3 min read

Exchange Rates

Exchange Rates
Photo by Ibrahim Boran / Unsplash

Anytime you go on vacation to another country - you often conscientiously consider the exchange rate of every purchase you make. For example, in Canada the Costco Hot Dog and Drink is still $1.50C - a measly $1.19. In Rocky Point, Mexico, there is a churro stand open from 6pm-2am that sells 6 churros for 20 pesos - $1. It's basically free!

The problem we run into is when the moves are permanent.

The Hryvnia

From 2000 to about 2008, the Ukrainian Hryvnia held firm at about 4:1 with the dollar. From then until the civil war in Donbas and Russian invasion of Crimea in 2014 it was steady at ~8:1. It's since skyrocketed and fluctuated often between 25-30.

Those are just random numbers - but the point to make here is that I was not in Ukraine as a tourist, I was there to live on a Ukrainian budget. It is easy to think in dollars - but that will cost you dearly because you think it's super cheap then you look up and see you've run out of money. It wasn't uncommon for dumb greenies to make this mistake.

It's Not Just Traveling

This mindset phenomenon doesn't relate just to traveling, it also is relevant to massive lifestyle movements. I really enjoy giving career advice to more junior data professionals. I've helped give salary ranges to expect, interview tips, resumes, etc. I feel I need to give back.

I have also seen people leave thousands in compensation on the table because what they were making at a very small, non technical company was so far below what any "tech" company would pay them, they couldn't fathom having that much money.

I helped somebody a few weeks ago and gave them advice on giving a range of what they should ask for in salary given their experience and told them what I would offer them based on that experience and a similar job posting. When they called to let me know they had received and immediately accepted an offer slightly below the bottom of what I suggested they say.

When I asked what happened the reply was "Well, I'm only making X now, so getting Y is a huge jump, so I'm okay with it. I was scared to give the range you said because it was such a big difference between my current salary"

BYU's Mindset

Like the person above, we're about to experience all time levels of revenue and already are receiving donations at BYU. The invitation to join the Big 12 is monumental, and program changing.

And the Cougar Club and the AD need to change with it. Just because we have more money than ever without changing anything in the approach to fundraising doesn't mean we have enough laurels to rest on. We are only scratching the surface of what can be done and need to do everything we can to be the biggest and best amongst our new peers.

We can't fundraise the same way we did in the WAC or the MWC. Even the Independence Era isn't enough.

We have a unique situation with massive numbers of dedicated, engaged, out of state fans - there needs to be more incentive for those who do not purchase tickets to donate.

The infrastructure needs to be updated (I learned two weeks ago that monthly donations terminate after 12 months and do not auto-renew - my membership had lapsed for 6 months and I didn't even notice).

Ticket limits on memberships need to be cut down to stop piggy backing and buying season tickets for all your friends under one member.

With the biggest shift in program history looming in 14 months, we need to be more aggressive and innovate than ever before - continuing the status quo and accepting the bump that comes with a press release of an invitation is below what fans should expect and what such a storied program deservers. This isn't 1985 anymore - the young money of Silicon Slopes is ready and willing to donate. The addage of "BYU fans go to Vegas with $10 and 10 commandments and break neither" may apply to our older fans, but the 30-50 range that provides the bulk of the numbers of current donors is largely untapped. There are thousands of out of state fans that say "well, I would donate more but there is really zero incentive to as an out of state fan"

Invest in the fans and they will invest even more in you.