First, we are two homeschool moms who are volunteering our time and talents for helping launch and manage a spectacular homeschool group for this area. One of us has been in leadership of this group for more than a decade and knows many of you well. She will thus be the backbone of MTHS continuing her commitment to helping homeschoolers. The other has many years of experience coordinating groups, meetings and information. We will use the best of those ideas to make this group run efficiently to meet the needs of our community. We are not paid a salary or hourly wage to do this. We are taking time from our familes to help make your homeschooling local experience enriched because that is our heart to serve you. So, no, the membership fund will not be paying us personally.
Instead, we will be establishing a group budget as we gain better insight this year into the income and expenses of this group. In the past, many events that needed pre-payment had to come from someone's personal bank account setting up an event. For instance, to purchase our performing arts tickets early requires hundreds of dollars for each show. We have to do this months in advance. Some groups have opted to have you personally sign up yearly for the whole year. It's hard to plan ahead months from now, so I don't like this option personally, especially remembering a dozen post dated checks even worse. It's a real issue for new homeschoolers or people who move into town or miss the sign up meeting as they can't hook in until that next window. Other groups charge a higher fee for membership to pay staff, but may still not be helping you sign up with group discounts by compiling a group for individual events. We want to offer more than just bombarding your inbox with events, but none that are attractive because there is a group coordinated (for a discount and organized event) catered to our group. So, by having a bank account with some funding, we have leverage resources to utilize in a much more member friendly way.
Another reason for the cost of membership is the website which will potentially be a couple thousand dollars, depending on how many members sign up. This is not something we are able or willing to personally volunteer from our families' budgets.
Some of you are in particularly difficult times and we understand and do not want to exclude you for just the $25. We will work out a reduced payment plan for potential members who have a deceased parent, and thus no breadwinner income, those who have lost the main income of the household, those with a life threatening illness in the family that has recently required extensive hospitalization and left them near bankrupt. Those going through a divorce or some other particularly difficult financial situation need to email us at MiddleTNHomeschoolersHomeschoolers@gmail.com so that we can help.
If you are financially secure and would like to contribute scholarship money for needy families to go on field trips or events, you may contact us as well as that will bless some who may have very large families or may have very low incomes to be able to participate more. A $10 event may seem cheap to a family with one child, but a family with 7 kids it would be more prohibitive. For details on giving or receiving assistance, please email us at the email above. We want to help as our funding allows.
Eventually, we hope to establish banking records that members can inquire with a notice period so our treasurer can show you where the money goes.