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We've been working hard on revitalising our Membership program, to simplify it, make it more attractive to regular users of the centre and improve the benefits that we can offer them.
After a lot of hard work and brainstorming, we're pleased to say that we have created a system that will be much more robust going forward. The first change we are making is to rename it to the Subscription programme for clarity. The second is that we have substantially enhanced the benefits available to Subscribers as a thank you for their support.
If you look at our new Subscription page, you'll be able to see the full array of benefits that are available, for each Subscriber level from Supporter to Patron.
The Subscriber package we offer at Samye Foundation Wales (and Kagyu Samye Dzong Cardiff) is for our Centre in Cardiff and does not constitute Membership of the charities themselves. To become a Subscriber you'll sign up for a monthly donation by standing order, and the amount you donate will determine the benefits you can access free of further charge.
People who have chosen to become Subscribers in the past have done so because they want to make a regular donation to support the centre and our work here, rather than because of the benefits on offer. Although our Subscriber package of benefits is excellent, you don't have to subscribe to visit our centre, book courses here, or use our facilities.
Our goals for the new Subscriber benefits are simple:
- Make the benefits more valuable for existing Subscribers
- Make the benefits simpler for our volunteers to administrate
- Make the benefits attractive enough to encourage new people to support us by becoming Subscribers
We also have a Guardians programme for people who wish to make donations to support our centre but do not require any of the benefits that Subscription offers. This allows Gift Aid to be claimed, which we are not able to do with the Subscriber programme (because it has benefits attached to it).
So what is it that we offer to the Subscribers to our Centre?
If you choose to become a Subscriber you will be able to access some of our regular courses free of charge, depending on the level of Subscription.
For instance Supporters can come to Introduction to Mindfulness workshops and Drop In Meditation for free. Friend level Members, donating £10 a month can come to our 8 Week Mindfulness Course, Mindfulness Summer School and Meditation Mondays courses as well.
When will the new package start?
We're pleased to announce that, effective immediately, we are offering the improved benefits to all current Members (now Subscribers) and future Subscribers of the Centre.
How do I use my Subscription Benefits?
When you want to book, you'll need to let us know and we'll put you on the course after checking your Subscription is current. You're given a Subscription card, so please show that when you come to a drop in session.
You will need to commit to a one year Subscription if you are using the benefits during that period and to continue your monthly donations as long as you are using benefits. For example, you may not end your subscription halfway through an 8 Month Mindfulness Course and continue to attend without payment.
I'm a Friend but want to access a Level 2 course, what do I do?
You can book the course normally via the website, you don't have to upgrade to an ongoing higher level of support. Similarly, you don't have to be a member to book courses, you can still just book them from the website.
The End of the Returner Rate
In the past, we have offered a massively discounted returners rate for people who wish to repeat a course that they have previously done. Many people will repeat courses to refresh and deepen their practice and to go over the course material again.
As of the announcement of this new Subscription deal we are no longer offering the returners rate as it's not financially viable for us. We rely on donations for courses the majority of our funding to operate the centre and put on courses. Those who regularly take and re-take courses, can instead do so as Subscribers and we feel this represents better value for them and monthly donations will make our cash flow much more predictable.