Albert Einstein once said "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results". Think about this quote for a second and ask yourself, does this quote apply to the MMBA?
I think it does apply; we are trying to handle today’s issues with the way we did it yesterday
Here are 2 reasons why we should consider and I believe move toward an IMBA model.
1. Growing our influence and capabilities with local, state and national land managers, Gaining or improving our seat at the table of decision makers.
Our needs of the association have changed over the last 20 years, it’s not about introducing this crazy sport “Mt. Biking” it’s about carrying a big enough stick to defend what we currently have and expand access to additional landowners who are also being approached by other user groups. The stick begins with local advocates getting involved, sitting through meetings, shaking hands, discussing features and benefits, gaining access, and following through. The stick then moves on to a state level where we represent the greater geographic area, today the MMBA stops there. The IMBA concept brings to bear the resources that the Great Lakes Region, the Nation and the World that IMBA can provide, gaining greater influence to accomplish the greater good.
2. Driving resource efficiency both monetary and human.
Let’s talk about fiscal reality and where the MMBA is squeezed. The cost of running any organization has grown significantly over the past years and there is no reason to believe we will return to lower cost. Think about your health insurance bill, it’s risen between 10% and 25% for each of the last 10 years. Maybe your company didn’t pass on that additional expense to you, but either you paid it or they did. Now think about insuring a group of volunteers, who are given a brief training on the circle of death, and working with hand tools in a crowd, imagine what has happened to that rate. This is just one example of what has happened to almost every operating cost of organizations and the MMBA is no exception. So where does the MMBA’s money come from? Membership, we are funded at about 80% from individual/family/corporate memberships; sure there is an occasional grant for special trail projects etc… but not for operating the organization. So in the MI economy what has happened to our membership dollars? They have gone down. In the 3rd quarter of 2009 we hit 5 year lows, only through herculean efforts by a few chapters to get new members have we grown that number in 2010. Unfortunately, there is not enough growth to outpace the constant growth of expenses.
Where does this lead us?
We must operate our organization more efficiently and grow our membership revenues. How? Utilize IMBA’s backroom administration expertise for additional membership generation, membership renewal, merchandise sales & fulfillment, and communication to members. Focus our local and state resources toward advocacy, legislation, trail development, and fun. We might add real value to our members.
How can we fund this?
IMBA Program Funding Split
• 2010 Estimated Membership Revenue $54,500
• 60% Chapters $32,700
• 40% IMBA $21,800
Split to fund state MMBA lobbyist activity
o 2010 Estimated Membership Revenue $54,500
o 30% Chapters $16,350 (about $10,000/yr returned now from MMBA)
o 30% State $16,350 (lobbyist cost is about $15,000/yr)
o 40% IMBA $21,800
o State specific (member voluntary) donation of an extra $5.00 per membership to fund MI specific advocacy activity. 50% participation = $3,250. Set this up through IMBA as a separate fund of MI members so the funds come back to MI specifically. We don't need this donation plan to make it work, but the more money we can return to chapters, the more trails we can develop.
From this simple calculation it looks like we can make the funding work.
IMBA, Good People or Evil Empire?
Over the course of the past 2 years I have had several opportunities to met and interact with IMBA personnel, especially the ones with responsibility here in MI. and the Great Lakes Region. This past May I attended the IMBA World Summit in Augusta, GA where I had the opportunity to interact with the complete staff from the ED, Mike Van Abel, down to the people registering participants. They were professional in every aspect, were extremely approachable and willing to engage in open dialogue, ran a great summit program and appear to run IMBA as a member driven organization. While their presence in the Great Lakes region is smaller compared to the Midwest or Southeast they are committed to creating that presence as dictated by membership growth. In my humble estimation they are far more Good people than evil empire.
The Board of Directors of the MMBA is elected to represent the interest of all members of the MMBA. We will take into consideration all members, not just the vocal minority of forum posters. We appreciate your input, ideas, criticisms and congratulations. As we work through the details and recommend a future course for the MMBA we will keep you informed and hope that you can and will support whatever recommendation we present
Thanks and please, stay positive!
At Large Director