The SCA is about to make another financially-driven change; moving away from print newsletters. On the whole I think it's a good one; I'm still waiting for some details to come out. Will they eliminate the categories of Sustaining and International memberships (as the only meaningful difference between those and Associate is receiving a kingdom newsletter) or will they charge extra just to get access to the electronic publications? (We know that they plan to offer print subscriptions to the newsletters; their current estimate is that they will cost around $30/year.)
Whenever the SCA cries poor, though, I can't help wondering where all the money goes. The organization isn't quite as bad about keeping financial secrets as back in the days when some people sued them for information (and to the best of my knowledge, the organization never really delivered the data that the settlement required) but it isn't exactly forthcoming about expenditures.
My personal bit of paranoia is that non-disclosed legal settlements have been a drain on our finances. That one bothers me because I oppose such settlements on principle, and in the case of the SCA I believe they would negate our fundamental values. If I were running the SCA I would have a statement like this in our corporate charter:
"The SCA, Inc. will not make any non-disclosed legal or financial settlements under any circumstances. To make such an agreement would negate our ideals of chivalry and courtesy to our members. It would end our dream just as surely as shutting down the lists would.
If you are our legal counsel, do not suggest that we offer such a settlement; we will not. If you are opposing legal counsel, do not offer us such a settlement; we will not accept it. All settlements made by the SCA, Inc. will be fully disclosed to our members and the public. There are no exceptions."
Yes, I really mean NO exceptions. I would rather see the organization shut down than make such a deal with the devil.
Note to the lawyers out there: although I am currently an officer of an SCA group (secretary of the Barony of Carolingia, East Kingdom), I am not speaking in any official capacity. The opinion offered above is my own. YIS, Shirley Márquez Dúlcey / Mark J Dulcey / Lord Pryder mab Aurddolen.