Must ICAs Collect Fees From Members?
This is a question that has been posed on Internet café associations (ICAs) whether already organized or in-process of formation. An ICA, just like any association needs money to fund its many activities and projects. There is at least one annual general assembly of members which we will need money to pay for the food and the venue. There are projects that an association may organize and these will definitely need funds to get them going. There is also a need for an office of the association and manning and maintaining it needs money.
Where will an ICA get the funds they need? One easy source of fund for any association is the membership fee and/or contribution but experiences of ICAs show that this could be a source of irritants among members and officers of the organization. Some ICA members have the nasty habit of asking where there money go even if regular accounting of funds are being done by their officers.
The fund of an ICA is usually spent on maintaining an office and expenses for holding meetings and general membership assemblies. There are other miscellaneous expenses and all of these must be included in the Treasurer’s financial report. Some rules or guidelines on expenditures must be put in place to avoid abuses by some unscrupulous ICA officers.
Even with the above in place, there are still some uninformed members who will insinuate misspending the association’s money and they have the right to do so. It must be understood that ordinary members and officers of an ICA are on equal footing as far as money matters are concerned. They pay the same amount of fee or contribution so they have equal rights to know how the funds are being spent.
If in the event that an ICA decides not to collect monthly or annual membership dues, where can they source the fund to run the association? This is where the sponsorships and donations by companies dealing with the ICA members will come in. The gaming companies, Internet service providers, computer parts suppliers and others who need the ICA’s help in introducing and promoting their products and services to its members.
Will the money coming from sponsors be enough to fund the activities and projects of an ICA? Again, experience showed that with a little more resourcefulness on the part of an ICA’s leadership, enough fund can be raised for the purpose. It’s just a matter of resolve and a little hardwork on the part of ICA officers. Prudence on spending the money of the association is also a key to its success. The choice of righteous leaders by the members is the most important thing in attaining self-sufficiency, peace and harmony within an ICA.