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User avatar
By Darbbb
#379479
Just got the email from USHPA and of course I'm happy to contribute to try to help save the sport.

It seems to me though, that they might do better raising money through a website such as GoFundMe instead of the USHPA website. I have a number of friends who are involved in other kinds of sports who I think would be happy to contribute, and I think many people from the general public might feel the same way. If they make it more of a public effort, and less "in house" I think they would get a better response. It also does not make sense that they are not accepting contributions via PayPal. More people than not use that method these days (I.e., every user of EBay) and they should be taking contributions anyway they can get them.

Just my .02

Brad
Last edited by Darbbb on Thu Dec 03, 2015 8:43 am, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
By RobertKesselring
#379480
I was just about to start a thread on the same topic, got my opening post all typed up, and figured I'd check just before I hit "submit" in case someone beat me to it.

Anyway, the gist is that they need $830,000 by March 1 or we won't have insurance and most sites will shut down.
$830,000 divided by 10,000 members is only $83 per. I'm sure some have already donated and their donations are included in the $1,070,00 raised so far, so excluding them, maybe $100 per for the rest of us. Not a lot of money if everyone chips in, but not everyone will.

So I'm wondering, if I send them $100, or $500 or $1k, and they don't meet their $2 million requirement, what will become of the money that I sent?

If they can't continue to operate and shut down, will donations be returned to the donors? Or, will USHPA just continue being an organization of pilots with nowhere to fly until membership and money dries up completely?

Edit: Fundraising idea. Christmas is coming up. When someone asks you what they should get you, tell them to make a donation to USHPA for you.
By rongleason
#379482
Dollar to dollar donations are fine but the NPR model can really accelerate the amount collected. So who can be a matching donor? I have no skin in the game
User avatar
By mgforbes
#379498
RobertKesselring wrote: So I'm wondering, if I send them $100, or $500 or $1k, and they don't meet their $2 million requirement, what will become of the money that I sent?
I'm working on the FAQ, linked off the donation page at
http://ushpa.aero/freeflightforever.asp
and I'll address this question there.

The short answer is that we don't expect to fail in this effort. We have over half the money already, we have a membership that is active and involved and passionate about our sport, and we think we're going to make this campaign succeed! It's trite, but true in this case: Failure Is Not An Option. We MUST make this succeed. It's the only way we're going to keep most of our flying sites open.

We need to raise $2 million total, but we only need to do that once to launch the RRG. After that it will run on the premiums paid in, and we've budgeted very conservatively based on the actuarial analysis. We think we can do much better, managing it ourselves, than recent history would suggest. We have to live with the past history as it exists, warts and all, but as we demonstrate our ability to control risk and costs, the actuaries will re-assess our risk premium.

If things go as we hope, the RRG should run a substantial surplus on the current premium rate. Once it has accumulated enough reserves to satisfy its obligations, we can look at reducing premiums to lower costs to both USHPA and the schools. That comes back to all of us in the form of lower dues in the future. How far in the future depends on how well we all do as a group in controlling risk and reducing accidents/claims.

Check the FAQ periodically for updates, and to see how we're coming along on the fundraising. I'm fielding a lot of emails, and rather than send long responses to each one individually I'll be pulling those questions and answers into the FAQ page and dealing with them there.

Don't forget....donations to USHPA are tax-deductible. Make 'em this year to claim them on your 2015 tax return.

Thanks!
MGF
User avatar
By mgforbes
#379500
rongleason wrote:Dollar to dollar donations are fine but the NPR model can really accelerate the amount collected. So who can be a matching donor? I have no skin in the game
We have one anonymous donor who has pledged $100,000 to match the money we raise, which will put us over the top for the required capital.

I can't personally afford to do that, but I'll offer this as a challenge:

For the next ten days, I'll match every $1000 or more donation with $100 of my own money, to a maximum of $1500. To get that match, you need to PM me your hanggliding.org handle and your real name. I'll check it off on the daily contribution report, make my own contribution and send you a copy of my acknowledgement letter for proof.

Anybody else willing to step up to that, or beat it? If you're interested, PM me and I'll coordinate the effort. Let's make this happen!

