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Oskaar
09-01-2005, 10:33 PM
Hi All,

Here's the question. How much are you willing to shell out for an annual Home Mead Makers Membership in the IMA (International Mead Association)? Obviously there would be some perks involved for members such as a periodic newsletter with articles addressing everything from basics to advanced topics. We have a committment from Ken Schramm to do "Ken's Korner" which will feature a mead recipe from Ken Schramm in each issue as well as periodic feature articles on well known mead makers. There may also be certain discounts available to members for IMA sponsored events, competitions, etc.

Bottom line is that this organization will be growing like foam on a high gravity chocolate must and it will be a good idea to join in early on. We're looking forward to publishing the first newsletter which will be free. Subsequent issues of the newsletter will be a benefit of membership.

Chime in with your thoughts on fees!

Thanks,

Oskaar

Pawn
09-02-2005, 12:14 AM
I think 25.00 will get the most new members then go from there, an email digest would be a cool way to get articles out to members fairly inexpensive, and would attract mead makers world wide.

Maybe someday a magazine :o

WRATHWILDE
09-02-2005, 12:50 AM
Amount Depends on the Perks, how about a lifetime membership offered? Something like $250 for a basic lifetime... To help the IMA get it's footing early on. Maybe even a tiered lifetime membership with various levels of perks. At the High End Say $1000... All access VIP passes (2 each) at events, Scheduled round table discussions with the industry experts, judges etc. First level notification of events (before official press release & posting on IMA's home site) so we can book rooms at the hotel early. These are just a few of the perks I would be willing to shell out for at the high end, but then I've always been a crazy dreamer.

Wrathwilde

Dmntd
09-02-2005, 12:57 AM
Hey Oskaar,

How much I'd be willing pay, is directly related to how and what the funds generated from membership dues are used for, and the benifits of membership.

Anthony

Dan McFeeley
09-02-2005, 04:44 AM
What the IMA home meadmaking committee has done so far is to begin setting up a national level mead competition and begin efforts to kick off a mead publication, in its present form as a newsletter. This is pretty fantastic, considering that the committee has only been active for less than a year.

Yes, I can see a magazine in the future. ;D

Although membership in an organization should certainly have some nice benefits, this is also a two way street. In addition to benefits, belonging to an organization means committing one's self to supporting the growth and development of whatever the particular organization's "mission" is. In this case, it's home meadmaking.

Here's something to consider -- for the most part, until the commercial meadmaking industry got kicked off, knowledge, techniques and basic understanding of mead and meadmaking, in this country, has been largely carried by home meadmakers. The first mead organization, the American Mead Association, was started as a grassroots organization solely devoted to home meadmaking. The Internet played a huge role in promoting knowlege of meadmaking, but again, it's been home meadmakers, putting in time and effort on their own to post information, develop web sites, and maintain discussion groups, all on a volunteer basis.

There's where the potential of the IMA home meadmaking committe lies. Much of the information available on the Internet is extremely valuable, but mostly in discussion form and consequently not always well organized. You've got to spend a lot of time chasing down search words, or sifting through discussion threads. For the people whose passion for mead extends to talking about and sharing what they've learned, organized publication such as newsletters and journals offers opportunities to funnel that creative energy. Take a look at other publications for winemaking and brewing. They don't give much attention to mead. We need mead specific outlets for letting people know what's out there.

Back to benefits, it's a two way street. Sure, the organization should provide something for membership, but the question in return is, does your passion for meadmaking extend further than a weekend hobby? Is learning about the lore, mystique and methods of meadmaking, discussing these things and sharing it with others a part of that passion? If it is, than membership in the IMA homemeading branch, as it develops further, will give an organized channel for that passion.

Pawn
09-02-2005, 05:30 AM
With all due respect,
I am not sure I am ready to be known as a home "mead maker", I would hope this venture would be inclusive of the many commercial mead makers, and the knowledge would be shared and provided equally from all scources.

