Many events are relatively inexpensive to organize and carry out. These might be self-funded or perhaps funded by a local authority body or community group. Larger events may require a more substantial financial investment and as such will have to seek funding from other sources such as government grants, donations or sponsorship.
Regardless of the size of your event you should keep proper records of all your financial transactions in the form of a budget. Here you can record all money coming in and where/who it has come from as well as all payments out, who they have been made to and for what.
In a similar way to which we prioritize our list of tasks that need to be completed in the run up to an event, your list of expenses should also be prioritized. It is no good spending a huge portion of your budget on publicity only to find that you can no longer afford to hire your chosen venue. As with all aspects of event planning the scale of your event will dictate the depth and detail required of your budgets as well as the amount of fundraising you will have to do. Here are a few of the basic areas you may want to consider when addressing budgets and fundraising.
These are funds that have been spent by you. They don’t have to be purchases, they could also be rental fees or fees for someone’s services i.e. a band or entertainer. All expenditures should be listed in chronological (date) order, a description should be given and the amount recorded.
Revenue or Income
These are transactions whereby you receive money. This could be from ticket sales, sponsorship, traders fees or donations. All revenues should be listed in chronological (date) order, a description should be given and the amount recorded.
This is a great way of getting access to equipment that is too expensive or impractical to purchase or borrow. If the rental company is local, try negotiating a discount if you let them advertise in your event programme or publicity material (this could be viewed as a form of sponsorship). If you will be renting the equipment more than once try negotiating a loyalty discount. All such rental transactions should be detailed in your expenditures.
This refers to equipment and other resources, not money. When available funds are stretched, borrowing resources can be invaluable to a small scale event. If you are planning an event on behalf of a community organisation or group, discuss your needs with them. They may have access to resources of their own that you could borrow. Sponsors are also often able and willing to offer their support. Perhaps they can offer you access to printers/photocopiers for administrative purposes or maybe a space for meetings. These aren’t transactions as such so don’t make up part of a budget. It is however a good idea to formalise any such arrangements in an email or letter detailing exactly what is being requested/offered.
Some of the resources you need to run your event will have to be purchased. This is particularly true of anything difficult or impractical to hire or borrow. How many times you are likely to use piece of equipment will also have a baring on whether it is most cost effective to purchase or hire it. The re-sale value of an item should also be considered. Take for example an item which costs £150 to hire. Buying the item would cost £500. If however the item has a re-sale value of £400 then it makes financial sense to buy the item and sell it on once you have finished with it. This cost should be included on your list of expenditures but can also be listen as an asset as it will earn money back via its re-sale.