I think the bulldozer work goes far beyond mowing the grass. Think what it would have cost to pay a skilled heavy equipment operator. I think the Life membership is a great idea and it does not cost the club anything. I'd throw in a plaque or something else too.
Dave, I changed the windows in our club (4)and the club wiped out all of my missed years of not paying so I could become a life member. I had enough years to be a life member, but they were not all paid because I quit shooting for a few years. Mike.
We pay expenses but rarely labor. There have been a few life memberships given in lieu of expense reimbursement at the request of the donor. Luckily we we have a group of about six dedicated board members (suckers) that each donate about 250 hours per year to make the club what it is. Payment for this isn't measured dollars although you do save a bunch of money by working the shoots as opposed to participating in them.
I am not a corp lawer but I disagree with BigM. For an excess benefit transaction to occur, a number of stars must align and a person who runs a bull-dozer as a favor to his club is not a disqualified individual nor one who is getting away with a chunk of a tax free piggybank. Perhaps if this were a trap club with 80 acres of prime real estate that was held privately by 20 life members and running this bull dozer made the individual a full shareholder in the club you might have a case of excess benefit.
A "payment" is taxable income to the recipient no matter what. Excessive payment is a totally different ballgame. Excessive payment rules and penalties exist so board members and others will be discouraged from raiding the piggybank of a social club. But now that you have already paid someone here are things to consider:
did I seriously overpay and do so with the intention of providing "excessive benefit"?
did I pay an individual or a company? If I paid an individual, what about paying the withholdings (income tax, SS, unemployment ins, and disability insurance?) If you pay a company, you can assume they handled those things. If you pay an individual - you must take care of that stuff or at least issue a 1099 at the end of the year.
I have been on the board of two clubs now. On one I was the president for two years and have been a board member for over six. At the other club I have been on the board for two years and have been the VP for one. At the first club I received nothing but criticism for the hundreds of hours and dollar I poured into keeping the place alive. At the second club I have been told on several occasions that my efforts are appreciated. Which club do you think I spend my time at these days?
Compensation doesn't have to be financial, a kind word goes a long ways. I am sure most clubs are in similar circumstances when it comes to a few dedicated folks doing all or most of the work. A kind word goes along ways toward helping folks feel like their efforts are worth it. Those who volunteer at the clubs often do it because they believe in the group and want to help as they are able. Offer what you feel is appropriate, but most of all remember to say thanks for the hard work to those that chip in.
Every volunteer organization is going through the same situation. My home club included. The organization has x amount of directors of which only one tenth really care what goes on around the club. The only time you see anyone is at meeting time when the rest bitch about how the few who choose to do anything are doing it. The unwilling bunch piss and moan about how much money is being spent and how things could have been done better, but of coarse they are NOT around when the work is being done. The best way to ruin a club is to be one of these members/directors. It doesn't take much to be an active (working) member/director. Sitting at the practice window taking money or working the kitchen goes a LONG way towards really helping out. Whoever mentioned that a few "Thank You's" works wonders was right on the money. No good deed goes unpunished is usually the norm. Personally I will give the organization one more year to change before I throw in the towel and say "I've had enough." I don't want that to happen but it is like beating your head against the wall...It feels so good when you stop! OK I'll get off my soap box now. Just venting my frustration. We've got a gold mine at our club but nobody wants to dig it out of the ground!
I don't know if what my club has done in the past was 'legal' in the sense of forgiving dues or not. About five years ago one of our long time members was injured in an industrial accident and almost died. He had to have about a fourth of his skull repaced. Well the club forgave his membership and work hours requirement for the two years it took to qualify for life membership. He will never work or drive againn or shoot! He does get aroiund with a walker now.We forgave another man's membershipdues when he had a stroke and now he has recovered fully. Just the correct thing to do for fellow members. Bill
Give him a life membership whether he wants it or not. Count your blessings.
If he refuses and insists on paying his annual dues, take the $80.00 bucks and buy a trophy (with a model D9 dozer added) with enough room for future name plates. Make it a annual award for outstanding volunteer work. Announce him as the winner at the next annual meeting.
David, You weren't wasting your time. Doing the right thing is never wrong. We can't allow a few buttheads to change our attitude. Peoples lives are changed everyday by some who do the right thing. Always recognize the individuals who go the extra mile letting them know your appreciation. It will and does make a difference. Jackie B.
David, it is really great that you are thinking of doing something in appreciation for the volunteer effort that someone put in for the club. I am sure that he did it without expecting anything more than the member's appreciation. I think it would be a really nice surprise for him to get the lifetime membership, especially at Christmas time.
I worked some long hours for many weeks as a volunteer for a club near where I live. Instead of a simple "thank you," I received badmouthing. One of the club members even went so far as to malign me ACROSS THE COUNTRY by making phone calls to shooters and ATA members that he didn't even know. I am still nice to the club members when I see them, but I don't shoot there anymore.
recurvyarcher- As I have said before "No good deed goes unpunished" Those kind of folks/members/grand pooh-bah's will kill a club in no time. The thing that gripes my butt is that there are two types....The one's that get everything done and those who don't do ANYTHING and complain about the job that the accomplishers are doing. If it didn't rub me so far the wrong way it would be freakin' hilarious. A word to the wise....Keep the non-shooters at a gun club out of the decision making process. They don't know what they are doing!!