Read questions & answers about membership fee. Why ABSL raises membership fees? The raise results from the development and increase of ABSL's scale of operations, as well as the desire to balance the financing structure of our association. Currently, ABSL budget consists of membership fees and funds provided by sponsors or partners of the projects we implement. Because we keep undertaking more and more ambitious initiatives and develop our business, we see the need for greater financial stability, so that the majority of initiatives taken by ABSL could be financed with membership fees, what is currently impossible. Why is the increase in contributions so big - almost 100%? Does this mean that the costs of ABSL's activity grow so drastically? The scale of the raise is caused by the expansion of ABSL's operations and the growing number of undertaken initiatives, and also the need to balance the budget. As a non-profit organization, we care about maintaining the most optimal cost structure, but at the moment, ABSL's activity depends mainly on the sponsorship of individual projects. This is often a one-off, occasional event and has consequences in the form of additional liabilities. Financing from membership fees will provide ABSL with long-term sustainability and will guarantee members a long-term delivery of obligations. Additionally – it is worth mention that this is only second increase during the last 10 years, the last one took place in 2016. How does the financing structure of ABSL look like today? What part of the budget comes from the contributions and what from sponsors / partners? The current setup is based, to a large extent, on external sources of financing in the proportion: 75% sponsor funds and 25% membership fees. This is a significant limitation for ABSL initiatives - in terms of our impact on the substantive aspect of our projects, as well as imposing additional obligations on our organization. What are the contributions paid by ABSL members for? The fees cover ABSL's fixed costs - rental and maintenance of the office, all administrative costs, salaries of ABSL employees, costs related to the organization of webinars, legal and financial services, PR activities, legislative support, Chapter and Club meetings, analytical activities, organization of additional events, and constant support of members. How many people does ABSL employ? ABSL employs 9 people. Others perform their functions pro bono. Is it possible to have access to ABSL's financial statements? Of course, ABSL's financial reports are available to all members on request. What benefits can ABSL members count in exchange for contributions paid? Member companies can participate in any meetings, training courses, workshops, conferences and other events organized by ABSL. They also have access to ABSL analytical publications and partner companies. Moreover, they are provided with representation and support in dealing with central and local authorities, they can count on networking and participation in initiatives aimed at sharing knowledge and exchange of best practices. Members also receive support from our analytical department, as well as support in reference visits. Additionally – members are allowed to get two free and two 50% discounted accreditations for ABSL annual conference. This sole package, without other benefits, is worth 8,850 PLN. Will the change in membership fees increase ABSL's benefits for member companies compared to today? If so - what can the membership companies count on? The increase in fees will translate into higher quality of service, including the introduction of new technological solutions that support communication and the exchange of knowledge between members. Disconnecting from external financing will guarantee greater freedom in determining directions of action and initiatives, responding directly to the expectations and needs of the members. It is worth to mention that the increase in membership fees is also necessary to properly implement current projects and priorities agreed in the ABSL activities for the coming months and years. Is it possible to spread payments into installments? No, the membership fee should be paid in one step. The membership notices will be sent in the first half of January, with a two-week payment period. How will we know that all projects and priorities get delivered? How can we compare it to the members’ contribution? In accordance with the ABSL 2.0 transformation, we appointed the General Assembly of Members. The General Assembly is the highest body of the Association and each year it is presented with all reports, statements and results of operations. During the year, such information can be obtained during regular meetings of Clubs and Chapters. Can we cut some overhead cost instead of increasing membership fees? As a part of the ABSL 2.0 transformation, we carefully analyzed all aspects of the business, including the fixed and variable costs. Additionally, we introduced many changes streamlining our operations. Bearing in mind the nature of non-profit activities, we carefully analyze our costs on an ongoing basis, and report them monthly to the Management Board, Strategic Board and the Audit Committee. In 2018, we reduced the number of projects, focusing only on the key priorities agreed by the Strategic Board as the critical areas of activity. A further reduction of the scope of action would certainly result in a decrease in the quality and effectiveness of ABSL. At the same time, we do not undertake any new initiatives lacking a secured funding without a thorough analysis. How do we know if next year we will not see another increase? The current raise is necessary for the reasons discussed above. At the same time, its scale has been well balanced to ensure continuity and quality of activities and implementation of the identified key priorities, so that there is no need to return to the subject of contributions and financing in the near future. The previous increase was in 2016. We still remain a non-profit organization. Our goal is not to earn money, but to complete projects and provide our members with benefits of the highest quality. Strategic Board commits not to increase the membership fee in the next 4 years. How can we provide input to influence ABSL priorities and projects ensuring they address needs of the members? At any point of time the entire operations team and especially all Management Board is ready to receive any proactive insight or reactive feedback. We continuously encourage all members to actively engage and contribute to ABSL activities. Regular Chapter and Club meetings are optimal opportunities to participate in quality discussion and provide any input or feedback. Will the change in membership fees increase ABSL's benefits for member companies compared to today? If so - what can the membership companies count on? The increase in fees will translate into higher quality of service, including the introduction of new technological solutions that support communication and the exchange of knowledge between members. Disconnecting from external financing will guarantee greater freedom in determining directions of action and initiatives, responding directly to the expectations and needs of the members. It is worth to mention that the increase in membership fees is also necessary to properly implement current projects and priorities agreed in the ABSL activities for the coming months and years. We want to maintain non-commercial character of our organization focus on adding value through activities which you have found the most important: - Extended knowledge sharing, information exchange, structured networking – In 2019 ABSL plans to launch a new platform which will come along with a mobile app, that will facilitate internal communication between ABSL members, enable thematic discussion, enhance building of local communities, instant messaging, easy registration to ABSL events, summary from the meetings including repository of files and news feed with key information - Improved communication – We are preparing to launch new website with more dynamic content and features enabling automation of some member actions like ABSL application process and event registration. - Give more sector’s insights- providing white papers and assets based on the inquiries coming from members - Extend ABSL Advocacy activities - our top priority is to strengthen our activity in that area through greater access to specialist opinions and through building the Advisory Board which was already provided in our statute. Additionally, we want to produce more updates and alerts for our members as well as have greater impact on media in topics important for our sector.