After jumping through many bureaucratic hoops, the JGA has been offered a grant of £250 by Cambridgeshire Community Foundation. This is a body which adminsters community grants for the city council.
The money will be used to cover the general running costs of the JGA, including hiring rooms for meetings, publicity materials for said events, update of the website and various other running costs.
The grant pushes the JGA's meagre savings to a more acceptable level, although it's running total is, I believe, less than £400. This means the issue of subscription can be deferred for a while, although there is still much to recommend it. In short, the association would have more money to expand its activities, would be less dependent on outside bodies and it would also increase a sense of ownership among stakeholders.
On the downside, it would reduce membership and would be a hassle to collect given the city-wide nature of the group.
One of the requirements for accepting the money is that publicity materials must contain an agreed statement outlining the involvement of the CCF. A small price to pay for cash gratefully received from the JGA.