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Contest Finances

CONTEST BUDGETS – FINANCIAL PLANNING FOR AREA AND DIVISION CONTEST

Host Club
Appoint a Host Club to conduct the contest with you. Note that District 70 allows the Host Club to retain any surplus funds from the contest. This is an incentive for the club to host the contest and to do so profitably. The club also has the opportunity to run a raffle (and generate additional funds) and for members to be involved in the administration of the contest.

Contest Budget
Prepare the contest budget in consultation with the Host Club and submit it to the Budget and Claims Officer Click here to send an email no less than 21 days prior to the contest. District 70 will not cover any loss on the function unless the contest budget has been submitted and approved before the contest is promoted.

Download Excel Contest Budget Form 

Download PDF Contest Budget Form

Area and Division Governors, remember it is your Contest! The only way to ensure your Host Club will not be out of pocket, even in exceptional circumstances is to ensure that you have the budget approved on time. Refer below for tips on preparing contest budgets.

Contact Venue/Caterer

  1. Book the venue.
  2. Establish payment requirements.
  3. Forward a letter to the venue to confirm the booking and all financial arrangements. If necessary, make a deposit (paid by the Host Club) to secure the venue

Appoint a Contest Treasurer

  1.  The Club Treasurer is usually the contest treasurer.
  2.  Bank all money received into the Host Club’s bank account.
  3.  The Host Club is responsible for meeting all expenses.

Contest Day/Night

If payment is required to the caterer at the contest, either

1. Use cash takings to meet catering costs with the Host Club making up any shortfall, or
2. Where the Host Club has sufficient funds, draw a club cheque to pay the venue and catering costs.

Post Contest

1. Bank all contest takings (or the balance) into the Host Club’s bank account and arrange for the club to pay all bills. Remember to pay for the winners’ to attend the next level of the contest.
2. Send the completed Financial Statement (Actual v Budget) to the Budget and Claims Officer.
Download Excel Contest Budget Form-Actual
Download PDF Contest Budget Form-Actual
3. If there is a deficit on the contest, complete and submit a Claim Form (to cover the deficit) and send same to the Budget and Claims Officer Click here to send an email.

Under no circumstances should any contest money or related contest activity money be banked into any form of Area, Division or personal bank account.

TIPS FOR PREPARING CONTEST BUDGETS

1. The Budget form can be downloaded from the District 70 Website (refer Contest Budget – above Page 1). You need to fill it in, print it, sign it and send it to the Budgets and Claims Officer Click here to send an email (fax or email) with 2 signatures – the person organising the contest (Area or Division Governor) and the host club President.

When preparing the budget, start with the expected expenditure including total catering (for paying and non-paying guests) to establish the cost to attend.

2. The budget needs to be submitted no less than 21 days prior to the contest. Budgeting requires planning.

3. Income: When preparing your budget, ask the Immediate Past Area/Division Governor (and his/her predecessor) how many attended the corresponding contest in the previous year (and the year before) to give an accurate picture of what numbers to expect. Your budget is not a “wish list” when estimating the likely number of attendees.
You have two options for income –

  • You can charge an amount per person to attend or
  • The clubs may contribute in equal shares e.g. 5 clubs @$60 each. If you chose this option, you must attach the Area Council Minutes where a motion was passed to this effect and stating the amount of contribution per club or a letter of acknowledgement signed by Club Presidents that their clubs will contribute $xxx to the contest.

4. Catering – there are 3 options.

  • You can charge an amount per person for catering. Note the non-paying guests – 7 judges for a Division and 5 for an Area, target speaker, special guests (tiebreaking judge, sound team, photographer, calligrapher, district officers) must be catered for.
  • You can have a fixed price for catering irrespective of the number of attendees (e.g. 3 sandwich platters + a fruit platter).
  • You may chose self-catering (if appropriate) provided clubs/members are not profiting i.e. self-catering is economically beneficial as there is not the profit margin tacked on as would be for commercial catering.

5. Other expenses

  • Division/District Contestants: Area Governors need to check with Division Governors regarding the cost of attending the Division contests – Division Governors will need to check the District 70 website for the cost of attending the Evaluation/Table Topics Contest plus Lunch or the International/Humorous Speech Contest plus Dinner. It is recommended that the Division Governors plan early and determine the cost of attending their Division Contests to assist the Area Governors with their planning.
  • Trophies: Purchase your contest trophies from Toastmasters Supplies Australia. Orders can be made on-line or by downloading the order form. There is no need to go overboard with expensive trophies purchased from other commercial entities. Consider the possible breach of copyright laws when using trophies from other commercial entities and affixing the Toastmasters International logo or tag line.
  • Engraving: Shop around for the best price for engraving. Trophies can be engraved for $2.50 each as opposed to paying up to $50 each. This can make a big difference to the amount you are charging to attend. Expenditure in this category should not exceed $40.00.
  • Room hire: Use your best negotiating skills to get room hire to the lowest $.
  • Equipment hire: Any expense in this category should be minimal if not zero.
  • Gifts and thank you cards: Remember that your judges and special guests are already getting a free meal; a $1 Thank You card or certificate is all that is necessary. Do not exceed $20.00 in this category.
  • Printing: Office Works offer inexpensive photocopy and it can be even cheaper if you are allowed to use the office photocopier. Programs/agendas do not need to be coloured and high gloss (keep in mind that most attendees leave their programs at the contest venue or file them in the waste bin after the event).
  • Telephone: Since most communication is via email, expenditure in this category should be minimal.
  • Decorations: People attend for the contest not the decorative appeal; hence expenditure in this category should be kept to a minimum.
  • Certificates/Certificates Holders and Contest Forms: Purchase your contest material (forms), certificates and certificate holders (for place getters only) from Toastmasters Supplies Australia. Orders can be made on-line or by downloading the order form. Note that Toastmasters International have given the option of downloading all contest material (including certificates) through the TI Store via the website. If you are downloading contest material, expenditure in this category should not exceed $20.00 (cost of paper and 4 certificate holders).
  • Other: There should be no costs here as everything else is covered.

The sum of Catering Expense and Other Expenditure must be less than Income or your budget will bounce back with some friendly suggestions or how to change a deficit into a surplus.

The difference between Income and Total Expenses can range from $1 to $50. The contest is not a fund raising activity. Budgets showing a surplus in excess of $50 will be queried.

When the contest is over and done, the actual costs of running the contest and income derived should be known within a few of days. Prepare a worksheet (using the same budget format which can be found on the District 70 website) to determine the financial outcome of your contest. If the outcome is a surplus, the host club can keep the surplus and use it for promoting membership and education of their members. If, in the unfortunate circumstance, there is a deficit arising from your contest, you will need to bring to account the net proceeds of any raffles held in conjunction with the contest. If, the net raffle proceeds cover the contest deficit, the club is financially ahead with money in the bank. If the net raffle proceeds do not cover the deficit, there is a financial problem. Submit the details to the Budget and Claims Officer Click here to send an email with a brief explanation as to the cause of the overall deficit. Assuming everything is reasonable and in order, District 70 will reimburse the host club for the deficit. The worst possible result for any host club is zero dollars out of pocket/zero dollars in the bank as a result of the contest, provided the budget has been approved in the first instance.

Note that when budgets are submitted for approval, a confirmation of approval will be sent to the relevant Area or Division Director and copied to the host club contact as per the Directory to pass on to the host club President.

A budget is just a method of worrying before you spend money, as well as afterward.

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