Converting to a charity - review

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Graham
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Converting to a charity - review

Postby Graham » 12 Oct 2014, 8:28pm

As an outsider, who receives no communications from CTC. ( This forum is my only indirect contact. ) . . . . . . ..

Was the conversion from club to charity worth it ??? . . . . .
- Did it achieve its financial objectives / benefits ?
- Did it achieve its other objectives ( if there were any ) ?
- What difference has it made to its paying members ?

I fully understand that many of you have better things to do than dwell upon this. :wink:

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Re: Converting to a charity - review

Postby Psamathe » 12 Oct 2014, 8:34pm

Graham wrote:Was the conversion from club to charity worth it ??? . . . . .
- Did it achieve its financial objectives / benefits ?
- Did it achieve its other objectives ( if there were any ) ?
- What difference has it made to its paying members ?

I was not a member before the switch to a charity so cannot give a before/after difference.

However, I believe the CTC has a major problem with the way it views it's membership and I'm thinking that relates to the fact that it views itself as "The National Cycling Charity". As such it is more focused on it's charitable works rather than its membership. Members are viewed as a source of charitable donations allowing it to undertake its charitable works.

If there were a vote now to switch back to a "Club" I would support such a change. It might help the organisation focus more on the membership.

Ian

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Re: Converting to a charity - review

Postby Si » 13 Oct 2014, 4:56pm

From my ordinary member perspective it's made no difference either way to me that I'm aware of.

However, and I stress that this is also from my personal perspective and relates to what I want from the CTC, being a club is causing me problems. OK, OK I know that technically we are not a club but some kind of membership organisation but boils down to the same thing. For me (and I'm perfectly aware that YMMV) the CTC should be about promoting cycling, getting more people cycling and looking after cycling. If it does this then whatever of the major forms of cycling we partake in, we should benefit from there being more cyclists, and better conditions for cycling.

However, while a perspective normal member is only allowed three rides (yes, I'm informed that the Rule of Five is now the Rule of Three) before having to pay the best part of £40 I think that the CTC is failing to provide for 10,000s of perspective cyclists. The people that I work with want to try cycling and see if it is for them, but virtually no one is going to go from "can't cycle" to paying £40 to join a serious cycling club in one leap. The CTC should have some way of nurturing prospective new cyclists that doesn't cost them any money to try it out.

This is where I see conflict between doing what is best for the "the club" and doing what is best for cycling. And I'm in it to promote cycling (however, I make not criticism of those who just want to be part of a club and ride with like minded people every weekend - nothing at all wrong with that).

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Re: Converting to a charity - review

Postby wirral_cyclist » 13 Oct 2014, 5:17pm

Easiest way for avoiding £40 CTC fee is to affiliate to it at £18, if enough do this then heads may be removed from clouds (or elsewhere) and get back to basics?

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Re: Converting to a charity - review

Postby Si » 13 Oct 2014, 5:35pm

wirral_cyclist wrote:Easiest way for avoiding £40 CTC fee is to affiliate to it at £18, if enough do this then heads may be removed from clouds (or elsewhere) and get back to basics?


Yes, but as someone new to cycling you'd probably have no idea about affiliation. What I would like from the CTC is some incentive for member groups to provide for new cyclists and get them going....after all, the more people the CTC gets cycling the more potential members it will get.

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Re: Converting to a charity - review

Postby wirral_cyclist » 13 Oct 2014, 6:56pm

Everyone who joins our club is asked about affiliating simply as a step to full CTC membership, but that step to get a magazine and the tame lawyers is a steep step very few make - in fact many more going the other way.

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Re: Converting to a charity - review

Postby mjr » 13 Oct 2014, 8:34pm

Can affiliates vote?

And has Si considered running under the Cyclenation banner like Push Bikes which is smaller and does not have the tame lawyers or insurance but also has no bonkers Rule of Three.
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Re: Converting to a charity - review

Postby Graham » 14 Oct 2014, 8:30am

Thank you for the initial responses. Any further thoughts with respect to :-
Graham wrote:Was the conversion from club to charity worth it ??? . . . . .
- Did it achieve its financial objectives / benefits ?
- Did it achieve its other objectives ( if there were any ) ?

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Re: Converting to a charity - review

Postby gaz » 14 Oct 2014, 9:57pm

If you really want to trawl through the information on why becoming a Charity was recommended by Council you can, here.

IIRC (you can trawl through the docs and check if you like :wink: ) the first step after charitable registration of the CTC (Reg No 1147607) was for it to merge with (takeover) the CTC Charitable Trust (Reg No 1104324). AFAICT that hasn't happened yet*.

Presumably it is only when that step is completed (and many more?) that Gift Aid will be discussed with HMRC.

* :oops: Edit: With effect from midnight on 30 September 2012 the CTC Charitable Trust merged with the Cyclists' Touring Club.
Last edited by gaz on 13 Dec 2014, 10:13pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Converting to a charity - review

Postby TonyR » 14 Oct 2014, 11:05pm

Si wrote:However, while a perspective normal member is only allowed three rides (yes, I'm informed that the Rule of Five is now the Rule of Three) before having to pay the best part of £40 I think that the CTC is failing to provide for 10,000s of perspective cyclists.