The people I see making Mead have many other interests, and are not going to fork out 1000.00 for a membership to anything, unless maybe its motocross:)
Cheers...John

P.S. I dont do this for the money;)

Dan McFeeley
09-02-2005, 06:48 AM
It's definitely inclusive of all meadmakers, commercial, amateur, professional, nonprofessional, etc., et. al.

Membership fees are still being worked out, but the nonprofessionals should be at lower rate than the "big boys" (and girls :) ). That's why there's been a distinction of terms.

Hope that clears up any unintentional confusion.

Any more ideas on what would be a reasonable membership fee? Looks like $25 is in the running. Cast your vote!

Miriam
09-02-2005, 07:01 AM
I have no problem with calling myself a home mead maker - it's what I iz. ;D

However, as a foreign resident the benefits of membership for me would be limited to gaining (and sharing) mead-making knowledge through hard-copy or e-publications. I don't foresee participating in events in the US any time soon. So to me, membership is worth no more than $25 yearly.

I'm comparing this to the soapmaker's guild I used to belong to, which charges $80 yearly, and in return for which I used to receive a newsletter four times yearly, admission to the members-only site, use of the guild member's seal (which meant exactly nothing to my clientele), access to two on-line brochures, listing in their roster with permission to post one photo, conference and vendor discounts, participation in their on-line forum, voting privileges. Members are also required to agree to a code of ethics regarding soapmaking practice and sales. All worthy considerations - but again, it boiled down to a quarterly journal for me here in Israel, so eventualy I dropped it.

Useless to say this kind of thing, but if my budget were larger, I would gladly buy a big, benefactor's membership to support the organization. As it is, I am waiting for the time when the association will be a truly international presence, so that I can start rounding up some membership over here. :)

Miriam

Summersolstice
09-02-2005, 07:13 AM
I'm a newbie and don't have the experience of 99% of the members on this board so my comments should be taken in that context.

My mead hobby, so far, is just that - a hobby. I enjoy searching out new commecial meads to sample in an effort to see what my home-made meads are capable of. I'm also learning to enjoy researching and blending ingredients that will result in better products. At this time, however, I wouldn't say my hobby amounts to a passion.

That being said, I live in a small town in a state with a small population and don't have the networking available to those living on the coasts. This forum has been a godsend to me and, though I would have tried my hand at mead making anyway, I wouldn't have nearly the knowledge I've absorbed by pouring over the comments made by people with the combined experience of members on this board.

This rambling reply is an effort to explain that I would welcome membership in the IMA and look forward newsletters and other information, and be willing to contribute in my own small way, both substantively and financially. Until my hobby turns into a passion I wish to take small steps. I may be mistaken but I feel there are likely many of us who share an interest but may not be as passionate as the handful of members who are responsible for most of the posts on this forum.

Oskaar
09-02-2005, 07:29 AM
Hi All,

To expand a bit on the Home Mead Makers Committee moniker: committee members kicked around several names like Hobbyist, Hobby, Amateur, Non commercial mead makers that make mead in their domicile, yadda, yadda, yadda. Bottom line is that the overwhelming majority of people who make mead for their own enjoyment do so at their home, hence, "Home" mead maker. It didn't make a lot of sense to get super fancy at this stage of the game since the committee is new and is tasked with managing the Home Mead Maker's Competition at the International Mead Festival in February of 2006, as well as publishing a periodic newsletter.

The fact that we have someone like Ken Schramm who is willing to donate a recipe from his personal collection for each issue; and tireless researchers like Dan McFeeley who are willing to share research from their personal archives is pretty impressive to me. It also speaks volumes about their committment to make the IMA, the competition and the newsletter a roaring success. That's two of several other people on the committee who bring considerable clout to the table. And we haven't even gotten into other folks like David Myers of Redstone, Julia Herz, Vicky the Meadwench herself and a host of others.

