like car racing, or other sports. What the heck happened to RC on tv? you don't see hide nor hair of it anymore and it is one of the cheaper hobbies out there and the sky is the limit, Today also there is a great head start tool to prevent crashes and that is the flight simulator, The better hobby shops that care have one or two operating all the time for all the good reasons and we appreciate that for the good and interest of the beginner.
As for the AMA and decline of membership if you take into consideration the individual and the tight budget that some of us are on, the AMA fee's should at least be pro rated, eg- buy in August of 2009, expire in August 2010. The whole world sells on a pro rated basis, come on AMA, improvise and modernise at least as a world standard if you are a world class organisation. Also the magazine is forced on some of the members who don't want it, I myself have my act together and don't care about what happens in Muncie Indiana, or anywhere else for that matter, to me the magazine is outhouse paper (ouch), We once had a choice if we wanted the magazine or not, It seems that everything nowadays is turning socialist including AMA, don't get me wrong, they are a great organization for the benefit of the modeler, but when I voiced my concerns of this subject matter to them, I was basically told to take it or leave it. I am thinking this could be the reason and many other reasons why park flyers were invented, you can fly renegade all you want without the AMA, It's just really sad that an organization that used to care so much doesn't care as much as they used to as the ALMIGHTY DOLLAR matters most anymore..It's really sad that everyone's actions turns their image from opaque to a transparent image revealing much more about them in that state than the eye can see, I check my subtraction with addition from the bottom up and i have earned a badge that says what I am.........

I cannot agree with this more. I have suggested it to the AMA over the phone when I joined and have renewed in years past, but they just say "that's not how we do it" and brush me off.

I know that some people say that membership is too high period and want it lowered, which I wouldn't oppose or anything, but my biggest gripe is how the membership term works. It should be prorated like insurance (Hmmm... the AMA is insurance for flying our planes right?). I know that it runs by calendar year right now, which I don't have any problem with, but prorate it so that if I join in July I'm paying half of the dues since I have 6 months left until the end of the year. I would have joined in years past and would join this year if this was how it worked.

I was a member for 7 years or so when I was a teenager and once college and the real world hit I didn't join up. I must have an AMA membership to fly at my local club, so I haven't flown since 2006 or so. I would have flown a few of the past few years (and this year included), but when I wanted to join mid-year I'm forced to pay full price for a year's membership, but only get a few months. What? Talk about feeling ripped off. As a result I wouldn't and don't join.

Another way to do it would be to run membership for a year from any date that you join (like greengoose states above). I wouldn't oppose this either, but I can see why this may pose a problem for the AMA as everyone's membership can, and will, expire on different dates and keeping track of it all would be a little more difficult than having everyone's membership run out at the end of the calendar year.

Personally, the past few years I've been away at school and home for the summer, then would be back at school in the fall. Sometimes life happens and you can't fly at the start of the year. I couldn't take my planes to school (where am I supposed to put them in a dorm?) and pay to join TWO different clubs either. If I wanted to fly while I was at school I had to pay for a year membership and only use it for four months during the summer. That wasn't going to happen on my budget. Younger people without much money (which is pretty much any younger person) cannot afford to do that. The AMA may be turning away the younger generation that they are trying to attract to revive the hobby. In order to attract new members membership has to be attractive and current with the times. IE-Prorated dues. Now I am starting my career and have things sorted out enough that I would like to get back into it, but don't want to pay for a year membership and only get half a year's worth of use. Where's the value in that? It's like paying for large pizza, but only getting half of it.

Someone may ask for an example so here you go-
Think about the person that gets interested (and excited) in the hobby and is expected to join up in September. They are forced to pay full price for AMA membership for only four months of use? Talk about taking the wind out of their sails. Once someone gets interested and excited in what we do we have to keep the momentum going as best as we can. Having someone pay full price for something that they don't get full use out of just doesn't make any sense. This hobby, yes it is a hobby (and thus expendable), costs enough already and anything we can do to help people justify it and get the most for their money will help keep them part of what we all love and enjoy.

