After an unpleasant situation suffered by a partner organization, I wish to clarify the reasons behind a fee.
In short, a fee:
- Affords for the larp to take place knowing that the organization will not lose money. There are fixed costs prior the larp (e.g. renting the larp location) One thing is being non-profit and another being loss making.
- Ties economically the participants to the larp. Shows them that the larp is also their responsibility.
- Gives value to the organization’s work even if the money does not finishes in their pockets. We live in a society that valuates according to the price.
- Assures participants quit under compelling reasons. Without it, what goes against canceling if a “better” plan comes along? (It has happened to us)
- If can be restored, why asking for it? The organization could then pay everything out of their pockets and get the money just before the larp.
- Allows discounts for substitute participants in case the renounce occurs close to the larp. It may be too late for those in the waiting list and only those with less economical resources are available.
- Acts as good will. The participant understands the harm caused (greater as closer to the larp) collaborating then by improving the budget.
The fee must be given back when:
- There was not information of its existence.
- Due to cancellation, date or location change.
The fee can be given back when:
The organization wishes to. Maybe the larp is far ahead, there are enough people in the waiting list, the participant’s reasons are appealing or has economic problems.
But the participant has to understand that this is granted by the organization and that by no means is it allowed to bully or menace. Also this is a private decision between participant and organization.
Those are my conclusions after not asking for a fee out of good will during my first years. How glad I am we started asking for them.