The following is a copy of the email sent out to our contact list on February 13, 2017 regarding upcoming events and important changes to Membership Dues.
This year, the FOISOH Board is striving to revitalize the organization in spirit and activity. We have identified several areas where the club needs to be both modernized and better organized. Some of our primary focuses, to name a few, have been:
- Updating the website, Membership database, and accounting to be more user-friendly;
- Improving Member outreach;
- Increasing both the quality and frequency of events;
- Delivering monthly newsletters with well-researched stories and content, as well as updates on upcoming events;
- Developing a "Member's Package" and other meaningful Membership benefits and incentives;
- Organizing "Festa Italiana," Hawaii's first ever Italian street festival;
- And much more . .
We have spoken with many of you who expressed that you wish to see more events and of better quality. We're on it. Here is a list of already confirmed events for 2017:
- March 18: Hawaii Symphony Orchestra's ("HSO") Cirque at the Cinema, followed by dinner at Brick Fire Tavern located on Hotel St. in Chinatown, home of the famous brick oven that was flown here from Naples;
- March 31: Lunch with Maestro JoAnn Falletta @ Sabrina's Ristorante followed by HSO Concert "Masterworks 10: Ocean Dreams";
- April 6: HSO's "Verdi Requiem" with the Oahu Choral Society, followed by dinner at a restaurant in town;
- Starting in March: Italian Coffee Talks;
- Starting in April: Italian Language Course;
- May 22: Annual Dinner at Outrigger;
- Sept/Oct: Festa Italiana;
- December 10: Christmas Party at Cafe Julia
The Board is looking to finalize dates for the following events:
- Blind Wine Tastings;
- Pasta-Making Classes;
- Starting in March: Bi-weekly "Coffee Talks" where those who are fluent in Italian can converse with others;
- Starting in April:10-Week Italian Language course for novice speakers;
- Events at Chamber Music Hawaii;
- Talk Stories featuring various speakers on different topics including learning process for obtaining dual citizenship;
- An evening learning traditional Italian dance, including the Tarantella;
Current Dues Schedule Is Outdated and Not Properly Tiered
The current membership dues prices have not been changed for many years, yet the cost of putting on quality events has increased over time (dang that inflation!). Further, the current dues structure doesn't provide a logical tiered system. For example, "Household" memberships are $50. "Individual" memberships are $30, but so are "Senior" and "College" memberships. Clearly, we want our Senior Members to be paying the least amount given considerations such as fixed-income; the same goes for college students.
Over 100 Of Our Contacts Are Not Currently Paid Members
After reviewing our Membership rolls, we learned that 100 people on our contact list are not current members because they have not paid dues. Importantly, most events in the future will feature a "Member" and "Non-Member" rate. This could mean a $10 to $50 price differential, depending on the event. The idea here is to offer a subsidized rates to Members, while having Non-Members pay full-price for an event. It is only fair to our dues-paying Members. Thus, we encourage you to renew your Membership ASAP so you can pay the "Members' Rate" for the upcoming events.
New Dues Schedule Effective March 1, 2017
In determining the new membership dues schedule, the Board considered the anticipated increase in quality events, dues schedule of other similarly-situated cultural non-profits, and inflation.
Effective March 1, 2017, the following will be the new one-year membership dues schedule for each category:
- Family - $65 [Note: Family includes the member, the member's spouse/partner, and children under 21; in-laws, grandparents, etc. are not included in a "Family" membership]
- Individual - $45
- College/Senior - $30 [Note: To qualify for the "Senior" rate, the individual must be at least 60 years old]
You can renew your membership under the current membership dues schedule through February 28th by visiting http://friendsofitalyhawaii.org/Join-us.
Members Can Pay Dues On Rolling Basis
Our new website allows Members to pay their membership dues on a rolling basis. For example, if Franco pays his membership dues on March 5, 2017, he will not have to renew his membership until March 5, 2018. Similarly, if Angela pays her membership dues on July 12, 2017, she will not have to renew her dues until July 12, 2018. Everyone will have different renewal dates and our website will automatically send out reminders to you when your membership is up for renewal.
We're Open To Your Feedback and Suggestions!
Given that the Board is a purely voluntary duty, we hope you can appreciate our efforts to enhance the organization for the benefit of the Membership. With that said, we always welcome your feedback and thoughts on how to improve processes, ideas for new events, contacts who we can partner with, etc.
Please email us at friendsofitalyhawaii.org or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call us on our hotline at (415) 484-CIAO, leave a voicemail, and we'll promptly return your call. Thank you again for taking the time to read through this exhaustive email. We hope it provides better insight on the "big things" that FOISOH is doing in 2017.