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Question about CSA payments

I'm interested to know whether CSAs typically request that payments for shares be sent directly to the farm/farmer or be made to the CSA. Our CSA currently asks for one payment, to the CSA, which includes a $15 or so administrative fee, then cuts one check to the farm for all the member payments, which is easier for the farm. But we think we want to switch to have payments go directly to the farm. In that case, we aren't sure whether to ask for a 2nd payment to the CSA for a $15-$20 administrative fee or ask for the full amount to go to the farm and then ask the farm to cut us a check for the full administrative fees? (and if so if we cover any taxes the farm has to pay on receipt of the extra amount)? Thanks for any feedback!

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When we started of with the CSA in 1991 members were responsible for taking in payments.   For the last 13 years or so we have taken this responsibility back to the farm.   There are a number of advantages with having the farm take in membership payments.  The first one being that you know who your members are.  Also, when people pay another member they might think they are part of a food coop, and the CSA is defined by the site that has a relationship to a farm.  When they pay the farm directly there can't be much confusion that  the CSA is based on a particular farm.  Disadvantages are that you need to have a good bookkeeping program (like QuickBooks) that can communicate with an email program like Outlook.  Ideally, you want a database program that links to both QuickBooks and your email program that contains al lthe pertinent information of a particular member.   We use LeGrand CRM.  Other disadvantages are collection.  Members are better able to collect outstanding payments than a farmer who might not have a personal relationship to that person. Lastly regarding administration fee we charge the same admin fee to members that pay in full and members that pay in installments.  We believe that people that can't pay in full should not be punished because they are not flush with cash.    

Jean-Paul Courtens

Roxbury Farm Kinderhook, NY