Fundraising Thoughts

With our November event getting closer, we’ve been discussing the idea of running the finance/fundraising side of things slightly differently this year, and we wanted to write this post to explain our thoughts and see what your opinions were. Being transparent about how we run events and the decisions behind that is very important to us and, as ever, we welcome your feedback or suggestions to help guide us along.

Each year in December we publish our ‘financial report’ for that year, showing what we’ve spent money on and where our money has come from in the preceding 12 months. In the early days, we fundraised an awful lot during the year through events such as gigs and films, so that our big festival event in November would be paid for ahead of the event, meaning that any and all money donated on the door would go 100% to the particular local women’s organisation we were supporting that year. For the first few years, this was a manageable way to work, and then we were ’employed’ to co-ordinate the first big Hidden Perspectives event with Sheffield University, for which our time input was paid for at a standard hourly rate. This money meant we didn’t – and haven’t – needed to fundraise in quite the same way since then as we’ve had funds behind us to supplement the activities we organise and our general costs. With the pressure off fundraising, we’ve spread more of the money raised at events around the performers and participants involved, we’ve become a member of the Audacious Arts Experiment and we’ve been able to take greater risks with the events we put on.

However, that money was obviously not going to last forever, and as each year has gone by, LaDIYfest Sheffield has grown and expanded and we’re now putting on much bigger events throughout the year, some of which are free, and costs (which we on occasion are absorbing ourselves) continue to grow.

Discussions on this year’s big November event have therefore focused a bit more on the future, in terms of how we will run and fund next year. With projected costs for the remainder of this year, we will be left with very few funds (if any) going forward. While we are making attempts to seek an extra revenue stream to support us (such as applying to the Sheffield Town Trust for a grant), we cannot guarantee being successful and, even if we make a renewed effort to fundraise for ourselves through gigs and other events, we’d also love to make LaDIYfest bigger, better and more accessible, and this is probably going to come with new costs.

In order to continue to try and remain self-funded, we have decided to use our big November event this year to help us start 2015 with some money behind us, by splitting the profits made between WiCAT and LaDIYfest on a 50/50 basis.

This is what we would welcome your thoughts on, or to see if anyone has any additional ideas we may not have considered, that could help us survive and continue to thrive!

Please either comment on this post, or drop us an email or message via any medium you prefer.

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