Submitted by Nigel Whitfield, BLUF webmaster, Nigel, aka LondonSubNigel (3), 01 August 2013
The BLUF site now includes a new option, "BLUF Card", for members who are logged in to their accounts.
This allows you to download a BLUF membership card, in PDF format.
We've done this so that, for the first time, BLUF members have a way to prove that they are a member of the club, something which has been requested by some vendors, in order for them to offer discounts.
Membership cards are valid for twelve months, but to be able to download one, you must either be a BLUF volunteer, or have donated to the club in the last six months. There is no minimum donation to qualify for a card, but obviously, I would hope that people are generous.
Besides allowing us to arrange member discounts with some new vendors, one of the other reasons we have introduced the card is to try and ensure that the club can remain on a sound financial footing; a couple of months ago, the number of people who had donated in the last six months was 12; a banner on the site has helped that increase to just under two dozen at the time I write this.
Of those, the majority are people who have donated before. Effectively, BLUF is being bankrolled by a very few members - less than 1% of the total membership. Meanwhile, everyone who is a member has been able to take advantage of offers that can save themselves a lot of money, and which did not benefit the club itself.
My aim in introducing the new membership card is to ensure that the club remains free to join, and free to use. But also that those who support it - even if it's just to the level of one euro a year - receive some additional benefit in recognition of that.
Compared to the BLUF of a few years ago, the club is much more complex, both technically and logistically. At times, work on the web site, including adding new features to help support events, or working on the apps, is itself almost a full time job. There are many other things that we would like to add to the club, and ways we could help support events around the world, but we cannot do that if it's effectively paid for by a small handful of people and a lot of generosity.
So, I hope that many of you will show your support by donating generously, and downloading your membership card. And for our part, we'll be working to arrange more benefits for those who do so, as well as continuing to develop both BLUF and its website even further.