MGF
User avatar
By spork
#379502
I'm guessing USHPA has already considered a one-year dues increase or a one-time assessment. But I would think that might be easier for a lot of members to swallow knowing that everyone was participating.
User avatar
By mgforbes
#379503
We've increased pilot dues to $150, effective immediately, which will help to cover the increased insurance costs and put some cash into the bank for funding the RRG. We expect to have some startup costs that will be one-time expenses, outside of the need for the capital funding. My hope is that we'll be able to bring dues back down once we get things running and stable. That may take a few years; I just don't know at this point. We don't want to charge any more for dues than it takes to run the association and meet its obligations.

Dues come in over the course of a year, and we need the capital in the bank by March 1, 2016. If we had a couple or three years of notice, we'd be able to handle it with just a dues increase. But we don't have that kind of time, and we don't have the ability to just arbitrarily send everybody a bill for $100 to get the cash immediately. We can ask politely for contributions, which is what we're doing.

Please contribute! Call it a one-time assessment if you like, with the added advantage that it's tax-deductible.

Thanks!
MGF
User avatar
By RobertKesselring
#379511
mgforbes wrote:If we had a couple or three years of notice, we'd be able to handle it with just a dues increase. But we don't have that kind of time
Can I pay my next 5 to 10 years dues in advance? That would be lot easier idea for me to sell to my wife then a straight up donation. (Yes, she does wear the pants :-)
User avatar
By Dave Gills
#379512
Good idea Robert.

I could do a couple of years in advance but my anniversary date isn't until July.
Would it be possible to pay early and have 2 years in the bank?
User avatar
By Ttsjeff
#379541
Roberts question about the use of the funds of they fall.short was not answered. Seems to be a fair question. I think we also should know what start up cost and running budgets are anticipated. How are they going to investigate claims. Legal costs? How many people will need to be hired? I would like to see more transparency
User avatar
By TomGalvin
#379544
Ttsjeff wrote:Roberts question about the use of the funds of they fall.short was not answered. Seems to be a fair question.
If they do not reach goal, then they will have to mortgage/sell off assets to cover the shortfall. It's self insure or else. There is no plan B AFAICT.
User avatar
By mgforbes
#379549
Tom's right about not having a fallback plan. The problem is that there isn't any other source of insurance. If there was, we wouldn't be going through all of this effort to form an RRG!

The topic of self-insurance has been coming up periodically since the 1980's, but the practical realities of raising the money and organizing it have kept us from doing it. So long as we could still buy insurance on the market, even with rate increases, it was better than trying to change to self-insurance. But the insurers have forced our hand, and we're out of other options.

We believe that if we control how claims are managed, and how risk underwriting is performed, we can do a better job of controlling costs than the existing insurance claims management company. Their motivation is profits for their investment syndicate; our motivation is the long term health of our sport. We can take the long view, where our existing insurers are under pressure to pay off investors even if it means taking some hits on claims that are questionable.

We have a RRG management company identified, and we'll handle claims management through our corporate attorney, who already has 20+ years of experience in this area. While he sometimes advises the current claims managers, he doesn't have the final say on how they resolve claims. If we're managing things, then he's free to make decisions without some of the pressures that currently distort things.

We're not planning for failure. This is a cliff launch, and we need to focus and do it right. I believe we can do it, we must do it, we WILL do it. We're hang glider pilots, and when we take to the air we put everything on the line. We bet our lives on our skills as pilots. Compared to that, a couple hundred bucks is minimal. Consider what flying is worth to you, and donate whatever you can afford.

If we all pitch in, we can have this thing wrapped up and done before the end of the year. I've offered a challenge to you guys...nobody's taken me up on it yet. Aren't any of you going to step up and take my money? :)

MGF
User avatar
By mgforbes
#379551
Can I pay my next 5 to 10 years dues in advance?
I wish we had a way to make that work, but we don't right now. We're also in the middle of a major website overhaul, which will make it possible for us to do a lot of things that are difficult or impossible right now. What we have is 15 years old, getting very creaky, and easy to break by accident. We're moving to a modern software platform, and cut-over is set for the end of the year. We didn't expect to have to also create an insurance company in the middle of it all, but that's how things happen sometimes.

