Bright Ideas and True Confessions: How and What to Do and Why


Requirements for Kingdom Newsletters (and some historical trivia)

If you're a kingdom chronicler, you should have a current set of corporate guidelines, but there are some requirements which haven't changed for a long time.

Every issue should include:

  • names, addresses, phone numbers of great officers of state and royalty
  • names of local groups, with the seneschals' addresses and phone numbers
  • kingdom calendar, including dates, places, sponsoring groups
  • any and all corporate communications which the board, steward or other corporate officers have requested be printed (the kingdom newsletter is their vehicle to contact the populace for timely matters)
  • the SCA membership application, full-size
  • the name of the newsletter and date of issue, on the front cover, and in the identification paragraph (This is Volume XX, Number VII, December 1991, of Southwind ...)
  • the address and phone number of the Steward, Corporate Secretary, and the kingdom's ombudsman

Once a quarter the full listing of names and addresses of the corporate officers and board members should be made. [Later note: The policy as of 1992 (back I don't know how far) was every in every two months, rather than quarterly.]

The newsletter is supposed to be in the mail, both first class and third, by the 20th of the month before. The May issue is to be mailed on April 20 or before. This has been policy for many years.

Quarterly financial reports must be sent to the corporate treasurer, and an annual report at the end of the year (with copies to the corporate office). The quarterlies are due a month after the end of the quarter: April 30, July 31, October 31 and January 31. The corporate treasurer will withhold the stipend for failure to report, and she'll tell the registry to hold your labels, too. No newsletter, no events. In some kingdoms the kingdom treasurer does this reporting for the chronicler, and that's acceptable. The problem is that down the line a new treasurer and chronicler who've inherited a system in which the treasurer does the report may not be aware that it's actually the chronicler's job to do.

Stipend: A bit of trivia many people do not know is that the stipend which goes to the kingdom newsletters is a reimbursement for money spent in the previous quarter, rather than an advance on the quarter coming up. The amount is based on the number of labels (newsletters to be mailed), following whatever formula is in use at the time (this changes to reflect rising postal rates). If a kingdom has a huge membership drive at the end of a year, so that they have 100 more members in January than they had in October, the check which comes then will seem small. It's based on the count for October through December. When a new kingdom forms, it needs enough money to put out its first few issues, and then the reimbursment check (newsletter stipend, as it is commonly called) comes in. If a kingdom's first newsletter is just before the quarter checks, they'll get a check right away, but it will only be one month's worth. They still need to make it through to the end of the next quarter, when the first full-size check will arrive. [Later note: When Drachenwald became a kingdom, the steward and treasurer in fact did not know this bit of trivia and so told them it was an advance. I don't know what the current status is as of early 1994.]

Bulk Permits and Kingdom Status: In early days, the membership requirement for a kingdom was 200 sustaining members. The number came from the minimum charge for a bulk mailing. [1]



[1] Some people who use bulk permits have filled out their numbers by sending doubles, sending ten to themselves, etc. It's just a waste of the cost of extra printing. The post office doesn't really care that you have 200, they're just going to charge you for at least 200. If all you have is 180, it's cheaper to pay the postage for 200 than it is to pay that and the cost of the 20 extra too. This has nothing to do with kingdom newsletters, which always have more than 200 third class these days, but is just an interesting aside on that bulk mail number 200 and its effect on the Society.
Copyright © by Sandra Dodd, 1991
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