People are all about value and getting the most for their money (at least I am) and the way the AMA does membership terms right now does not make people feel like they are getting the most for their money. I believe that having the AMA membership be prorated like it should be would attract more members. People are tight on money, especially when it comes to non-essential frills like our hobby is, and it's going to be easier for them to say no and disappear if the AMA doesn't incorporate current practices. It's turning people away before they even get started. How do we get them hooked if they don't get past the starting line?

Either way it's done, as long as it IS done, will make me happy (and a renewed member THIS year).

Alright, my rant is done. I hope that it makes sense to everyone and a change is made as a result.

PS-I would like the magazine to be an option as well.
Old 07-21-2010, 08:40 PM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

This prorating of membership has come up a few times.    Good discussion.

BTW, AMA does have a new program around this that I just learned about, but it is for people who join in the last quarter of the year.  But still, a step in the right direction.

Old 07-22-2010, 08:21 AM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

Here is what the AMA Policy actually is on prorating membership:

[link]http://www.modelaircraft.org/files/912.pdf[/link]

Prorate policy. Copied from the Link above:

WHAT: ** Dues policy for new, OPEN full category members.

WHY: To clarify the length of time your membership is valid, according to the
date of your dues payment. This is necessary since AMA membership
works on a calendar year basis starting January 1st, rather than the date of
your dues payment.

HOW: FIRST QUARTER: If you join AMA as a first time, new member from
January 1st through March 31st, you will do so at the full, open rate.

SECOND QUARTER: If you join AMA as a first time, new member from
April 1st through June 30th, you will pay the full, open rate. The
Following year, your renewal notice will reflect a 25% reduction in dues.

THIRD QUARTER: If you join AMA from July 1st through September
30th, you will pay the full, open rate. The Following year, your
renewal notice will reflect a 50% reduction in dues.

FOURTH QUARTER: If you join AMA from October 1st through
December 31st, you will pay the full open rate. You will receive
membership for the remainder of that year, plus membership for the
following year.

Thank you for your interest in joining the Academy of Model Aeronautics. If we can answer any
other questions for you concerning our organization, or membership in it, please call us at 1-800-
I-FLY-AMA (1-800-435-9262).
Sincerely,

AMA Membership Department
Old 07-22-2010, 11:46 AM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

Student pilot;
//Snip// see the entire post above:
People are all about value and getting the most for their money (at least I am) and the way the AMA does membership terms right now does not make people feel like they are getting the most for their money. I believe that having the AMA membership be prorated like it should be would attract more members. People are tight on money, especially when it comes to non-essential frills like our hobby is, and it's going to be easier for them to say no and disappear if the AMA doesn't incorporate current practices. It's turning people away before they even get started. How do we get them hooked if they don't get past the starting line?

Either way it's done, as long as it IS done, will make me happy (and a renewed member THIS year).

Alright, my rant is done. I hope that it makes sense to everyone and a change is made as a result.

PS-I would like the magazine to be an option as well .

Read more: http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_98...#ixzz0uQcN2K00
Well, it does NOT make any sense to this one because this one has many years experience with AMA, since around 1950+/- and continuous since 1956. I have served as elected club and association officer positions including appointed positions and elected twice to the EC. Maybe it was simply osmosis, however that "pedigree" does provide some learning experiences. I am probably the AMA's biggest CRITIC, so it's not always peaches and cream.

Your point has almost no structure other than it would be great for AMA's in-house operation. AMA can do that. OTOH, AMA recognizes that the Chartered Clubs are composed of VOLUNTEERS WHO DO THE WORK IN THEIR SPARE TIME, WHICH THEY SERVE ALL YEAR, SO FOLKS LIKE YOU CAN ENJOY THE HOBBY-SPORT WHENEVER THEY SO DESIRE.

