ABTCA MEMBERSHIP FAQS
ABTCA offers lots of classes at very low prices. We are a not-for-profit social club. We are committed to helping people improve their relationships with their dogs and have fun with their dogs. We try to keep our prices low so that everyone can afford basic obedience classes. Unfortunately, due to IRS regulations, our ability to offer classes to non-members is severely limited.
But there are lots of benefits to membership! The most noteworthy is the ability to earn a substantial discount in class fees by volunteering. Other benefits include access to a wealth of information about dogs from your fellow members, from different feeding regimens to recommendations for vets, chiropractors, trainers and other professionals. If you want to try dog sports, the club offers agility, obedience, rally, nose work, and others. Additionally, many members participate in dog sports that we can’t offer at the club, such as herding, dock diving, barn hunt, FastCAT, lure coursing, and tracking. Members are actively involved in therapy work and other community dog events as well. Interested in showing your dog in conformation events? We have classes for that and club members who can help you. In non-COVID days, we also brought in professionals to talk about topics of interest.
Finally, we are a social club. In non-COVID days we have social events for members, with and without their dogs, such as a picnic, holiday party, awards banquet. We also organize and run charitable events for the community. You may use the club and equipment (within club guidelines) when the club is not otherwise in use. Many members arrange small gatherings to play with/train their dogs. In the winter, a heated indoor “dog space” is really nice!
1. Why do I have to join the All Breeds Training Club of Akron (“ABTCA”)? I just want to take a class.
Unfortunately, being a not-for-profit organization means complying with IRS rules. Requiring students to join the club is part of our compliance with IRS rules.
2. Why not just include the membership dues as part of the class fee?
Because the IRS rules prohibit it.
3. How much do I have to pay for membership?
The club fiscal year runs from August 1 – July 31. Membership dues are $25.00/year. You are paying a half year fee of $ 12.50. If you continue to use the club, in the future you will pay $ 25.00/year, starting in August of 2021.
4. What does everyone else pay?
Everyone pays the same dues.
5. Does my spouse also have to pay, if he or she will be participating in classes?
Yes. Each adult who wishes to use the club must pay a separate membership fee.
6. What about my kids?
Children under 18 are included in a parent’s membership.
7. I have more than one dog, do I have to pay for each dog?
No. All dogs are included in one membership fee.
8. Are all members the same?
No. For practical purposes there are two levels of membership: Associate Membership and Full Membership. Everyone starts as an Associate Member for at least 12 months. After 12 months, you can request being voted to Full Membership.
9. Tell me more about those class discounts?
In order to obtain a class discount, you must volunteer time at the club. Associate members in good standing pay only $ 50.00 (instead of $ 90.00) for a six week class taught by a member and only $ 70.00 (instead of $ 90.00) for a class taught by a paid instructor. Full members in good standing pay $ 5.00 for classes taught by members and pay the instructor fee plus $5.00 for classes
taught by paid instructors.
10. What does “in good standing” mean?
Because we are a social club, the membership runs the club. This takes time and effort by everybody. Being “in good standing” means you have logged the requisite number of volunteer hours in the previous 12 months. Associate members can claim their membership discount after logging 12 volunteer hour in the previous 12 months and by attending one monthly club meeting every quarter. (Attending club meetings counts toward volunteer hours.) Full members must log 20 volunteer hours in the previous 12 months in order to claim their membership discount.
11. What can I volunteer to do to earn my discount?
There are lots of things you can do. As noted above, attending meetings counts
toward volunteer hours. You can also assist:
in the registration process for new classes;
by teaching or assisting in a class;
cleaning and disinfecting the club building;
manning our booth at the Fair or other community events;
helping with our Rally & Obedience Trial;
helping with our community-facing demos and volunteer events;
working on the website; and
12. Am I going to get a ton of emails and mail from the club?
Hopefully not. All official email communications, such as meeting notices and minutes, will come with “ABTCA” in the subject line. We have a “members only” section to our website. Most discussions should be happening there. We will not share your email or data outside of the club. We do not send postal mail, except in the most extreme cases.