May 12, 2020 @ 12:03 AM

We would love it to be free.  After all, we are a non-profit.  But TANSTAAFL.  There ain't no such thing as a free lunch.  Except in schools.  Apps are very expensive to develop and operating costs have to be covered. 

The really good news is that courtesy of Microsoft, Green River College, Rotary, Rock Steady Sweaty Bucks and Mike Sellars' personal investment, we have a $75,000+ app for almost nothing.  That includes BETA, Version 1.0 and now, Version 2.0.  So, we, BwP, don't have to recapture the development cost as part of the app fees.  We just pay a license fee and operating costs and enhancements we request.

Apps that you download for free typically have in-app advertising and offer you a buy-price to get rid of the ads.   They also have mass appeal and hope to gain millions of customers.  A million customers create serious in-app advertising income and at even at $.95 to get rid of the ads, $.95 times a million is $950,000.  And they get new monthly subscribers cover the ongoing operating cost and the enhancements.

Our app does not have mass appeal so advertising wouldn't generate meaningful income.  If we are wildly successful, we might grow to about 1,000 total users.  At a one-time charge of $.95 per user, that's $950.  If that were monthly, that is less than $12,000 per year.  So, the app is built into our membership rates.

Our association will cover its operating expenses and some of the app operating costs from member dues.  But we will need to apply for lots of grants, offer custom surveys and research projects on a fee basis, beg for donations and hold fundraisers to cover our total costs.

So, your membership dues, which include the app, are intended to cover about half of the real cost of running the association and delivering, maintaining and enhancing the app.  We'll have to run an auction or golf tournament for the rest.