As far as benefits go, they will expand and become more formalized as the membership grows, and the member base gives feedback on what they'd like to see. Promising more than that at this point would be inappropriate. On the issue of funds, at this point they will be going directly to help spin up the IMA, support the Newsletter, and support the Competition at the Meadfest in 2006. Again, as membership grows we'll be able to use those funds to provide more and better benefits for our constituency. We'd love to form some strategic partnerships with LHBS's, Commercial Meaderies, Honey Producers and others for discounts or cooperative advertising that would benefit our members. We'd also like to host various "how to" seminars across the Nation as our constituency expands.

Also a word on the folks in the Home Mead Maker's Committee. They have all been tireless in their dedication and willingness to go out of pocket to do whatever it takes to make this thing a success. I'm personally humbled by the level of committement and quality of the people involved. It takes a very special person to work for free for months on end to build a first class competition, publish a newsletter, work with a geographically diverse committee and deliver as consistantly as these folks have. This all comes out of personal and family time which is priceless.

So, I have to say that I'm very enthused about this organization, and supremely confident that the expense will be appropriate to the benefits.

Hope that helps,

Oskaar

exmoor_cat
09-02-2005, 07:59 AM
I like the idea as set, but I'd like to know how such perks provide an experience above and beyond current information sources, especially as a Brit, before joining. As posted el sewhere, I am keen to see the international element.

Angus
09-02-2005, 09:12 AM
Looking at it from the point of view of a newbee, I would not charge more than $25 for any membership for fear that other potential Mead newbees would not want to join. It is true that unique recipes, brewing advice, special offers, early notification of events etc. are great, but if it costs too much, people will just use the internet instead.

For those who are truly lifelong brewers, Wrathwilde's idea of a lifelong membership for $250 (no more than that though) is good.

webmaster
09-02-2005, 10:15 AM
What I see is this: The Home Meadmakers membership does bring some spiffy benefits, which is great.

But more importantly, what we're asking here is are you interested in supporting and helping the International Mead Association to promote mead as a drink. Would you like to see mead as a regular item in your local stores, bars and restaurants? I know I would. And that, among other things, is what the IMA is trying to do.

The international folks have chimed in that they'd like to see more IMA activity outside the US. So would we. But the IMA can't expand without funds and members.

Some of the things that have been discussed are competitions both here in the US and in other countries, providing support for both professional and home-based meadmakers worldwide, lobbying for mead to be recognized as a drink in its own right, rather than as a subset of wine or beer, and a lot of other stuff that would be too long to list here.

So, the IMA isn't just saying 'give us your cash and we'll give you a competition and a newsletter'. It's saying 'Join the Mead Revolution and help mead gain the recognition and distribution it deserves!'.

Those of you who live in felony ship states, would you like to be able to order mead online to ship to your home? The IMA is going to be lobbying the US federal government along with the wine and beer industries to throw down the Prohibition-era laws that prevent you from enjoying your alcohol of choice. But that takes both people and cash.

The IMA needs members. And it needs people who want to see mead become a common, easily obtained beverage. Join the grass-roots movement, and help it become a reality.We'll be putting together membership kits soon, and expect to finalize a lot of stuff at the International Mead Festival in February. Why don't you plan to attend?


Vicky - I'll be joining, and have already donated web space for both the IMA and the Meadfest, and will be doing the IMA website

Check it out: http://www.meadfest.org - The International Mead Association

Angus
09-02-2005, 10:42 AM
Absolutely and wholeheartedly. I am already driving everyone I know mad with my constant talk of Mead. If I can help bring greater awareness about it to everyone else, and perhaps convince more stores and restaurants to stock it, then sign me up. As for the poll, $25 seems about right (the more obsessed of us may be willing to pay more to help the cause).

Dmntd
09-02-2005, 11:07 AM
Good morning,

I will become a member. When saying, how much, depended on benifits I was thinking along the same line as Wrathwilde. A basic membership fee of $25 annualy seems fare, I'ld be willing to pay more for a premium membership along the lines outlined by Wrathwilde.

A Lifetime Membership is a great idea.

Mynx
09-02-2005, 11:56 AM
In like Flynn over here.