Now these people are also fliers and workers within the club, yet they use up many hours of their allocated hobby time so folks like you can do as they please and argue pennies for dues while they have the latest electronic gadgets, lots of beer and brats, and all the social life they can muster. [8D]

AMA recognizes the extra load that such drivel, as you complain about, would levy on the club officers trying to maintain records of just who is and who isn't current with their AMA dues. While I hate to bring in insurance, just think about that out-of-control airplane that catches YOU in the back resulting with YOU spending a very long time in a wheel chair. That AMA insurance may well be the ticket that provides a much better time as you lose work and benefits from other sources.

OTOH if that model's pilot is found to have allowed his AMA to expire the day before and the Club Secretary had failed to catch it plus closing the errant ex-AMA member from the field, JUST WHAT THE DEVIL ARE YOU GOING TO DO? Do without, that's what!

Now in this day and age, any person that can afford to fly RC can easily afford to drop $5 a month into a special bucket and have $60 at the end of they year to pay their AMA dues.

No, I do not understand how your complaint could serve the AMA membership in any significant manner. Thanks, AMA, for being considerate of the club workers that keep this thing together.
Old 07-22-2010, 01:22 PM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

The dues is the least of my problems with the AMA. I know quite af few seasonal organizations that don't pro-rate dues so people don't try getting the equivalent of a "season pass".
Old 07-22-2010, 02:42 PM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...


ORIGINAL: aeajr

This prorating of membership has come up a few times. Good discussion.

BTW, AMA does have a new program around this that I just learned about, but it is for people who join in the last quarter of the year. But still, a step in the right direction.

This is not a new program. Members just need to go to the AMA web site and do a little reading.
Old 07-22-2010, 03:58 PM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...


ORIGINAL: warningshot


ORIGINAL: aeajr

This prorating of membership has come up a few times. Good discussion.

BTW, AMA does have a new program around this that I just learned about, but it is for people who join in the last quarter of the year. But still, a step in the right direction.

This is not a new program. Members just need to go to the AMA web site and do a little reading.
Yep. Just one itsy bitsy note to add. Dues proration is only available to newbies joining for the first time. The concern expressed by some that folks would only re-up at the start of flying season to avoid paying all year long is without basis.
Old 07-22-2010, 04:27 PM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

So with pro ration of AMA Membership fees a flyer in a cold northern climate would renew in April for 9/12ths of the annual fee, and you think that there is no basis that a significant number of flyers would take advantage of that?

Brad
Old 07-22-2010, 04:52 PM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...


ORIGINAL: cj_rumley
Yep. Just one itsy bitsy note to add. Dues proration is only available to newbies joining for the first time. The concern expressed by some that folks would only re-up at the start of flying season to avoid paying all year long is without basis.
I was no the board of an org. that had it so you could get away with paying one month dues every quarter and remain a member in full standing. They didn't beleive me so they wouldn't change the rules... until I sent an announcement to the entire membership about the dues system. After two months of no dues the rest of the board finally approved the changes.
Old 07-23-2010, 10:35 AM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

Heres an idea:
Instead of having new joiners pay full price the first year and getting the 2nd year renewal semi-prorated,
lets have them get the 5th year renewal semi-prorated.
If they are quitters that choose to not stay 5 years, they are undeserving of the prorate
Old 07-23-2010, 01:11 PM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

Interesting idea. Maybe make the 5th year a discount year, say 20%, 10th year 40%, 15th year 60%, 20th year 80%, 25th year free, each fifth year thereafter free.
Old 07-23-2010, 03:49 PM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

Raise the admission price and entrance fees at AMA competitions. That will keep out the riff-raff.
Old 07-23-2010, 06:48 PM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

Hossfly-

This response isn't meant to upset you in any way. I don't want you to be angry about it, that is not my intention. [:@] You said that what I said didn't make any sense, so here's my attempt at helping you understand what I meant. It's a bit harder to express all of your thoughts typing them out without forgetting a point here or there (or repeating yourself, haha), so I hope this clarifies what I mean, or meant to say in the first place.[sm=stupid.gif]

ORIGINAL: Hossfly

Well, it does NOT make any sense to this one because this one has many years experience with AMA, since around 1950+/- and continuous since 1956. I have served as elected club and association officer positions including appointed positions and elected twice to the EC. Maybe it was simply osmosis, however that ''pedigree'' does provide some learning experiences. I am probably the AMA's biggest CRITIC, so it's not always peaches and cream.

