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Old 02-18-2005, 06:49 AM   #1
John Matsushima
 
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Where does the money go?

If so many dojo's are claiming to be non-profit organizations, then why is there so much money involved, and where does it go? These "dues" to aikido organizations, what are they for, and whose pocket do they go to? Are these organizations really "non-profit"? Why does it cost so much for testing, especially for dan tests, which can cost hundreds of dollars?
Where does the money go when you have 30+ people paying $50-$100 for a seminar? Just think about it. When there are hundreds of dojo's within an organization, with hundreds of people paying hundreds of dollars, where does it all go?
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Old 02-18-2005, 07:31 AM   #2
Ed OConnor
 
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Re: Where does the money go?

Quote:
John Matsushima wrote:
If so many dojo's are claiming to be non-profit organizations, then why is there so much money involved, and where does it go?
Where does your info on non-profit status come from? I don't see that many dojo's claiming to be non-profit. Most dojo's are probably struggling to stay afloat. Rent, taxes, insurance, utilities all add up.

Do you not want your Sensei to be paid either?

Quote:
John Matsushima wrote:
These "dues" to aikido organizations, what are they for, and whose pocket do they go to?
Administration fees. Most non-Aiki organizations have these, too.

Quote:
John Matsushima wrote:
Are these organizations really "non-profit"? Why does it cost so much for testing, especially for dan tests, which can cost hundreds of dollars?
Again admin fees and record keeping. I for one will be happy to shell out the $$$ if and when I earn my dan grade. The kanji certificate would be worth the price alone.

FWIW - when you get your dan certificate there is a duplicate copy in Hombu verifying the authenticity of your grade.

Quote:
John Matsushima wrote:
Where does the money go when you have 30+ people paying $50-$100 for a seminar?
They usually go to the visiting Sensei/Shihan. You don't think that they are worth it... travel & living expenses. If it's not worth it to you, it's your choice not to go.

Quote:
John Matsushima wrote:
Just think about it. When there are hundreds of dojo's within an organization, with hundreds of people paying hundreds of dollars, where does it all go?
I think you are exagerrating a lil bit. In the USAF we pay $30 a year in dues. I think that a small price to pay to have a voice in an organization that I am proud to be a member of.

You seem to be quite disturbed about this. Why not have a conversation with your Sensei?

Peace,
eD

http://www.aikidocenters.com/
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Old 02-18-2005, 07:44 AM   #3
Dazzler
Dojo: Templegate Dojo, bristol & Bristol North Aikido Dojo
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Re: Where does the money go?

I think its a reasonable question to ask ....but ask your own group cos everyone does it differently.

I'm treasurer for National Aikido Federation in UK....any member that wants to see our books only has to ask.

Our Dan gradings are 30...we don't send money to Japan which means we don't get Hombu certificates...and maybe our grades aren't recognised.

For the savings we make I think we can live without the endorsement of someone that may have never seen us or perhaps just seen us a few times.

TBH the certificates we produce as a Federation are pretty hot anyway.

Cheers

D
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Old 02-18-2005, 07:53 AM   #4
SeiserL
 
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Re: Where does the money go?

Non-profit usually means that you spend as much as you take it. There is no profit. It doesn't mean its free or free of expenses.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 02-18-2005, 08:09 AM   #5
batemanb
 
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Re: Where does the money go?

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote:
Non-profit usually means that you spend as much as you take it. There is no profit. It doesn't mean its free or free of expenses.

ditto

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 02-18-2005, 08:13 AM   #6
pezalinski
 
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Lightbulb Re: Where does the money go?

The seminar fees attempt to cover the expenses for the event -- the honorarium for the shihans and guest instructors, facility rental, mat rental, air-land transportation for the shihan and guest instructors, accommodations for same, refreshments at the event, etc. The fees do not cover any of the efforts of the members of the hosting organization(s) for sponsoring, advertising and running the event -- usually, if they are lucky, the seminar will break even. The bigger ones usually come out a little ahead at the end, all of which gets plowed back into sponsoring their next annual event. I know of at least one regional summer camp that frequently has been run "in the red," supported by the accrual of past years dues to the region's coffers.

Where does the money go? If you really want to know, get involved in your organization and find out for yourself - and others - exactly what is happening to the money. If it is a non-profit, it has to have some degree of transparency. And, most likely, they would welcome the help -- finding responsible people to help manage a non-profit is an ongoing concern of many organizations.


A little danger is a knowledge thing...

"Helping the planet make an impact on people, since 1985"
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Old 02-18-2005, 08:16 AM   #7
aikidoc
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Re: Where does the money go?

