Enclosed in your November Bulletin is your 2021 Dues statement. Have you ever asked yourselves why our dues and fees are what they are for our non-profit subordinate Chapter? Much consideration goes into the decision of our dues amount, and you will see that we give a breakdown for the $55 annual amount, separating into subcategories to help you to understand where the money goes in our accounts. Here is a little more information regarding why you are paying your dues and fees, and why it needs to be into the Chapter a timely manner. I hope it might be helpful:
Each year every member of Pilgrim Chapter (150 in all) must pay $10.00 to the Grand Chapter of NH for the per-capita payment that is due by February 15th. This fee gets paid regardless if received from the members. Just as a reminder, paying this Per Capita allows each member in NH to attend NH Grand Chapter for free with their current dues card
Each member not remitted by the Chapter for financial reasons must pay the $10 Masonic Building Association Assessment, which has helped and will continue helping to make needed and many costly improvements to our Masonic Temple. Repairing the walls, roof, and the improvements in the kitchen and Chapter Room come out of the effort. Even if the Brother is a member and pays this Assessment in their local lodge- they still need to pay as an OES member, as we are required to pay for them. Currently the Masonic Building Association is amid a huge undertaking of roof repair which is quite costly but in desperate need to be done!
Longevity Members, those members with 50 years membership, were voted years ago to be remitted after they reached 50 years. Before 2009 we did not collect any money from these members. In 2010 it was voted by the chapter to collect only the per-capita fee from new Longevity members (previous members before 2010 were grandfathered and still do not need to pay Per Capita). Thus anyone reaching 50 years as of 2010 and after are kindly asked to pay the $10 Per Capita yearly.
We currently have 40 members who have dues that remitted by the Chapter for Longevity or for financial/medical hardship. This leaves the bulk of our costs to run the Chapter to the 110 members who hopefully pay dues yearly and on time. In a real world that would be wonderful to be the case, but not everyone pays yearly or on time. Quarterly our Chapter must pay rent (now approx. $850 quarterly) to the Masonic Building Association – meaning that $3400 gets paid yearly. Insurance for the temple also needs to be paid and that runs approximately $950 yearly, and bonding is of your Secy./Treas.(required) is $145 yearly. To cut down on postage costs, we have moved to mailing bulletins every 2-3 months and only mailing those who do not have email, except for annual dues mailing.
COVID has hit our Chapter extremely hard in that our suppers, which was our main fundraiser to pay for that Per Capita, Rent, and Insurance, were cancelled. We lost out on a lot of revenue! Our very lean budget allows for a small amount of our fundraising and dues to go toward charitable contributions, community giving activities, and to assist our members in need. However, this year especially will be a tough time to realize any of these charitable practices without your assistance in paying your dues and Per Capita fees as requested. Some of our Longevity members have opted to pay a portion of their dues or at least their Per Capita yearly to help the Chapter, even though they owe nothing. The Chapter definitively appreciates all donations- especially now! That $10 in Per Capita that we owe for everyone is a small amount- just the cost of a few cups of coffee at McDonalds or Dunkin Donuts when you think about it. But your donation helps the Chapter immensely! We sincerely thank our members who donate yearly to help the Chapter with its financial needs. We also understand Covid has hit many members hard with loss of personal revenue, and it that is the case you are urged to contact the Secretary regarding your hardship in paying your dues, or needing assistance in financial relief at this time.
We hope this explanation has given you some insight as to where your dues/fees go. As we look to the 100th Birthday of our Chapter in 1920-21, we hope that you will agree that our dues payments are worth every penny that helps to sustain our Organization, keeping our Pilgrim traditions alive, and provides our Chapter the chance for cheerful companionship and social enjoyment for our members.