Your point has almost no structure other than it would be great for AMA's in-house operation. AMA can do that. OTOH, AMA recognizes that the Chartered Clubs are composed of VOLUNTEERS WHO DO THE WORK IN THEIR SPARE TIME, WHICH THEY SERVE ALL YEAR, SO FOLKS LIKE YOU CAN ENJOY THE HOBBY-SPORT WHENEVER THEY SO DESIRE.
Folks like me? Hmmm... I guess that I failed to mention that I served as VP of my club for a few years and ran or at least helped run about every Fun Fly, Corn Roast, Annual Fly, etc. that the club ever put on. Not to mention working every work day or going to every meeting of the year. When I was a member I was heavily involved in the club (and that's going to continue when I rejoin), so don't assume I'm one of the “folks like me” that you think I am. Don't get me wrong, your experience is admirable and we need more people like you in all clubs, though lets compare apples to apples shall we? I was one of the most active members of my club, no matter the age, so give me another 50 years to catch up to your “pedigree” and then we'll talk about experience.

Now these people are also fliers and workers within the club, yet they use up many hours of their allocated hobby time so folks like you can do as they please and argue pennies for dues while they have the latest electronic gadgets, lots of beer and brats, and all the social life they can muster. [8D]
The same applies here, I guess you didn't read my post about being away at school and having other life obligations. Again, none of that applies to me; you cannot generalize. I have been spending my money on schooling, both college and flying. The newest electronic device I have is my cell phone that's almost two years old (and even then it's the base phone that was free), I hate beer, though brats are alright, and my social life didn't exist as I was too busy studying to pass checkrides and start my career to have one. I also never said that the dues of my club or AMA were too high. I simply would like membership prorated for existing members so that I can join the AMA and my club so that I can fly this year and not wait until next year. Yes, I plan on joining AMA for 2011 and am happy to pay the $58.

AMA recognizes the extra load that such drivel, as you complain about, would levy on the club officers trying to maintain records of just who is and who isn't current with their AMA dues. While I hate to bring in insurance, just think about that out-of-control airplane that catches YOU in the back resulting with YOU spending a very long time in a wheel chair. That AMA insurance may well be the ticket that provides a much better time as you lose work and benefits from other sources.
As for this I was talking about the AMA keeping track of things (which is still a relatively minor thing), but if you want to mention clubs that's fine. My club requires you to have AMA insurance before you join (giving them a copy of your membership card when you submit the application) or you don't get in. Everyone's membership would still expire at the same time (as I said in my first post) so maintaining records of who is and isn't current isn't a problem. My field has an excellent safety record, though the out-of-control airplane is always a possibility, accidents happen. There are always "what ifs...."

OTOH if that model's pilot is found to have allowed his AMA to expire the day before and the Club Secretary had failed to catch it plus closing the errant ex-AMA member from the field, JUST WHAT THE DEVIL ARE YOU GOING TO DO? Do without, that's what!
If it were to expire the day before he wouldn't be a member of my club. If a person isn't a member, or has paid their dues and hasn't turned in a copy of a current AMA card then they do not get to fly... period. Maybe other clubs don't follow this practice or aren't as strict???

Now in this day and age, any person that can afford to fly RC can easily afford to drop $5 a month into a special bucket and have $60 at the end of they year to pay their AMA dues.
This day and age doesn't really matter. I'm not saying that I don't want to pay $58 to join for the year, I'm just saying that I don't want to pay $58 to join for 6 months. I am happy to pay the $58 to join for 2011, I just don't want to pay the same for the rest of 2010. I bought all of my equipment when I was a teenager (and I mean I bought it, no help from parents or anyone else). Just because I have the equipment now doesn't mean I have to spend more money just to fly again; I already have everything so why spend more money than I have to?

