Guidance Topic

Running activities that require budgeting, prepayments, contractual arrangements and where variable numbers may attend.

Some LALG activities such as trips or events with speakers require more detailed accounting.   Such activities will normally have several costs for example hire of hall or coach, speaker or guide expenses and entrance fees.

  • The first step is to establish all the costs of running that activity.  When do you have to pay?  Is anything refundable if someone can’t come?
  • The second step is to establish the total number who can attend – there may for example be a limit to seats on a coach, the number in a tour group or the number who can be accommodated at the venue.
  • The third step is to estimate how many people are likely to go.  You may have evidence from previous trips or you can speak to someone who has run such activities in the past.  Be cautious in your estimates.
  • The fourth step is to prepare a budget.

Example 1

  • You are going to hire a hall which costs £50 and engage a speaker at the cost of £75.  There will be tea, coffee and biscuits at a cost of £25 which you have decided to include in the price of the ticket.  The capacity of the hall is 100 people, but you think only about 50 will come.
  • The costs of the event are £50 + £75 + £25 making a total of £150, if you sell 50 tickets for £3 you will cover your costs. 
  • If you decide to offer concessions perhaps to children, seniors or LALG members you will need to factor that into your ticket prices.  For example if you think there will be 10 children and 10 members at a discounted price of £2 (that’s an income of £40), the remaining 30 tickets will have to cover £110 so each of those tickets will have to be around £3.70 – or you may decide to round this up to £4 so you have a small contingency in case not all tickets are sold.
  • Remember that LALG will not be able to underwrite any loss you make so start collecting ticket income well before the time when you have to pay a non-refundable hall or coach hire for example.
  • You need to know for certain – from ticket sales – that the activity is going to be viable, before you make any non-refundable payments.
  • If your event makes a profit you are asked to temporarily or permanently give this to the treasurer of LALG.

Example 2

  • You are planning a trip by public transport, people will buy their own train tickets.   There is group entry fee of £20 each person payable at the gate with a maximum of 30 people.  You decide to hire a guide which costs £150 for the whole group, payable in advance and not refundable.   Although the maximum group size is 30 you decide only 25 people will sign up.
  • The upfront cost for the guide is £150 divided by 25 so the non-refundable deposit needed to secure a place is £6.  The entrance fee is £20 each.  There are now options.  You can ask for people to pay in advance and have the money ready to hand over at the gate or you can collect the cash during the journey.  You need to check in advance what payment methods the venue accepts. Because the entrance fee is only payable if you go in it can be refunded to those who cannot go and who have paid in advance.

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