Free Membership and Premium Membership
As you may have seen in the forums and groups, we've discussed over the last year about adding a limited no-cost membership. This basic membership would allow people to download the public trail maps, partake in reviewing trails, write forum posts, interact on the site, and be part of the community. This option went live a few days ago so we can monitor, collect data, and discuss it at our April annual meeting.
This basic membership would aim to help educate those who ride trails not only for our members but for the general public, but not give them voting rights. This is being written into our final RL4WDA non-profit bylaws draft and is also a core statement among RL4WD.
That said, you'll notice over the last 6 months, membership cards have been printed as Premium Members. A few months ago we started changing the ride names to Premium Member Only for most of what we do on our private trails. We've expressed reservations to opening up the site like this so we'll see if this is going to be an option we'll stick with ongoing.
You'll notice ads now appear for most of the public and basic members beyond the sponsor listings. Once a premium member logs in, those ads go away. These ads help offset the basic memberships much like the paid members do. Our goal is to bring in enough ad and sales revenue to allow 100% of membership funds to only go into the non-profit grant segregated account. This means that all for-profit RL4WD activity will take over the daily operational burdens and provide a sustainable system of growth. Keep in mind, that nonprofits like 501-(c)3's have very strict guidelines on how they can be funded. All income-related to ads, the upcoming magazine ads, lobby work, along with trail development hiring and consultation will be done under RL4WD. RL4WD will become a primary funding source for the grants AND release the non-profit from the day to day expenditures, equipment costs, and alike.
At the April meeting, I'm going to urge the formation of the RL4WDA Grant Committee that will oversee the recommendation of grant funds to local RL4WD chapters which will report to the main advisory board for RL4WDA. If you'd like to help volunteer, I strongly urge you to come to that meeting and join us in being part of this.
As for the Premium Membership, more benefits are now included and I'll be donating my efforts to make RL4WDA shirts! Also included are full-color patches. You'll notice in your profile a field for shirt size, this is why that's in your profile now.
This new setup should also allow for a greater share of the universal membership dues to go to the local clubs. We want to have everyone be a member, but without having dozens of membership fees. The universal membership is the solution to making that happen.