No, I do not understand how your complaint could serve the AMA membership in any significant manner. Thanks, AMA, for being considerate of the club workers that keep this thing together.
This wasn't so much of a complaint as a suggestion. This thread's whole purpose is to take suggestions right, an open forum for discussion? It sounds like we're on the same side of the fence when it comes to being one of the few that actually helps out the club. Just remember that I'm a fellow modeler that works just as hard as it sounds like you do to help out the club and hobby as a whole.


KidEpoxy & Jim Thomerson-

That's not a bad idea.

bradpaul-

I see that the 1st and 2nd quarters specify that you have to be a New member, but the 3rd and 4th don't. Does that mean that I can take advantage of the 3rd and 4th quarter rules? How long has this been in effect as I have called the AMA mid-year about joining in the past and the person I was talking to never suggested or mentioned this information. Is it recently added or did I just get a person that didn't know what they were doing? I wouldn't be surprised as I get this at the Secretary of State all of the time, lol.

If it's been around a while, my bad, I should have kept up on things more. [] I look forward to joining up again and applying what I've learned about full-scale planes to R/C.

I'm glad that aeajr started this thread, it's good to hear what people think could be improved and be able to make a suggestion myself. Looks like some good suggestions have come out of it as well. Keep it coming everyone.[sm=thumbs_up.gif]

Cheers!

Pete
Old 07-23-2010, 08:11 PM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

If you follow the link I posted you will see that it only applies to New Members.

WHAT: ** Dues policy for new, OPEN full category members.

**A New Member is defined as a person who has never been a member or a person who has not been a member in the last 5 (five) calendar years.

I believe the policy is fairly new as the pdf file shows a creation date of March 17, 2010, and I believe it was discussed at the Jan 23, 2010 EC Meeting.
Old 07-23-2010, 11:40 PM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

AMA dues are on par with other special interest organizations. I used to shoot IDPA matches and their annual fees were about the same. It'd be neat if they prorated for the first year to lighten the blow on the new guys, but frankly AMA membership was the cheapest thing I bought during my first year for the hobby.

As for improvements, I see three things AMA could do positively. First, build up a promo pack and research outlets to use it so that clubs can have a turnkey tool for promoting their events. It's not every club that has a media guy or a talented salesman who knows how to get the word out. Second, as stated above, make a TV show. With TLC, TDC, TOC, Spike, and a couple of others, there is a spot available for an RC aircraft show. There are lots of directions to go with it too. I would definitely watch an instructional show, but a Survivor type reality show might have a broader appeal (anyone here watching "Top Shot?"). The third is to develop a professional quality educational program for schools or Boy Scout troops that volunteers could step right into with minimal prior experience.

Negatively, I get the impression that the AMA only exists to perpetuate itself currently. I read the district news at the back of the magazine and the impression I get is that all the DVP's get paid to do is attend events and make the same announcements over and over throughout the magazine. Oh that and go on about how great a buddy was when he passes away. Add to that the announcements in the front of the magazine about big bucks being spent on new facilities in Muncie (Museum anyone?) and I as a local flyer get the impression that the AMA only exists to collect dues in order to pay salaries and build things. AMA needs a major rethinking of how it spends its money and what its actual mission needs to be. IMO, that mission needs to be promoting the hobby to new flyers and retaining exisiting flyers. A national headquarters doesn't do anything for that.
Old 07-24-2010, 01:35 AM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

If one wanted to press the issue, not following their mission statement in their non-profit charter can get the IRS to tell them follow the mission or start paying taxes. That got one org. I was involved in to "straighten up and fly right". The next step for the IRS was to threaten fraud charges against the board and officers, that really got their attention.
Old 07-24-2010, 08:47 AM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...


ORIGINAL: jester_s1

AMA dues are on par with other special interest organizations. I used to shoot IDPA matches and their annual fees were about the same. It'd be neat if they prorated for the first year to lighten the blow on the new guys, but frankly AMA membership was the cheapest thing I bought during my first year for the hobby.