Dunno if Canada counts as "International" hehe, but I would certainly love to be involved with this.

Let me know what I can do to help!

Edit: Posted this over on my local mead page as well, so I think we might have some more Canadian interest :)

Dmntd
09-02-2005, 01:33 PM
Is the I.M.A.;

Non-Profit or Not-For-Profit?

Anthony

andrew_buhl
09-02-2005, 01:37 PM
Assuming this is a profesional association, in the sense that engineers are members of a professional organization, then I am in like Flynt. May I be as bold as to suggest calling it "International Mazing Guild" as this would be more accurate? I am thinking of a hexagon made of Celtic Knot work forming IMA from top to bottom. If you like I'd love to doe the art work - No charge of course. Every orgaization needs a slogan. does any one have any ideas?

GntlKnght
09-02-2005, 01:43 PM
Is I.M.A. being set up as a Non-Profit or a Not-For-Profit org.?


Yes. However, since one of the purposes of the IMA is to lobby legislatures to change laws, donations to it will not be deductible. I may be wrong on this, but that is my current understanding!

Oskaar
09-02-2005, 05:57 PM
Snip . . . May I be as bold as to suggest calling it "International Mazing Guild" as this would be more accurate? I am thinking of a hexagon made of Celtic Knot work forming IMA from top to bottom. If you like I'd love to doe the art work - No charge of course. Every orgaization needs a slogan. does any one have any ideas?


Thanks for the suggestions.

I'm sure that "Mazing Guild" would be a fine name for a period or historical society, but the IMA is an organization that promotes mead awareness, lobbies to facilitate the acquisition of mead by the general public and helps to educate the public about mead.

Thank you for your enthusiasm about the artwork as well. We currently have logos, but, in the future that may change as the organization evolves, so we may hunt you down at that time!

Thanks for your interest and support,

Oskaar

Greenblood
09-02-2005, 08:01 PM
Having multiple levels of membership is always a good idea. It seems that $25 is what most are calling for. However, it is always a good idea to offer higher paying memberships to those willing to pay it.
Perhaps levels of membership such as:

Friend: $25
Patron: $35
Supporter: $50
Contibutor: $100
Benefactor: $500
etc.

I think that it is important to have membership start low enough for students and be flexible enough to allow those who are able to offer more to do so. You may also consider family memberships. Bennefits are necessary, but they should not be what "sells" the membership. The best bennefit will be watching the IMA grow, and spread the love of mead.

Cheers!

Greenblood

webmaster
09-03-2005, 04:26 PM
==>pointing at Greenbloods' post.....Oskaar, take this one to Julia. I like it!

The IMA *is* a non-profit organization. I can't speak to the deductibility of donations and/or membership, not being an expert in such things, but it is already set up as a non-profit.

You Canadian types (ya, hey!...I spent 5 years in the UP of MI, LOL), you might be interested to know that one of the founding committee members is Intermiel, a large Canadian meadery, and a multiple winner in last year's Mead Festival Pro Competition. Andre there is a great guy, and one of the folks who was most vocal in the first IMA meeting last year.

I'm lovin' the activity we're seeing here, and I'm seeing lots of great comments. Keep it comin', y'all!

Vicky - working on a total re-do of the IMA website, and looking for artists who'd like to help with the artwork for the site.........

Dmntd
09-04-2005, 10:53 AM
I'm not looking for tax deductions.

The reason I ask;

A non-profits list of members must be made public where as a not-for-profits does not.

Anthony

Oskaar
09-04-2005, 11:27 AM
I'm pretty sure that it is the officers of the Not-For-Profit that are a matter of public record. This is different than members and different than making something public.

When the articles of incorporation, bylaws and other corporate documents are filed they become a matter of public record. From that point they are in the public domain for anyone who desires to petition the corporate documents that are publicly available via the local clerk or registrar's office.

So from the onset of the corporation, the documents are publicly viewable, but it is not up to the corporation to make them public since they are filed with the local city or county clerk's office.