Overhead: rent, liability insurances, utilities, maintenance, mats, etc. etc.

Seminars: instructor honorarium, travel expenses, building overhead or facility rental, insurance.

Like it was pointed out-most dojos are just trying to keep their heads above water.
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Old 02-18-2005, 08:56 AM   #8
Kyle Giovannoni
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Re: Where does the money go?

Last year my Sensei (Jason) had Morano Sensei from Mexico come teach a two day seminar here in Orlando. Jason had to pay for Morano Sensei's plane tickets, car ride to and from the airport in Mexico, hotel, meals (Sensei LOVES surf and turf, not to mention living it up at the sushi bar), and a fully stocked break room where we had the seminar. The seminar cost $50, but it was for both days which lasted from 9 am to 3 pm (2 hour lunch in between).

Hell, I couldn't go to the second day because I got thrown around so much in the first! I couldn't get out of bed!
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Old 02-18-2005, 09:21 AM   #9
rob_liberti
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Re: Where does the money go?

My little dojo made $30 last year. I consider that successful. Everyone got training for the cheapest amount possible. My opinion is that moving your body should be free. I use the money to pay the overhead. If we have enough left over, we'll use the money to curb the cost of another seminar with somenoe fun.

As far as organizational dues, don't get me started. I've been bold faced lied to by shihans about how much money they take in and how they misuse nonprofit money. I know others who paid lots of money to go train in Japan, and basically got dumped in Hombu dojo for a week while the shihan used his mega-profits on drinking and prostitutes... I much prefer aikido dojos to be non profit and to have all of the money information posted on the web for all to see. It's the only fair way.

Rob
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Old 02-18-2005, 09:29 AM   #10
aikidocapecod
Dojo: Shobu Aikido Cape Cod
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Re: Where does the money go?

When talking about seminars...and the $$ we all pay to get to participate in one....consider just one factor as an example of where the money goes......insurance...

Have you looked into the cost? I know that a one day premium of insurance for a martial arts class can be upwards of $500 to $600 dollars...depending on the number of students attending the seminar.

I am sure that cost varies from area to area.....but that takes a large chunk right off the top.

Then all the other costs involved can eat up all entry fees...and leave the dojo with $0 profit.
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Old 02-18-2005, 09:50 AM   #11
TheWonderKid
Dojo: Memorial University Aikido Club
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Re: Where does the money go?

Our dojo is non-profit with some ties to university it is located (Memorial University of Newfoundland). The fees are $55 students and $80 non-students per semester with a yearly $15 CAF fee. (Canadian Currency)

The reason for the difference in fees I beleive is because students are partially sponsered by the university and so for us the overhead is cut down. The rest of the money goes to insurance, overhead, etc. As well I beleive some goes towards seminars in case not enough people show up to a seminar it's still covered.

The rest probably goes towards a few pizzas when we have Aikido parties.

It all adds up I guess.
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Old 02-18-2005, 10:13 AM   #12
Sean McNamara
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Re: Where does the money go?

Just to clarify one point about non-profit status (at least here in the States):

A non-profit corporation is allowed to make money, and is allowed to pay employees a reasonable wage. The way a non-profit is different from a traditional for-profit business is in the goal of the company.

In a for-profit corporation, the goal is to produce a maximum amount of income/wealth-growth for the shareholders of the corporation. This is in addition to, and above any other stated goal that the company may have. A company that neglects shareholder value would very quickly find itself in business and possibly legal trouble. To increase value, companies work to increase stock value, pay dividends based on earnings to shareholders, or do a mixture of the two.

A non-profit corporation exists to accomplish it's stated "charitable or educational goal for the the benefit of the community." As a result of this, no disbursements of profit may be made to shareholders. Profits must be rolled back into the company for it's future growth and activities, or can be disbursed to another non-profit organization.

This has very little to do with where the money goes inside an company, which (as many have said) will vary greatly between different organizations, but as a former business owner, I can say that it's quite surprising at how many expenses there are just to do business. Insurance, employers tax-burden, property cost, facilities maintenance, advertising, payroll...

Hope that was at least a little helpful.
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Old 02-26-2005, 06:03 PM   #13
Lyle Laizure
 
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Re: Where does the money go?

Non profit doesn't mean that the instructor doesn't get paid. Not to mention other expenses that any other busines would have.

Lyle Laizure
www.hinodedojo.com
Deru kugi wa uta reru
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Old 02-27-2005, 06:57 AM   #14
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
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Re: Where does the money go?

