This week we tackled two very important elements of projects, ‘budgeting and fundraising’, and ‘practical evaluation’. Each of the young leaders had at some point tackled elements of these but it was evident that we had a lot to learn!
Today I’m going to talk about budgeting and fundraising, and safe to say they aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. Trying to work out how much everything costs, what we need to cost and how to take this to a funder and ask for their support is a very daunting prospect, so for it to be deconstructed over the course of the day was fab!
We spent the morning looking at budgeting, starting off by breaking down the different categories. One of the snippets I’ll take away from Monday was to budget not only for planning and preparation time, but also for evaluation. I’ve never really had to do a formal evaluation so it wasn’t something that I immediately thought of. We also spoke about contingency budget and how this should be set at between 5-10% of the rest of the budget. Whilst this may just seem common sense, it was good to just have it laid out.
Additionally we discussed ‘in kind’ budgeting. This would be things like the free lending of equipment or access to a venue, things that you would repay in kind rather than paying for. However the monetary value of these elements has to be put in the budget’s expenditure before outlining the overall ‘in kind income’ you hope to achieve in the income section. It is also good to write three prospective budgets initially: The Rolls Royce, Mini Cooper, and Old Banger budgets. This enables you to see how little you could theoretically produce the project on, as well as your dream budget.
However I think the most important point I’ll take away will be to value your time and project! As young creatives at the beginning of our careers we can often under-evaluate our time, especially in the planning and evaluation stages rather than the contact stages, so it was good to discuss how we should value our time compared to an experienced facilitator, support worker, and other professionals.
In the afternoon we moved onto the fundraising side. After discussing who funders are, we went through some key points to consider which I’ll pop down below.
- NEED: ‘funders are funding necessary change!’ As Helen explained, your project has to have a purpose.
- Demonstrate the change that happens through an evaluation plan
- Have clear aims and objectives, and a good summary
- Make sure it is value for money
- Make your budget easy to understand
- Consultation is vital so talk to both your funders and the young people you are targeting!
- Be accurate when filling out forms!! Be concise, spell-check and always meet the deadline.
The overall message we took away with us was start with the highest impact possible when pitching and cover all bases. Any holes in your plan will be picked out and these can be fixed and filled through discussion and a willingness to work on your plan with others.
Over the next couple of days I’ll be following this blog up with another on evaluations so stay tuned! If you want to follow this blog it is listed on bloglovin’ as well, so if you like all your blogs in one place that’s a great place to start. The other young leaders are also blogging and you can find their links through the OYAP Trust wordpress!