A well organized system for collecting program fees can make or break a Masters program (and its bank account). While some programs collect fees on a monthly basis, others on a quarterly basis and yet other on a semi-annual or annual basis, each team is the same and relies on its members and their dues to remain afloat. Whether you accept cash, check or credit card, here a few dos and don’ts when collecting dues.
• Upon joining your club, send all new members an outline of your fee schedule and payment options
• Send an invoice to your athletes in advance
• If you expect your athletes to pay via check or cash, include a self-addressed stamped envelop in your original invoice envelop
• Offer an automatic payment option
• Send a “reminder” notice to athletes that have yet to pay five days prior to the due date
• As the end of the year approaches, send all team members a recap of the upcoming year’s fee schedule and payment options
• Do not turn your coaches into bill collectors; accept cash or check via mail and/or credit card or automatic withdrawal (this is office work, not pool deck work)
• Do not single anyone out in public regarding their outstanding invoice(s)
• Do not prorate monthly fees; if an athlete joins the program before the 20th of the month he or she should be invoiced for the entire month and if an athlete joins after the 20th his or her first payment will start the first of the next month
Each Masters program is different and each Masters program may choose to operate its team’s business differently, however it is the goal of U.S. Masters Swimming to assist each and every program and coach to achieve its best opportunity for success. Some dos and don’ts may not fit every program and are meant to be merely a reference. If you would like more information regarding collecting program fees or other way in which to create a more efficient and effective business model, feel free to contact Club and Coach Services Coordinator, Mel Goldstein at firstname.lastname@example.org.