As far as member lists being made public, I haven't run across that one. I'm involved with four non-profits, on the board of directors for three, and on the executive board for two. Each year the board and executive board members are elected by the general membership, and the names of the newly elected board members are filed. I don't know that we have to file our general membership lists with anyone. In one organization that is an art and cultural concern connected to the City of Los Angeles, we file our financial balance sheet, tax returns, list of officers and other financial, legal and corporate documents annually with the cultural affairs department which is an LA City agency. In the other organizations we just keep our lists under physical and digital security to protect membership privacy.

Hope that helps,

Oskaar

Brewbear
09-04-2005, 01:21 PM
Wait for meeee!!!
Don't you guys (and gals) take off on this and leave me behind :-\
I started brewing only a few short months ago and already the amount of knowledge aquired thru gotmead and its members is invaluable. To belong to a group dedicated to mead and its place and availability to the public at large, many of whom have no idea what mead is, combined with forums and newsletters is something that is of definite interest to me. As for membership fees, I agree with those suggesting a progressive scale of membership levels. It is understandable that the higher you are on the "ladder", the more perks you wold have. For some of us just starting, a lifetime membership may be aluring but the fee might be prohibitive so we may choose a lower level membership with the goal of "upgrading" when time and funds permit it.
That being said, I'll cast my vote for a basic membership fee range of $25 - $35 per year. It is fair and does not "kill" one's pocket. Besides, committing to a lifetime membership not having a clear, tangible feel of what the organization is like is not something I am inclined to do. I have all the confidence that people like Oskaar, Vicky, Dan, Ken and so many others involved in this grass roots movement will not lead it down the path of destruction, I believe it will grow into something to be proud to belong to. It is my innate aprehension of belonging to a group, much like the SCA, that overwhelms its members with rules and regulations( I believe Pewter will attest to that) therefore, I will gladly become an entry level member and wait to see how the organization develops overall.

Ted - the wait and see johnny come lately

jab
09-06-2005, 11:10 PM
For all of you outside of the US I realize (as do we in the committee) that it seems odd being called the International Mead Association but seemingly we are 99% US based and focused. As Vicky pointed out Intermiel in Canada is involved. Others will come. I have been keeping the bug in the committee's ear about including competition winners from other countries in the IMA Home Mead Makers competition. It WILL happen. Things like this take time.

International entries, although logistically difficult, will be welcome to enter the competition this year. One of the aims of the IMA is to introduce, lobby for, and change current legislation to be supportive of mead in general, both on the home mead maker front and in the commercial court. One of the byproducts of this will hopefully be some guidelines and easing of restrictions on sending competition samples both into and out of the US.

I would love to see a traveling IMA Home Mead Making competition, similar to the Olympics where it is something coveted, that countries 'bid' to host. Am I dreaming? Maybe. Call it what you want, but as Oskaar said, the group we have is, in a word, dedicated. Nothing is impossible.

The tiered membership is something we hadn't talked about before. I like the idea and that is definitely something we may be looking at in the future.

With the right support of the community, both commercial and hobby, I foresee great things in the future. I would love to see international branches that lobby their governments the way the US arm is planning here in the states. I would love the chance to taste meads from other countries! Some of the best mead I have tasted was at the last MeadFest from Poland. We need more!

I hear a lot of 'If the benefits were right I would be willing to pay...'. Please keep the suggestions coming. What are the right benefits? What is your perfect benefit to price ratio?

You are witnessing the start of something wonderful. Wonderful for the seasoned mazer, the 'weekend warrior', the n00b, and the mead makers of tomorrow.

Rome wasn't built in a day. Mead isn't done in a week (unless you are Ancient Joe!) And the IMA of today is only the seed of a wonderful organization that we will ALL benefit from. Yes even those that for one reason or another don't become members.

This is your chance to have a say. Speak up! We are listening.

infojunkie
09-07-2005, 02:59 AM
Yes. However, since one of the purposes of the IMA is to lobby legislatures to change laws, donations to it will not be deductible. I may be wrong on this, but that is my current understanding!

