BIDA has historically used a profit sharing system, where after we've paid for our fixed expenses we give performers shares of the remaining money. For example, a recent well-attended dance looked like:
Performers: $500 (three musicians and a caller at $125 each)
Our raw profit was $697. Under our current system the first $100 and half the remainder ($399) went to BIDA to cover future money-losing dances, and the remaining $299 was split among the four performers, for an extra $75 each.
We like that this means that performers get more money when we have a well-attended dance, but this particular implementation requires a lot of calculation: we need to determine exactly how much profit there is to share before we can hand the musicians their money. And this is during the dance, when the hall manager would probably rather be dancing.
We've decided to switch to a simpler system (old, new) where we pay a bonus based on attendance instead of profit. Initially we'll pay $1.25 to each performer for every person over 120, which for the example dance would have come to $102 each instead of $75:
This won't give identical results to the old system, but after testing it on historical dances we've chosen numbers where performers should almost always get at bonus that's at least as large (interactive simulator). We'll plan to tweak these thresholds over time: every quarter or so our treasurer will look over our financial situation and tweak the threshold or per-dancer amount to keep us from losing or accumulating money. You can always see our current approach to pay at bidadance.org/payscale.
Looking forward to getting back to dancing, starting with this Sunday!