Did you get your survey from NRPA on behalf of the Red Cross? I find it interesting that the survey is asking about possible pricing strategies aside from a per swimmer fee for Learn to Swim.

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I hope they listen!

Me too, Jim. Some of the answer options were interesting, kind of implying a contract could be negotiated with each entity depenidng on their services and needs. That would again take us back to every entity having to negotiate and lobby for their own fee structure with no consistency, which was supposedly their reasoning for creating the new structure in the first place.

 

Maybe they could come up with a price structure for government funded entities, non-profit entities, and private for-profit entities.  Each could also have tiers within each fee structure depending on whether the entites provide scholarship programs, free/discounted lessons, etc. Consistency of some sort, but allowing for the differences in our agencies and the communities we serve.

 

My recomendation prior to my postion being cut at the ARC last September was to assess an annual per facility fee with a seasonal fee for the number of WSI's on staff. This would fix costs for orginizations and allow budgets to be made and yet support the ARC WSI program R&D.

Hello Eldon, I am so sorry to hear about your position being cut. I like that line of thinking, I was in discussions with ARC representatives at a meeting in California and suggested considering some sort of formula that took into account, how much an AP charged for lessons, how many people the AP taught each year, size of the AP's staff, the number of facilties the AP operated, the socio-economics of the communities the AP served, the AP's organizational and fiscal strength... The hope was to end up with an annual fee that an AP could afford. At the time it was not a discussed option, the focus was about how the Red Cross was going to independently negotiate fees with each AP on a case by case basis with it all based upon the fees that were implemented July 1, 2011. It also centered around giving certificates to AP's who had low income community members they served so the AP they could provide some of their lessons with no per participant fee back to the Red Cross.

Maybe they would realize the amount of publicity and good relations they earn when a child participates in a Red Cross program... it makes Daddy want to pull out his wallet for donations! 

I don't want wrist bands, badges and their certificates.  I want a good product that is inexpensive to produce for the public. 

I am concerned that the response number will be thin because this came out over the holiday.  The deadline is Jan 3!

Lisa,

Curious, who gets the best rate; the struggling government facilities that usually have a longer fee approval procedure and lowest public support, the non-profits who are not getting donations in today's economy, or the for-profits who are also probably hurting.  As a taxpayer and a non-profit volunteer, I know which ones I would pick for the lowest fees.

 

I think the Red Cross has shot themselves in the foot.   It will take years for them to recover, and may end up ruining their safety programs, which would in turn ruin their disaster relief.  I understand and maybe sympathize with their need, but they approached it wrong.  Their public relations needs to improve greatly, and their employees are not being given tools to properly "sell" their product.  It is too bad to see a fine organization teetering on the edge of disaster.

 

It reminds me of the large numbers of GIs that they permanently soured during WWII when the Red Cross volunteers started charging a dime for a cup of coffee at the stops on the railroad.  It wasn't the Red Cross' fault, but the volunteer groups trying to capture the cost to provide the service so they could continue.  I spoke with many vets, even 50 years later, who would have nothing to do with the Red Cross.  Let's see, if we take all those vets and figure how much they might have donated or volunteered over their lifetimes...  Better start developing a better message.  I am seeing the same attitude among pool people.

Stephen,

I was thinking more along the lines of the tier affect in each program based on the program offered, population served, scholarships, etc. There are definitely some entities offering programs that have a better economic base that can afford to pay the costs involved, and there are others that provide free/extremely reduced programming for lower economic areas that can't afford any costs. Then there are entities such as mine that offer both tpyes of programming.

Not sure how this is all handled especially when attempting to maintain the Red Cross goal of "consistency".I just thought maybe developing a tier structure for options would be better than this cut and dry one fee for everyone; because I agree, they are shooting themselves in the foot!

It is unfortunate but time has come that I can no longer afford multiple memberships and thus do not receive information from NRPA any longer. However, I did hear about this and I find it fishy that NRPA can possibly negotiate with the ARC on a fee schedule??? I guess the previous direction from the ARC that each provider should negotiate their own fees as back fired, since no one in the ARC is authorized to make a decison locally without checking with some else. I like roller coasters and merry go-rounds, but I am really starting to get dizzy and sick of all the spinning :(

Tom...I believe you've mis-interpreted something......I don't believe NRPA is doing any negociating with the ARC.  I believe they were just one conduit to get the ARC survey out. 

 

I am not a memebr of NRPA and I get the survey....both directly from the ARC and from a couple of other sources.

 

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