Reviewing a budget, step-by-step: Income and Conclusion

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Reviewing Income

Tickets

Make sure the ticket revenue figure is either offset by an expense line item for comped tickets for speakers/sponsors/volunteers, or reflects that lack of income. If a community is trying to double the size of their event in a year, or might be over-estimating the number of people who will buy tickets, adjust the ticket revenue line item so that they’re not required to sell out to break even on the budget.

Fundraising Goal

Now that you’ve determined a good number for how much the event should cost, and you have a good estimate for how much money they’ll bring in via ticket sales, you can calculate the fundraising goal. For example, an event that will cost $5,000 and should sell $1000 in tickets has a fundraising goal of $4000.

Global Sponsorship Grant

Once you know the fundraising goal, you can determine the global sponsorship grant. Important: every WordCamp should receive *at least* 25% of their fundraising goal as a global sponsorship grant, even if they don’t think they need it. We’re asking WordCamps to credit 8-9 global sponsors, and they should get a reasonable amount of money from the program for that work. Our goal is that every WordCamp team will be able to spend only 20 hours on fundraising (including sponsor acknowledgement) over the course of the organizing process.

First time WordCamps should receive no less than 50% and up to 80% of their fundraising goal from the global sponsorship program. First-time events can have a harder time raising money and have a lot more work to do in general. We try to support them to the extent that they only have to spend 10-15 hours on fundraising.

As you discuss what the global sponsorship grant will be, make sure the organizer understands how the program works. They’ll need to merge all global sponsors into the local levels and give all global sponsors the same benefits that local sponsors get, plus the global sponsorship benefits that apply to WordCamps. Gold merges to the top local level, Silver to the second-from-the-top, Bronze to the third-from-the-top. Silver and Bronze global sponsors can “upgrade” to a higher local level if they pay the difference between the two levels (Bronze and Gold for example) to the WordCamp.

Local Fundraising Goals

If you subtract the global grant from the overall fundraising goal, you’ll have the local fundraising goal. Check with the organizing team whether they feel comfortable with the amount of money they are being asked to raise locally. Compare it, if possible, to previous years of fundraising, and talk about how much work they’ll spend on raising those funds. Discuss what sponsorship levels they are planning to use, and what benefits they’re planning to offer, and talk over the difficulty level of the sponsorship package elements and make sure they match our sponsorship guidelines. This is also a good time to underline that we never provide a speaker slot to sponsoring companies just for sponsoring. The speaker must qualify for the slot on their own merit.

In Conclusion

Make sure the organizer(s) understand the next steps in the process. They’ll need to complete all required fields in their WordCamp’s listing on WordCamp Central and provide a venue agreement or contract. If the venue is free and does not provide an agreement, they will need to provide some form of written verification that the venue has confirmed they will host the event on their chosen dates.

Before you end the meeting, ensure the organizing team understands they should talk to their mentor every 2 weeks and deal with challenges to fundraising sooner, rather than later.

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