As for improvements, I see three things AMA could do positively. First, build up a promo pack and research outlets to use it so that clubs can have a turnkey tool for promoting their events. It's not every club that has a media guy or a talented salesman who knows how to get the word out. Second, as stated above, make a TV show. With TLC, TDC, TOC, Spike, and a couple of others, there is a spot available for an RC aircraft show. There are lots of directions to go with it too. I would definitely watch an instructional show, but a Survivor type reality show might have a broader appeal (anyone here watching "Top Shot?"). The third is to develop a professional quality educational program for schools or Boy Scout troops that volunteers could step right into with minimal prior experience.

Negatively, I get the impression that the AMA only exists to perpetuate itself currently. I read the district news at the back of the magazine and the impression I get is that all the DVP's get paid to do is attend events and make the same announcements over and over throughout the magazine. Oh that and go on about how great a buddy was when he passes away. Add to that the announcements in the front of the magazine about big bucks being spent on new facilities in Muncie (Museum anyone?) and I as a local flyer get the impression that the AMA only exists to collect dues in order to pay salaries and build things. AMA needs a major rethinking of how it spends its money and what its actual mission needs to be. IMO, that mission needs to be promoting the hobby to new flyers and retaining exisiting flyers. A national headquarters doesn't do anything for that.

Thanks for your suggestions. As for knowing what AMAdoes other than collect dues, may I suggest you read Model Aviation, and most particularly the letter from the President so you can get a broader idea of what AMA does.


I was not aware that the DVPs are paid. Does anyone know if the DVPs are paid?


As for promo kits and programs. Iam just tying to get a better idea of what you have in mind, other than producing TV shows. I have provided links to some things AMAdoes today. Are these in line with your ideas or are you thinking of something different?


Something like these, or something else?

Charity
http://www.modelaircraft.org/files/H...ytoSupport.pdf

Education
http://www.modelaircraft.org/education.aspx

TAG
http://www.modelaircraft.org/education/TAGlinks.aspx

Pomotional signs and banners
http://www.modelaircraft.org/products/vinylbanners.aspx

Sudent Art
http://www.modelaircraft.org/museum/contests.aspx



As for promo videos. Are these along the line of what you were thinking? How would you improve them?

Promo video - Just samples, for you comment
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1Fv28XnXbc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYEeSIOdyxI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qT6QwWZubXg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7SQN-yp7yg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NumQA2pJ5dQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCwtOyGofXU






Old 07-24-2010, 09:05 AM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

The clubs do most of that out of their own time and money. The education esp. STEM (aerolab) is not the AMA. The AMA mainly tuns the large competitions and the museum, little else. Yes, I have read it, and investigated it.
Old 07-24-2010, 02:00 PM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...


ORIGINAL: dbcisco

The clubs do most of that out of their own time and money. The education esp. STEM (aerolab) is not the AMA. The AMA mainly tuns the large competitions and the museum, little else. Yes, I have read it, and investigated it.
I believe you are correct, in relation to the programs. AMA outlines a program and the clubs run with it. The AMAhas virtually no paid field staff.

I believe the Videos were done by the AMA.


Old 07-24-2010, 04:09 PM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...


ORIGINAL: jester_s1

SNIP ...


Negatively, I get the impression that the AMA only exists to perpetuate itself currently. I read the district news at the back of the magazine and the impression I get is that all the DVP's get paid to do is attend events and make the same announcements over and over throughout the magazine. Oh that and go on about how great a buddy was when he passes away. Add to that the announcements in the front of the magazine about big bucks being spent on new facilities in Muncie (Museum anyone?) and I as a local flyer get the impression that the AMA only exists to collect dues in order to pay salaries and build things. AMA needs a major rethinking of how it spends its money and what its actual mission needs to be. IMO, that mission needs to be promoting the hobby to new flyers and retaining exisiting flyers. A national headquarters doesn't do anything for that.
Research shows that the AMA President, DVPs, AVPs and LMs are not paid anything. They give of their time for the benefit of the hobby and the membership.

Thought you would like to know.


