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Does anyone take monitary deposits for team members?

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  • Does anyone take monitary deposits for team members?

    We had a BIG attrition problem last year (10 members down to 2 by midway point) and we are considering requiring deposits for new members that we would refund if they remain in good standing through competition. I know teams sometimes have a charge to join. How much would be fair?

  • #2
    Charge? Sure, quite common I think. How much? That is a big depends.

    But if you want one example isolated reference point, a community based team aiming for six members - I can easily see $100/child. A new team that has to also acquire a robot kit(s), parts, etc may have higher needs. But each season is gonna have registration costs, some parts, projects supplies, snacks, tshirts, perhaps travel, it adds up quick.

    Grants, fundraising, waivers, scholarships, donations, etc - also all go into the mix to calculate the final number.

    School teams or organization teams may have more restrictions and guidelines, home/community teams have self authority.

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    • #3
      I run a team that has 5 members in Nova Scotia, Canada. For three years we received a grant under the Lego Foundation so we got our robot and challenge kits (then called field kits) for free through the grant. After those three years we needed to buy the kit but still had the robot.

      Each season I do up an estimated budget on expenses throughout the year (e.g., registration fee to FLL, challenge kit; project materials; team identity - t-shirts, etc; consumables such as office supplies; a couple of lunches for longer team days; competition fees, etc.) and then divide that among how many kids are on the team. The payment is due at the beginning of the season. This year it is $160 (CDN) per team member. It isn't that much compared to other activities that many kids are involved in. However, I also am very clear with my team parents that I never want the cost to prevent the kids from participating so they can talk with me individually and it gets sorted out. I have parents donating snacks and things as needed too. As the coach, I still end up covering some costs out of pocket that I want to use, but having a budget and a team bank account had reduced that.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by SheriB View Post
        We had a BIG attrition problem last year (10 members down to 2 by midway point) and we are considering requiring deposits for new members that we would refund if they remain in good standing through competition. I know teams sometimes have a charge to join. How much would be fair?
        I think I am reading your question differently than the previous posters... it seems you want something hanging over the kids' heads to make them stay around until the end of the season. Sure, you can charge them ahead and refund the money if they stay through competition. Unfortunately you still might get drop outs.

        Each year we hold a meeting with the parents to be sure they understand the level of commitment needed and how the team relies on the other team members for competition. We tell them that if the team member were to leave part way through, it could ruin it for all. So far this has worked in retaining most kids. We charge kids at the beginning of the season but dont have this extra deposit concept. Refunds are allowed until Sept 15th... after that no money gets returned. I really like how one parent/kid handled dropping out: they stuck through the qualifier and let us know they wouldnt be there for the championship. This gave the team time to redo their presentations.

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