Multi-year memberships would raise a little extra money, but require a signed waiver every year. There are also issues with California law regarding how membership associations assess dues. All of this might be solved with some time and changes to the bylaws and a membership vote, but time is something we don't have right now. We need to get this thing done by March 1, 2016. We've been putting huge amounts of time into getting all of the pieces in place, and we're pretty much on track if we can raise the remaining $790-ish thousand to fund the capital investment. If we all pitch a hundred bucks in, one time, we've got it done.

MGF
User avatar
By designbydave
#379579
Hi Mark

I usually do not pop up in USHPA related political posts but I do read through them, mostly to read your responses. You have been the voice of reason throughout the years and one of the few, truly informed individuals on these issues. Thank you for your consistent, professional mannerisms and level-headedness.
mgforbes wrote:We're not planning for failure. This is a cliff launch, and we need to focus and do it right. I believe we can do it, we must do it, we WILL do it.
However this is an unacceptable answer. We absolutely need to know what will happen in the event that the goal is not reached in time. Given the amount of money we are talking about here I can't help but feel that it is an insurmountable figure. I'm sorry if I'm pessimistic here and I understand the necessity for optimism, especially from the USHPA leadership, but I (we as the members) need real talk, not just best case scenarios. $787,815 (as of the time of this post) is a huge amount of money to raise simply by donations.

I care very deeply about free flight and I understand the need for USHPA/insurance and am willing to put my money where my mouth is, but not if there is a real possibility that I may be just flushing it down the toilet. I've made some bad investments in the past and I like to think that I have learned from them. This sounds like a very bad investment if I am at least not assured that my donation will be returned in the event that the goal is not reached. This is how Kickstarter works and there is a very good reason for it. (Kickstarter actually doesn't even charge until after the goal is met.)

A follow up question about the workings of the RRG. Lets say we do make our goal and the RRG is funded and all setup and we are all happy. Then some time later in the year there is another accident (which by recent trends is sure to happen, if not next year, then soon after.) Huge lawsuit / settlement that drains that $2 million. Are we all screwed? Will there have to be another massive fund raiser to re-fill that fund? I am sure that I'm missing the details of how the RRG and self insurance is suppose to work, but this sounds very fragile to me and it seems quite plausible that one, two maybe three years down the line we could be right back to this same situation.
User avatar
By DAVE858
#379584
designbydave wrote:Hi Mark

I usually do not pop up in USHPA related political posts but I do read through them, mostly to read your responses. You have been the voice of reason throughout the years and one of the few, truly informed individuals on these issues. Thank you for your consistent, professional mannerisms and level-headedness.
mgforbes wrote:We're not planning for failure. This is a cliff launch, and we need to focus and do it right. I believe we can do it, we must do it, we WILL do it.
However this is an unacceptable answer. We absolutely need to know what will happen in the event that the goal is not reached in time. Given the amount of money we are talking about here I can't help but feel that it is an insurmountable figure. I'm sorry if I'm pessimistic here and I understand the necessity for optimism, especially from the USHPA leadership, but I (we as the members) need real talk, not just best case scenarios. $787,815 (as of the time of this post) is a huge amount of money to raise simply by donations.

I care very deeply about free flight and I understand the need for USHPA/insurance and am willing to put my money where my mouth is, but not if there is a real possibility that I may be just flushing it down the toilet. I've made some bad investments in the past and I like to think that I have learned from them. This sounds like a very bad investment if I am at least not assured that my donation will be returned in the event that the goal is not reached. This is how Kickstarter works and there is a very good reason for it. (Kickstarter actually doesn't even charge until after the goal is met.)

A follow up question about the workings of the RRG. Lets say we do make our goal and the RRG is funded and all setup and we are all happy. Then some time later in the year there is another accident (which by recent trends is sure to happen, if not next year, then soon after.) Huge lawsuit / settlement that drains that $2 million. Are we all screwed? Will there have to be another massive fund raiser to re-fill that fund? I am sure that I'm missing the details of how the RRG and self insurance is suppose to work, but this sounds very fragile to me and it seems quite plausible that one, two maybe three years down the line we could be right back to this same situation.
A valid concern & excellent post. I am a member of several email lists & believe me, the issue of whether or not we will get our money back if this thing goes under is being discussed & also keeping people from dontating.
User avatar
By Ttsjeff
#379594
TomGalvin wrote:
Ttsjeff wrote:Roberts question about the use of the funds of they fall.short was not answered. Seems to be a fair question.
If they do not reach goal, then they will have to mortgage/sell off assets to cover the shortfall. It's self insure or else. There is no plan B AFAICT.



