change to Special Assy. Days, CA's and DC's

by TheListener 19 Replies latest jw friends

  • TheListener

    I have been thinking about this for some time. I have been thinking how the society could maintain the same number of yearly obligations but lower their costs. I could see the society making some changes to the assembly/convention setup in the near future to cut costs. We've already seen the downsizing of arenas in which the district conventions are held. Currently the society hold 6 full days of year of special instruction; District Convention = 3 days; Circuit Assemby = 2 days; Special Assembly Day = 1 day.


    Cancel district conventions, add a circuit assembly, and add an extra day to the current special assembly day, this would allow the society to maintain the same amount of spiritual food while sharply decreasing costs. It wouldn't allow for the usual district convention hype and perhaps the jump in meeting and service numbers as a result of the hype. But, they could begin hyping the circuit assembly just as much.

    I'm sure they could and would spin this as a simplification for the friends. Think of it, no more travelling to some faraway city (for those that do) for the district convention. essentially just 3 circuit assemblies a year. I would like it better if they cancelled the DC and just added a day to the special assembly day. That would be less meetings.

  • iiz2cool

    They probably generate more revenue at DC's than at circuit assemblies. I remember several times when our circuit assemblies ended with a deficit. I can't imagine how this could be, since the assembly hall is owned by the society. Still, they claim they have over $4,000 per day in expenses at the circuit assemblies. Yeah, right! But they must rake in a lot of $$$ at the DC's, or they would have stopped them by now.

    Also, the JWs like to get together at the DC's because there are so many people there. Seeing so many people helps them maintain their delusion that they're significant in some way.


  • IP_SEC

    Our part of the circuit usually sends 1k to the www and 1k to the skhf for both 1 days and CAs. I think it would be a great idea/money maker to just have smaller venues on owned property. The friends could just donate much of what they would have spent on travel costs.

    The only problem is that our Ass Hall is in use nearly every weekend of the year. We'd have to build another Ass Hall but thats good because they would make a profit off of that too.

  • garybuss

    The purpose of the assemblies is to raise money. The Watch Tower pyramid has four well oiled division plans for a direct appeal for donations. The highest level is the district assemblies, the next is the circuit assemblies, the third is the congregation level, and the fourth direct solicitation for donations is the door to door fundraising work.

    The assemblies used to meet expenses by being in the food service business and donations as conventions were second to funds raised by the direct charging for restaurant items. That was changed to rely only on appeals for donations. The conventions set up charges against itself by itself and report these as expenses due to the Witness people as a inducement for them to donate. What they are not told is the REAL amounts forwarded to the Society. They are only told of donations. They are not shown the amounts forwarded to the Society labeled expenses.

    The circuits operate much the same way and the disclosures are modified according to the facility used for the convention. A Society owned facility will have a more ambiguous financial disclosure.

    Has anyone EVER been to a Jehovah's Witness assembly where an announcement was made that all expenses have been met and no more donations were needed? Do ya ever think they might have had ONE assembly in 100 years that didn't HAVE to beg for donations? The reason for the constant push for more donations is that is the purpose of the event.

    #1. We are the slave class.

    #2. Give us your money.

  • RunningMan

    Good assessment, Gary. But, the question before us, from a strictly business perspective, is: would they be better off converting the DC into a CA, since most CAs are held in company-owned facilities, so there is no rent to pay. In other words, would the saving in external rent be more or less than the drop in donations? I'm sure they have more than enough management information to answer that question.

  • outnfree

    I dunno. My District Convention was held a further 7 minutes from my Kingdom Hall and even closer to my home than my assigned Assembly Hall. I always made larger donations at the District Convention. I don't think I'm the exception to the rule, either. I would expect that donations at DCs are significantly higher per capita than at Special Assembly and Circuit Assembly days.

  • TheListener

    I'm sure that DC donations are higher, but so are expenses. In fact they've made the first step at change. They've slowly begun using less expensive arenas and asked the friends (at least in the US) to bring a small lunch with them instead of going out. By using smaller venues they've reduced the overall cost of the DC for themselves. By asking the friends to bring a small lunch with them instead of going out theire ensuring that some of the friends will donate more than they used to since their food expenses are lower. I believe they could hype one of the CA as the new DC and still get higher donations. But, the savings in cost to the society for using their own buildings would be significant. Even if in the short term they had to build more CA halls they've make out very well in the long term.

  • Oroborus21

    The Listener:

    Actually your proposal would increase costs.

    Think about it, while it might seem like it would make for "less meetings" for you, from the Society's vantage point, they would have to hold MORE meetings/CAs.

    Consider that if 40 congregations go to 1 DC that is only one meeting for the Society to pay for. (And BTW the Society doesn't care about your expenses of getting to the DC, although they do sometimes make some arrangements for certain ones, and of course they broker a deal to get good rates on hotels/motels.)

    But if just one extra CA is added as you propose while that is just one extra CA for you, that is like 4 extra CAs for the society figuring at 10 congregations per CA. (I don't know what the actual allotment/breakdown is or what the average number of congs in a Circuit and District.)

    The fact is, even though DCs are usually held in rented space as opposed to most CAs that are held in Society owned assembly halls and there are other costs involved, the overall costs are reduced due to the basic economic principle of scale.

    If anything, if cost was the only concern and the Society wanted to reduce costs tremendously, it would do away with CAs and Special Assembly days all together (and to "keep the same spiritual food level" - a silly notion of course) just add these 3 days to the 3 days of the District Conventions and only have DCs. This would be like the old days of 7 day long conventions.

    They would no doubt get better rental deals on the venue, taking it for the longer time period and better negotiation with the Hotels/motels, and of course benefit from the economies of scale having to only organize a few dozen conventions in the U.S. (for example) instead of the hundreds it presently does.


    PS: I wanted to add, that I wish it were just one big convention once a year. It makes for taking vacation days or planning to be a bit easier and more importantly, back in the day, I never seemed to "get my groove" going with the sisters until after at least a day or two (I was shy i guess) so I usually had my most "productive" encounters and fun on Sundays, the last day of the meeting. By then, I had managed to find someone to "sit with" or at least track who I was on the prowl for and find a seat close by. If I had a few extra days at the DC that would have been a heck of a lot more fun let me tell you. Now I am hitched. Oh well, the Death of a Ladies Man.

  • sf
  • willyloman
    The conventions set up charges against itself by itself and report these as expenses due to the Witness people as a inducement for them to donate. What they are not told is the REAL amounts forwarded to the Society. They are only told of donations. They are not shown the amounts forwarded to the Society labeled expenses.

    What Garybuss said is absolutely true. At their "business meeting," on Saturday evening, the elders would create expenses via deficit spending, by approving a large donation to the WTS regardless of the current balance on hand. The typical business meeting report was along the lines of: $5,000 on hand, $3,000 in expenses (so far).

    After motions were made and approved to send the WTS $3,000, then pay for the CO and DO's expenses, including cars and insurance, plus various other expenses around the circuit (i.e., a portion of power bills for halls that had CO apartments attached, etc.), they'd also add in additional anticipated expenses for the convention. That might be another couple of thousand. Typical result: a report to the publishers next day showing cash on hand $5,000, expenses for this convention $11,000, deficit $6,000.

    It was no coincidence this announcement was made after the attendance was announced. The friends would do the math, figure out what their share of the "deficit" was, and resolve to donate that very amount. Not only would the other $6,000 come in by the end of the convention, but another four or five thousand to boot. Thus the district would start the next convention with several thousand dollars in "cash on hand." After that, it was rinse and repeat.

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