Old 07-24-2010, 09:21 PM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

That is good to know that they aren't paid, and I certainly appreciate them for donating their time. To be honest, what they do looks like the work of volunteer amateurs. Not that we are getting ripped off mind you, just that the quality of leadership I see from the AMA officers is not what I would expect from professionals. Truthfully, if the AMA would budget some money to pay its officers we might wind up with a better quality organization with a bigger overall budget. I am in church work and have seen very clearly the difference between and all volunteer workforce vs. a professional one, both in leadership competence and efficiency. When you get down to it, that may be what the AMA really needs to do to get into the 21st century- hire some truly professional leadership who know how to determine the needs of the membership and meet them. As it is, I don't think the guys in Muncie have a clue what the average modeler thinks about his hobby, let alone what the average Joe who doesn't fly planes yet needs to hear in order to get interested.

I do read MA every time it comes so I do know what the AMA is presenting as their contribution to the hobby. To clarify, the impression I get is that the AMA mostly puts its effort into celebrating itself (the headquarters, the museum) and making regulations. I see very little in terms of promoting the hobby. The TAG program isn't much more than a written guide and a cash incentive for clubs to promote the hobby themselves. Signs and banner are useful, but fall far short of a turnkey promotional packet.

When I mentioned promo kits, what I meant is a set of printable flyers, banners and signage that a club can put its own name on, along with a list of local contacts that would be fertile ground for promoting an event. Stuff like the local community calendar, Boy Scout troops, schools looking for community involvement, etc. Sure, a club member could research all of that but as I said above, some clubs don't have anyone thinking along those lines and so this would provide those clubs with a ready-made approach for promoting its events.

The youtube videos are decent, but who's going to watch them? The answer is people who are already into model airplanes or have at least taken the initiative to learn about them on their own. A TV show would draw interest from people who may not even be thinking about getting into modeling.
Old 07-24-2010, 09:26 PM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...

I appreciate your clarifications.

BTW, the You Tube videos have had thousands of views.  You tube is wildly popular.
Old 07-25-2010, 06:43 AM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...


ORIGINAL: jester_s1
To clarify, the impression I get is that the AMA mostly puts its effort into celebrating itself (the headquarters, the museum) and making regulations. I see very little in terms of promoting the hobby.

When I mentioned promo kits, what I meant is a set of printable flyers, banners and signage that a club can put its own name on, along with a list of local contacts that would be fertile ground for promoting an event. Stuff like the local community calendar, Boy Scout troops, schools looking for community involvement, etc.
(The above quotes was edited for brevity and only full sentences removed, but the points of context remain the same.)

Dealing with the first paragraph I think there may be something to this. I have not been an AMA member but two years so I really cannot comment much on it. I do notice it though and have a question/comment or two. Who makes up the organization? It is the people that pay the dues, correct? Then who should the AMA for? I was a director for a non-profit organization for at risk youth and I know just how difficult it can be to get the proper interest from general members and board members.

So many agendas that tend to pull away from the mission that was original set forth in the mission statement. This is nothing new, most any org does the same thing and becomes inflated and misses the target big time. Why would AMA be any different than all the rest?

Every time I read things like in the second paragraph from the post above this it still hits a sensitive spot with me because being a director for a non-profit this was one of the things that was most important when it boiled down to the local level where the "rubber meets the road" and the actual promotion was most powerful. If you do not have anything to put on the ground running, you basically just have chaff in the wind. People do not know what they do not see or hear. Think about it. There have been several times I have heard someone say, "I never realized there was an RC club right down the road."

I mentioned promotional items in an earlier post. Promoting the hobby is expensive but doable and will produce results as has been proven by a number of clubs that took it upon themselves to promote because they love the hobby.

I am still somewhat puzzled by the objective of the original poster though (maybe I am just not getting it [X(]). If we knew exactly what the purpose is then we could gather more relevant data and possibly look at feasible solutions to address the purpose. What is the old saying, "Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has one and they can stink pretty bad"?

OK, another 1.5 cents added to the bucket of posts
Old 07-25-2010, 10:39 AM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...