It may make things more complicated than it's worth, but some groups divide into two, a "foundation" and a lobbying group, so that the restrictions on the latter don't have to affect the former.

Here's a comparison of four types of 501(c)s:
http://members.aol.com/irsform1023/misc/comp501s.html

for a (c)7: "Social activity must be primary" :)

I think this organization sounds great. The meadfest (IMA) website is very attractive! (I wish my sites looked so nice.) Will the forum there compete with this one, though?

scout
09-07-2005, 09:40 AM
Even though I am a very beginning meadmaker, I would like to add my two cents on the perks vs. dues discussion. Miriam pointed out that for many members internationally what a membership will boil down to (for a while, at least, until your lobbying efforts are successful) is a newsletter. Having a basic membership level which costs $25 and gets the benefit of a newsletter once a quarter or every two months seems reasonable. I say this because $25 is within the range of what I would pay for a one year subscription to a magazine, especially for smaller publications who don't have access to volume discounts.

Understandably, that at first it will prolly just be a newsletter, not a magazine, but having read the discussions on this forum and heard the way Ken Schramm is talked about here (I'm getting my book on Saturday *grins*) - I think that it is pretty safe to say that this newsletter will be interesting to read, FULL of informative articles (if Oskaar and Dan have anything to say about it), and certainly something that people on this forum would read and reread. And anxiously await the next issue! Not only that, but it has been mentioned that there are plans to eventually make this a full fledged magazine, making the $25 annual fee even more reasonable.

I have always believed in supporting good publications and publications with the potential to be really good. If I believe that a publication, while at the moment may not be top notch, has the potential to grow into something that I want to keep for years as reference material I have no problem with plunking down as much as $35 for four issues a year (even just as a newsletter).

I guess what I am saying is that you know these people, or have read their thoughts and writings on mead. If you believe that you will enjoy reading a newsletter/magazine by them - well, then anything else the committee manages to get done for international members seems like gravy to me. :)

andrew_buhl
09-07-2005, 11:24 AM
For all of you outside of the US I realize (as do we in the committee) that it seems odd being called the International Mead Association but seemingly we are 99% US based and focused.

As a Canadian, Ive been watching the postings with great interest, mostly with a smile on my face. However when the issue was brought forth by Scout and or Jab that IMA is '99% American' I could feel my hackles rising a little. Canadians are extremely sensitive to issues of American agricultural protectionism since NAFTA. Dairy, Beef, Softwood Lumber and yes Honey. It Has only been in the last decade that it is even legal to import American honey into Canada. Likewise many agricultural products or their derivatives are excluded from import into the states or subject to extremely high tarifs and or restrictions.

My concern being that IMA would feel well its mostly American anyway and the interests, access to events, etc. would be structured with out a balanced consideration to the desires of Non-American hobbyists and producers.

What steps would IMA be taking to insure that the interests of other contries, such as holding events, input etc. would be taken seriously?

Please don't take offense at my asking but I do feel that this is a valid issue.

Angus
09-08-2005, 12:28 PM
One of the main concerns I am seeing from people outside of the U.S. is what benefit they will get from membership bedsides a quarterly newsletter. As JAB pointed out, the IMA committee is interested in international chapters being created. These chapters could organize the same sort of regional Mead Fests that we have here, could petition local governments to change laws allowing the export of alcohol, could translate recipes, share recipes, export local honey types etc, etc. In other words, cater to the local Mead brewers, but make so much more available to everyone else around the world. Plus, organizations can often arrange special deals with airlines and hotels that will allow members from all over to travel to each others fests far easier and cheaper. For me, this is worth more than $25 a year.

With respect to tiered membership, any thoughts on what each tier would provide for the member? If the IMA is set up to have input from it's members, such as votes on officers, funding, lobbying direction etc., then would higher tiered membership accord greater weight? Or would it be 1 member 1 vote regardless of tier? Am I way off base here?