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Guest terrydoo73
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Guest terrydoo73

We are a small playgroup funded by a local community group in Northern Ireland with a maximum of 12 children attending the daily 2 1/2 hour session September to June. Last year we raised £2000 through a parents fundraiser - recipe books and coffee evening. The parents of children returning this year are looking forward to raising this amount again and we need your help in suggesting possible fundraising ideas.

 

The Committee recenlty took ownership of an old school within the village and are planning an Early Years Centre with the Playgroup in one side with an Afterschools Club in another section. We receive no government funding but there is a small community contribution from a local windfarm which together with the parents weekly fee still leaves a shortfall of approximately £6000 to cover running costs and salaries (only 2 members of staff). To buy the school and do the necessary repairs we need to match funding ie whatever the costs of say doing up the windows has to be matched with the Community input. So far the Committee have managed to secure funding for the heating system andthe windows to be replaced and another portion for general repairs including a new entrance to the school. Obviously the reserve built up for such repairs puts a damper on salary and running costs.

 

I want to be straight with the parents in terms of costs but to be honest some parents cannot really understand having to raise funds to cover salaries and would rather have the fundraising put towards say a specific equipment need. However to be able to continue with the Playgroup the salary costs have to be met in the immediate.

 

Last year when we raised the £2000 one of the Committee decided that this amount should go towards salaries and subsequently transferred it from our general costs account leaving us with nothing apart from the weekly parents fees to cover things like the daily snack costs, computer expenses, telephone, paint requisites etc. I didn't realise this had happened until about 6 months later and thankfully I had been able to secure a grant to cover the shortfall - the Committee soon realised that the parents fees were also not being put into this account too.

 

Apologies for the long email but I want to explain the situation fully. My question is this - can I honestly ask the parents to fundraise bearing in mind what has happened and also the need to cover salaries which might not be ideally what the parents want to be raising money for. How do you tactfully approach this situation?

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Do you need to try and reduce running costs to lower the gap between money in and out? Surely if the committee has a plan to extend provision they have to have some idea of how they are going to raise funds! If this is the case should the committee be agreeing to luxuries such as an early years specialist? But that is only my view!!

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Hi, I think you probably need to give them a proper breakdown of money. Th amount for salaries, plus three months safety net for those too should be 'untouchable' money, i.e not spent on anything else at all. Designated funding, if you like. Then you must show, from past cash flow, what you need for general running costs, snack, heating, lighting, paint, consumables etc, and this is also designated. Then you have insurance and any membership fees to designate. Now, any money left over is what you can use, so this needs to be clearly shown. Work out what the total of all your designated funding will be, and discuss, if necessary, how this income will be generated. Then look at your potential big spend costs of the new building and think about where that money is coming from.

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Guest terrydoo73

OK so here goes - the salaries come in at £16000 a year (for 2 workers). This together with heat and light, telephone etc is paid by the Committee via a separate fund which they have built up over the past number of years hoping that eventually government funding will come in. At present they receive £10000 from a Community contribution of a local windfarm leaving a shortfall of £6000 ++

 

In our general Playgroup fund there is an income from the Parents of about £600 a month with expenses including membership fees, computer ink, petty cash for resources which include paint, paper and equipment, hand towels, bread, milk, fruit and cleaning coming to £200 a month - meaning we have £300 each month for 9 months in the year. A total of £2700 profit.

 

Can you see the shortfall - quite hefty and this is just doing a quick estimate! So if you take the shortfall of say £8000 from the Committee funds and offset the £2700 profit from the Playgroup fund there is still a shortfall of £5000.

 

Ideally we need to be looking to raise the £10000 in addition to this £5000 as this is presently being used to match funds for the school purchase and repairs. A massive ask from any parents!!

 

So ... should I really be up front with the parents considering all these costs etc? Also what really big fundraiser could I do that would raise such an enormous amount???

 

Ideally the Committee would love us to raise the £10000 in addition to this shortfall as they cannot guarantee nor want to be continually tied to having to pay for salaries every year ie be self sufficient!! It is true that this £10000 could be earmarked to other projects specifically at the moment providing the matching funding currently required for the purchase and repairs of the new property. A £

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Guest terrydoo73

What do you mean Sox? Am I right in thinking you think I am being paid too much? I already feel guilty for taking my money each month with the situation the way it is!

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I am finding this hard to follow, but am I right in thinking that as well as having a playgroup that parents have to fundraise to keep going, your committee has now taken on a huge extra commitment with no clear idea of how they are going to make it financially viable?

 

How many parents currently send their children to the playgroup, and how many will be using the after school club? If you combine these figures and then divide the £10,000 by that number, this will tell you how much each parent will need to contribute in order to keep running. Your committee must have completed a business plan at some point in order to see whether the project was viable, surely? These kinds of figures really need to be locked inside their heads so they can achieve their business aims.

 

Is this a case of them trying to run before they can walk? I'm wondering if they've thought it all through. :blink:

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