Money doesn't really "go" anywhere.
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Old 02-27-2005, 07:50 PM   #15
Jeanne Shepard
 
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Re: Where does the money go?

You get what you pay for. Aikido is worth it, especially compensating the instructors.
Besides, Aikido is dirt cheap compared to other activities I've been involved in.

Jeanne
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Old 02-27-2005, 08:45 PM   #16
MaryKaye
Dojo: Seattle Ki Society
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Re: Where does the money go?

We just published our income and expenses (for the local dojo) in our newsletter, so I can be pretty confident about what they are.

We are a non-profit and don't pay the instructors. Expenses are primarily rent, then telephone, supplies, and publicity. For seminars we pay airfare and hotel accomodations but the sensei who offers our seminars normally turns down his appearance fee.

We tend to make a small amount of money at each seminar, which goes into reserve to cover the months when we otherwise wouldn't make enough to pay the bills (December is a particular problem). Last year we did not quite break even, but we have reason to think we may this year, and the deficit was less than $100. Eventually the tatami will wear out, though, and then we're going to be in for it--we'll probably have to ask the students for donations. (There's a plaque commemorating the people who funded this set of tatami, many years ago now.)

It is non-trivial keeping a dojo in the black. We left our previous location in part because the rent was slowly killing us.

I won't say this is the only reasonable model for a dojo. I would willingly pay an instructor, though I'm grateful that we don't have to (because, frankly, I'm not sure we could do so and stay afloat). But it seems to me that even a dojo which pays its instructors should be willing and able to account for where the money is going. (Don't forget taxes, especially if it is for-profit; they can be steep.)

International dues at my level are $30 to join and $10/year thereafter. I figure this pays for record-keeping plus having the HQ dojo as a resource to teach my teachers; in any case it's not much money.

Mary Kaye
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Old 02-27-2005, 10:24 PM   #17
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Re: Where does the money go?

Over the years I was a member of several clubs in the UK and as far as I know, none of them were in it for the money. Fees were minimal, related to what was required to pay the rent. Instructors never got, or wanted, anything. It seemed natural enough.

In Japan and Korea (whre I am now) it is the opposite - most clubs are 'owned' by their respective teachers and operate to make money. It seems natural enough.

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Old 02-28-2005, 12:31 AM   #18
stuartjvnorton
 
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Re: Where does the money go?

Quote:
John Matsushima wrote:
Where does the money go when you have 30+ people paying $50-$100 for a seminar?
lol, Return airfare from Japan x2 or 3 for a start.
There goes a fair whack of your $1500-3000. And they haven't even stepped off the plane yet.

Add accommodation, some appearance fee for the visiting instructor, feeding/entertaining them, the cost of hiring the venue, insurance, etc.
At $100 for several days top-level instruction, you have yourself a bargain...
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Old 02-28-2005, 06:41 AM   #19
rob_liberti
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Re: Where does the money go?

The prices should be based on the cost of living in the area.

Fixed international fees are a problem because there are places like the Ukraine where an Aikido seminar might cost $1/day, and like 200 people will show up to pay, and another 100 people will show up to watch because they can't afford it. Charge them $10/year for a membership fee and people have to quit.

A long time ago, I heard that Yamada sensei's dojo adjusted the monthly fee to be proportional to the fee of the subway. So if it cost 80 cents to ride the subway, they charged $80/month to train aikido. When it went up to $1.25 to ride the subway, they went up to $125/month. I have no idea if this is accurate, but I like the concept.

Rob
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Old 02-28-2005, 07:55 AM   #20
Greg Jennings
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Re: Where does the money go?

Quote:
John Matsushima wrote:
If so many dojo's are claiming to be non-profit organizations, then why is there so much money involved, and where does it go? These "dues" to aikido organizations, what are they for, and whose pocket do they go to? Are these organizations really "non-profit"? Why does it cost so much for testing, especially for dan tests, which can cost hundreds of dollars?
Where does the money go when you have 30+ people paying $50-$100 for a seminar? Just think about it. When there are hundreds of dojo's within an organization, with hundreds of people paying hundreds of dollars, where does it all go?
Well, John, if you *really* want to know vice just drop a troll bomb, why don't you get involved?

Volunteer to help your dojo with book keeping; volunteer to put on a seminar; better yet, volunteer to cover, out of your own pocket, the shortfalls for normal and/or seminar expenses.

Having done both for years, I think you'll find that the question isn't where the money goes, but where the money *comes from*. The answer is usually out of the organizer's pockets.

Sincerely,

Greg Jennings
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