I don't see why checks are any different than credit card receipts for taxes. The government makes no distinction. Either does an accountant. Plus, with a credit card you have (with Amex any way) 30 days to pay at no interest. The way I look at it, you SAVE money by paying with Amex because you get 30 days free use of money, because you don't have to give them the $$s until you get the bill. And, the comp gets THEIR money efficiently (directly deposited). The fact that students at Proam events pay their instructors makes no difference in theis also - every studio I am in takes cards these days, and also the studios have the benefit of the protection of the card company in collecting etc. Signed releases? heck, the comps could get these at the door. Getting them in 'the mail' means nothing. Getting the entry money is the only thing that matters a month before a competition. The release only matters when they arrive at the venue. Plus, a good comp would keep these on file (for regular competitors). Even Amazon.com knows that I like certain items and things - and these are not exactly people I know LOL. Most comps are not forward thinking enough to do even that, altho they maintaina mailing list of everyone who ever enters so that they can mail them flyers for the next comp. I actually believe that Comps are much more of a 'mom and pop' business than they represent. And, the owners are not really business people... they use paper because of that 'fear' of high tech (remember most comp folks are over 40 or so - hey don't get riled, I am over 40 too...) and they rationalize that. Also, they think that their time is free as well as the 'volunteers' time. Also, darkly, the more 'obfuscated' and 'murky' the entries are (think about those comps that still don't post entry lists etc like USA Dance does, and that the reason they do this iso that competitors can't make decisions about which ones to enter, because they have no idea who si there or who is going - it's cheesy when a comp thinks they will LOSE money if they make their entry list more public), the more that a mom and pop ideaology cats it's shadow over what COULD be a more vital, communicative community. BTW, this forum is unique in that respect, since a popular and vital thread always goes ups saying "comp xxx.. who's going". Nowhere else - and that makes this the 'go to' forum! (yay) Now, back to the rant... On a related note, I certainly think that nonprofit and volunteer organizations are the most prone to rationalizing the non spending of money and resources where it's needed to gain incremental money gain. For instance, a volunteer organization that uses credit cards would be doing much more for their members by spending the few % on the mechanics of collection, rather than having the volunteer do it. Why? 'Slave' labor is not a useful way of using people. If the 20 hours of opening envelopes, tabulating info, labriously copying handwritten entry forms into compmanager, etc were instead spent on things like promoting the comp, personal services (calling competitors, for instance, to help them with entries), etc, that would give more percieved value to the comp and the participants. What if the 20 hours were spent at the comp as helpers - people who help competitors with directions, 'wranglers' to get competitors ready, etc? I dunno, these may be lame ideas, but I think that thinking 'outside the box' is usually hard for people who see things 'the way they're always done' as the only real way. For example, everyone mentions lack of food services. Why not charge an extra $5 per entry and then spend the 20 volunteer's hours on buying and preparing a buffet for the competitors? Even a volunteer on a buying expedition for yogurts and bottled water would give more value to the particpants than their work copying (and usually mis spelling) names into the comp schedule. Even 20 hours on the phone looking for donations for an amateur comp is time better spent than 'backstage' work. The volunteer's percieved value to an organization is usually underestimated (or as our esteemed president calls it, 'misunderestimated') as people only valuable for cleanup, door duty, or drudge work. Not tue...You always hear volunteers telling heoric stories about the hard work that goes into putting events together. Mostly it's hard work because the tasks are those mindless or drudgelike tasks, the ones nobody wants to do, that seem to say 'volunteer' on them.