Is that rule really enforced. Don't see it happening on the club rides I go on and there are plenty of rides put on for those just starting or coming back. But OTOH its a bit much to seek to benefit from all the effort of club members to put on such rides and other activities but then refuse to join the club.

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Re: Converting to a charity - review

Postby Psamathe » 14 Oct 2014, 11:17pm

Si wrote:However, while a perspective normal member is only allowed three rides (yes, I'm informed that the Rule of Five is now the Rule of Three) before having to pay the best part of £40...

A bit off topic (answering your point) but it depends what the 3 rides are for. I had always assumed it was for somebody to see if they were happy with the distance/speed/people/character/etc. (i.e. they as a 20-something were not joining a retirees club, or vice versa; or that they were not forced to discuss religious ethics for the entire 4 hour rides, etc.).

I think that people starting/learning to ride would be a different issue and could maybe be addressed by a different form of membership. Maybe a "Starters Membership" that allowed rides, 3rd party insurance but no magazine, etc. and could only be taken out for 1 year after which full membership of leave.

Ian

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Re: Converting to a charity - review

Postby PaulB » 14 Oct 2014, 11:21pm

Si wrote:From my ordinary member perspective it's made no difference either way to me that I'm aware of.

However, and I stress that this is also from my personal perspective and relates to what I want from the CTC, being a club is causing me problems. OK, OK I know that technically we are not a club but some kind of membership organisation but boils down to the same thing. For me (and I'm perfectly aware that YMMV) the CTC should be about promoting cycling, getting more people cycling and looking after cycling. If it does this then whatever of the major forms of cycling we partake in, we should benefit from there being more cyclists, and better conditions for cycling.

However, while a perspective normal member is only allowed three rides (yes, I'm informed that the Rule of Five is now the Rule of Three) before having to pay the best part of £40 I think that the CTC is failing to provide for 10,000s of perspective cyclists. The people that I work with want to try cycling and see if it is for them, but virtually no one is going to go from "can't cycle" to paying £40 to join a serious cycling club in one leap. The CTC should have some way of nurturing prospective new cyclists that doesn't cost them any money to try it out.

This is where I see conflict between doing what is best for the "the club" and doing what is best for cycling. And I'm in it to promote cycling (however, I make not criticism of those who just want to be part of a club and ride with like minded people every weekend - nothing at all wrong with that).


Your statement, which I've put in BOLD, is already being done by British Cycling under their "SkyRide" scheme. CTC has really lost its way and cannot keep up with the rise of BC which, although still very much a racing organisation, has put more bums on saddles over recent years (currently 100,000 members). In another post I have suggested that CTC is trying to go after the same riders as BC; e.g. the more sports orientated ones, but by starting their "SkyRide" events BC is stealing potential CTC members. British Cycling has the oxygen of publicity in the form of Bradley Wiggins and the crew. I suspect many keen cyclists as well as first timers have never even heard of CTC or do not know what the initials stand for.

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Re: Converting to a charity - review

Postby Graham » 15 Oct 2014, 8:42am

Gaz, Thanks for that important start point.
As the winter nights close in I'll take a wandering read through that lot and take a view with the benefit of hindsight.
I'll also take a look at the related topics on this Forum.

gaz wrote:If you really want to trawl through the information on why becoming a Charity was recommended by Council you can, here.

IIRC (you can trawl through the docs and check if you like :wink: ) the first step after charitable registration of the CTC (Reg No 1147607) was for it to merge with (takeover) the CTC Charitable Trust (Reg No 1104324). AFAICT that hasn't happened yet.

Presumably it is only when that step is completed (and many more?) that Gift Aid will be discussed with HMRC.


EDIT :
Old CTC website wrote: . . .. If in doubt the Council asks you to consider just one point

Do you believe society will be better off if CTC works to bring the benefits of cycling to all, or do you believe CTC is a self serving members club? If you instinctively know the answer to that question you know whether you support Cyclists’ Touring Club becoming a charity.

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Re: Converting to a charity - review

Postby bikepacker » 15 Oct 2014, 11:33am

It lost out on some financial benefit because I changed my will and removed the bequest I was going to make.
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Re: Converting to a charity - review

Postby Si » 15 Oct 2014, 4:33pm

Psamathe wrote:
I think that people starting/learning to ride would be a different issue and could maybe be addressed by a different form of membership. Maybe a "Starters Membership" that allowed rides, 3rd party insurance but no magazine, etc. and could only be taken out for 1 year after which full membership of leave.



Yes, something like this might entice a whole load of riders who currently wouldn't touch the CTC with a barge pole because they see the CTC as being "real cyclists" and don't really see themselves as cyclists but people who ride bikes for fun and utility.

I would suggest,though, that it is free to join and also offers additional benefits like cycle training.

Of course, to do this you need to get by-in from MGs, and a lot of people in MGs just want to ride their bikes with their mates so it wouldn't appeal to them, but experience of mine shows that there are a few who want to help bring on new cyclists if they are given the right backing and support from their umbrella organisation.

As for BC and Sky Rides - some Sky rides are great for new riders but they are a bit patchy in their coverage and they don't really feed into anything else, i.e. for the non competitive cyclist you can't graduate into the local BC touring club that offers several leisurely rides a week and a healthy social scene.