ORIGINAL: jester_s1

That is good to know that they aren't paid, and I certainly appreciate them for donating their time.
District Vice Presidents, Associate VPs, Contest coordinators, Contest Boards and such are not salaried. OTOH a DVP has several items where he is compensated. DVPs have an expense allowance for their travel and expenses around the district. They get paid "vacations" " " to Muncie up to 4 times a year. They get to go to big shows such as the AMA Trade Show in Jan. all not charged to their allowance.
Now if they are knowledgeable, they can write off (FIT) a large amount of "expenses" as charitable donations or as uncompensated business expense, however each finds best for his/her specific financial position. For example, an AMA DVP should be able to discuss Large Models so having one provides the expertise. The same applies to any and all various models you can think of. Going to the flying field (milage at business rates) to gain expertise in the application of the specific model enhances his/her ability to carry forward the donation of time and expertise to the Charitable institution (AMA) along with furthering the mission of the AMA among those other members there and possible recruitment of new members. There are numerous perquisite items that can reduce a DVP's Federal Income Tax, taxable income.

All others can write off their expenses as a charitable donation, if so desired, at charitable rates for such as milage.

The main drawback is the time required to enjoy the perks.

To be honest, what they do looks like the work of volunteer amateurs. Not that we are getting ripped off mind you, just that the quality of leadership I see from the AMA officers is not what I would expect from professionals. Truthfully, if the AMA would budget some money to pay its officers we might wind up with a better quality organization with a bigger overall budget. I am in church work and have seen very clearly the difference between and all volunteer workforce vs. a professional one, both in leadership competence and efficiency. When you get down to it, that may be what the AMA really needs to do to get into the 21st century- hire some truly professional leadership who know how to determine the needs of the membership and meet them. As it is, I don't think the guys in Muncie have a clue what the average modeler thinks about his hobby, let alone what the average Joe who doesn't fly planes yet needs to hear in order to get interested.

I do read MA every time it comes so I do know what the AMA is presenting as their contribution to the hobby. To clarify, the impression I get is that the AMA mostly puts its effort into celebrating itself (the headquarters, the museum) and making regulations. I see very little in terms of promoting the hobby. The TAG program isn't much more than a written guide and a cash incentive for clubs to promote the hobby themselves. Signs and banner are useful, but fall far short of a turnkey promotional packet.
Sounds to me that you are very confused about AMA Officers and Staff. AMA Officers are ELECTED. ELECTED Officers have a membership to answer to. If that "membership" has a gripe it is because the "membership" sits on its rear and does nothing, knows nothing and allows the ELECTED officers to do nothing.
The "HIRED PROFESSIONALs" then run the show to their advantage. In the past few years it seems to me that hiring more publication and computer folks has far exceeded the member-service team. Heck, we have "paid professionals" running this country and see where that has led to, along with a number of corporations in the same sinking or sunk boats. [sm=drowning.gif]

I am still predicting that the AMA is not far from the day that there will be a separate AMA Insurance Provider using captive insurance companies, while the current MA will be revised into a seperate commercial magazine operation separate from the Insurance Provider though controlled by the same "professionals". They are working very hard to run the other magazines out of business by using YOUR DUES MONIES to undercut all the other FREE MARKET Magazines. [sm=pirate.gif] (In my own opinion, I THINK there could be some of the amateurs that have a thumb in that pie.)

Have you noticed that the hired professionals just recently tried to revise MA to remove the Event Listing from MA, yet those Amateur Officers have delayed such! How long? Who knows, but for once the amateurs listened to the membership.


Old 07-25-2010, 01:15 PM
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Default RE: If you could change or improve AMA in some way ...


ORIGINAL: Jim Thomerson

Interesting idea. Maybe make the 5th year a discount year, say 20%, 10th year 40%, 15th year 60%, 20th year 80%, 25th year free, each fifth year thereafter free.

There is already something similar to that in place, its called the "Life Membership". You pay $1500 once (current rate), which averages out to 25.8 years at the current dues rate. After that its FREE!!! And if they raise dues it doesn't matter!

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