The decision to formalize a Stewardship Program for Orlando Rowing Club is a significant departure from past operations, but we believe our collective hard work will continue to shape and grow this club beyond our wildest expectations.
We are looking forward to answering any questions you may have about Participation Nation, but hope we’ve anticipated some of them below.
Stewardship Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why Is the ORC Board Doing this now?
This is not a new idea for ORC or even to the community of rowing clubs throughout the county. Recent decisions regarding large capital purchases have brought this subject to the forefront once again. The BOD is looking for ways to accomplish strategic goals for the club and provide the best experience for its members. To do this, the BOD is implementing this Stewardship program with the goal of reducing costs, gaining services/expertise to achieve club goals, and providing increased value to club members hopefully without raising dues.
I Already Pay Membership Dues and Coaching Fees; Isn’t that Enough?
The short answer to that is no. This “no” answer, is that if the club is to achieve certain goals, certain things need to be accomplished. To accomplish these goals, it will take both a decrease and an increase. The club is always looking to, when possible, cut expenses and at the same time increase the amount of expertise and service labor that can be used to complete a variety of important tasks. The BOD feels that a Stewardship program, which leverages the expert services of its members, is the best way to accomplish this task.
I Don’t Have Time to Volunteer; I’m too Busy.
The BOD is very sensitive to this issue for some of its members. We do realize that this new program is a departure. That being said, some members may have expertise in areas that allow them to participate virtually (online, electronic / computer projects, etc.) thus allowing them to better fit it into their schedule.
Other Clubs Don’t Make Me Volunteer. Why is ORC Different?
The fact is, rowing is an expensive sport. The cost of purchasing, maintaining, and protecting all the components that go into a successful rowing club is quite large. The BOD has goals to see ORC continue to grow. We have been in contact and done research with several other large and successful clubs like Community Rowing in Boston, Three Rivers Rowing Assoc. in Pittsburgh, and the Lake Lanier Rowing outside Atlanta.
Will I Get a Membership Discount in Return for My Service Hours?
The Board looked at this option, along with other options of other clubs and organizations. Ultimately the BOD decided against option. The reason is that when people serve in the Stewardship Program, they are paying with their effort what would have to be paid for with cash by the club. To deduct that effort as a cash payment against membership dues would make the participation itself a zero sum game for ORC.
What’s In It For Me?
Ultimately, the money saved allows the Board more choices for ways to better serve its members. Large and small capital improvements/purchases, more timely repair and maintenance, well maintained facilities are examples of what the membership as a whole will receive. As previously mentioned, these items and services cost something. For some of these things, the cost is cash, and thus the club must increase revenues and/or decrease expenses. Members providing services can decrease club expenses. The BOD is constantly working to not make rowing (cash) cost prohibitive.
Can’t We Just Hire Someone to Do these Things?
ORC isn’t large enough (yet) to hire a person to maintain and repair boats, building, and grounds; we are large enough to make a better effort of distributing the burden of work among all members. The board is not proposing everyone learn to adjust riggers, patch holes, or replace rudders; however, members are required to help in any way they can. Yes, the BOD could hire someone, however, it has been determined, based on analysis of the current ORC state of operations and fiscal status, along with research of other successful club programs, that to hire someone instead of member participation in a Stewardship Program would not gain the club as much as having members complete necessary tasks.
Are All Members Required to Contribute Volunteer Work to the Club?
In the past, the majority of the volunteer effort that has been required to keep ORC functioning has fallen on a small fraction of the membership. A coordinated parent effort is required.
What Exactly is Needed?
For a complete list of committees and corresponding tasks/skills, visit the main Participation Nation page. You can determine how you will participate by either reviewing a list of needed skills or viewing the descriptions of the committees that you can join that seem to suite your skills or passions.
Have the Allocation of Hours Been Determined?
Yes. Members will be expected to provide 10 hours of service per quarter (three months). Additionally, every member will be expected to volunteer for either the ORC National Learn to Row Day or the ORC Florida Masters Regatta.
Who Can I Contact if I Have More Questions?
The initial development and administration of the new Stewardship Program is being headed by ORC Admin Consultant Keith Young. The goal is to create a viable and sustainable Stewardship Program which will eventually run on its own under the leadership of a Stewardship Committee. During this early development cycle, please contact Keith Young at firstname.lastname@example.org.