Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Improving Standing Order Payments

We all know the advantages of converting annual cheque / cash / credit card payers into standing order payers:

Advantages for the Association:
1. No printing or postage costs to send the renewal letter (£1 saved)
2. No reply paid postage costs for the member to send their cheque (another 58p saved)
3. No time frittered opening letters and banking the cheques
4. No additional costs to send a reminder to the 35% who never pay when first asked

Advantages to the Member:
1. No digging out a dusty cheque book and writing a cheque
2. No form to complete and post
3. No danger of membership lapsing 

Even though we have membership collection costs nailed down to a minimum, it still costs us about £3,000 a year to write to our annual payers to invite them renew their subscriptions (this does not include the cost of posting their membership card once renewed). This £3,000 (and a lot of office/volunteer time) could be saved if we switched payments to standing order.

Across West Kent we have around 3,000 members, of which one third pay by SO.  This leaves 2,000 members who do not. We have today written to all of these members explaining the benefits of SO payments and inviting them to change their payment method ahead of their January renewal.  Here is a copy of the letter. 

And thanks to the generosity of one of our donors, who is committed to this initiative, we are also offering all new standing order payees a small incentive/thank you gift for returning their SO forms promptly; a 2018 Desk Calendar showing some fabulous views of West Kent - the photographs taken and submitted by members in a competition held some months ago. See below.

I will let you know how we get on.

Front cover: River Medway and Aylesford Bridge and Village
Chatham and Aylesford Constituency

January: The Pantiles
Tunbridge Wells Constituency

February: County Hall
Maidstone and the Weald Constituency

March: Megalithic Burial Stones at Kits Coty overlooking the Weald of Kent
Chatham and Aylesford Constituency

April: Faversham Creek
Faversham and Mid Kent Constituency

May: Cranbrook High Street and Windmill
Maidstone and the Weald Constituency

June: Cricket on Meopham Village Green
Gravesham Constituency

July: "A Different Ball Game". Art installation marking the entrance to Kings Hill  
Tonbridge and Malling Constituency

August: River Medway and Aylesford Bridge and Village
Chatham and Aylesford Constituency

September: Leeds Castle and Lake in the morning mist
Faversham and Mid Kent Constituency

October: Bidborough Ridge overlooking Sevenoaks and the North Downs
Tunbridge Wells Constituency

 November: Gravesend Pier and the River Thames
Gravesham Constituency

December: Tonbridge Castle
Tonbridge and Malling Constituency

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