What pitential assets xoukd uspha have other than future dues? I cant see any colateral that would interest a bank with office goods. Computers are worthlesd once bought. Software the same. What other FFE coukd they have? I haved asked onnother posts about transoancy. There are start uo costs. There have to be claim adjusters and invesrigators. There have to be office support. I have said it before. Its hard to get the money but easy to spend. Please privide more detaiks to help give us assurances that you giys have xontingency plans. Right now all ibhear is this plannor die.
User avatar
By RobertKesselring
#379596
designbydave wrote:Given the amount of money we are talking about here I can't help but feel that it is an insurmountable figure.
$100 per pilot average is completely doable. We've all spent thousands of dollars on equipment, training, travel expenses, etc so we can fly. $100 is a drop in the bucket. Fund raiser is on day 2, and already the number has gone down by $40k

Christmas is coming.
Usually at Christmas, my family gets together with in-laws, and other extended family. I never thought about it until this year, but I'd guess an average of $200-$300 gets spent on gifts for each adult. (2 or 3 times that on the kids :-). This year, when people ask what they should get me for Christmas, I'll be telling them to make donations to USHPA for me.
I know everyone's family and financial situation is different, but that's an idea some may be able to use if you don't really need another shirt or tie.
designbydave wrote: Huge lawsuit / settlement that drains that $2 million. Are we all screwed? Will there have to be another massive fund raiser to re-fill that fund?
My understanding is that the regular dues are going to be used to pay claims and build up the fund. Large claims would make dues go up. I'm guessing there's some kind of re-insurance policy for catastrophically large claims.
User avatar
By TomGalvin
#379603
Ttsjeff wrote:
TomGalvin wrote:
Ttsjeff wrote:Roberts question about the use of the funds of they fall.short was not answered. Seems to be a fair question.
If they do not reach goal, then they will have to mortgage/sell off assets to cover the shortfall. It's self insure or else. There is no plan B AFAICT.



What pitential assets xoukd uspha have other than future dues? I cant see any colateral that would interest a bank with office goods. Computers are worthlesd once bought. Software the same. What other FFE coukd they have? I haved asked onnother posts about transoancy. There are start uo costs. There have to be claim adjusters and invesrigators. There have to be office support. I have said it before. Its hard to get the money but easy to spend. Please privide more detaiks to help give us assurances that you giys have xontingency plans. Right now all ibhear is this plannor die.
If you are a member, then the USHPA financials are available to you to download. There is at least one sizable asset on the balance sheet that a bank would accept as collateral.

Considering past financial troubles of USHPA, I can understand the aversion to debt by the board, and the effort to completely fund the RRG with cash.

P.S. Your keyboard seems to be malfunctioning.
User avatar
By ChattaroyMan
#379619
My personal take on this - and not trying to twist anyone's arm nor influence their viewpoint/thoughts - is that donating $ to anything is akin to going all in on the thing, regardless of the outcome. One can't donate to everything. We pick what we want to support when we feel comfy or good doing so. A donation, IMHO, is not something I expect to get back - regardless of who or what I donate to. I donate to things that I wish to see continue to exist. When I donate to candidates I do so hoping my donation helps democracy to continue to exist. If a candidate I donate $ to loses I don't ask for my money back. I donate to candidates, causes, or institutions expecting the $ to be used wisely but also realizing that ..... it could be a lost cause.

I doubled my USHPA dues as a donation to the RRG a couple of days ago and I urge all USHPA members to donate whatever they feel comfortable donating - given all things considered. If I felt more comfy about the RRG I may very well have donated more. I'm also working through my Chapter to facilitate a donation to USHPA for the RRG for which I'll contribute more $. If the RRG fails ...... that's a future fight. The world ain't perfect.
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