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Thread: AMS 2016 and new rules for ECs

  1. #151
    Senior Member Mallah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by recneps View Post
    We always "lose" at capitation time, as we have an unfortunate habit of starting new sections in October... means we don't get a full year of Subs in from those new members before capitation is due.
    Sounds like you're slow at learning lessons

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  2. #152
    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by recneps View Post
    Am I the only one who finds it concerning that a group large enough for this to be a significant cost increase would run with such low reserves that they would be unable to afford a couple of hundred pounds?

    I know groups without premises don't necessary carry the sort of reserves that those of us with halls have to... and obviously new groups wont have had time to build up financial security, but its a bit worrying that there are established groups living "hand to mouth"

    We always "lose" at capitation time, as we have an unfortunate habit of starting new sections in October... means we don't get a full year of Subs in from those new members before capitation is due.


    I am afraid that a great many Groups operate on a hand to mouth basis with zero reserve. I think reserve is too big a name for it, I would prefer to call it wiggle room. A couple of hundred in the pot that allows them to dip in when they need to, but they have to replace ASAP.

    As a new Group, we are struggling with funds. I was used to having more money than you could shake a stick at and having to count the pennies all the time is a challenge.

    We are on a bit of a spree at the moment, and by September we will have bought archery kit, shooting kit, and will have kitted out the kayaks we use with air bags - which will leave the kitty a little void.

    OTOH - we only charge weekly fees if there is a cost to us. So, over the summer when we are out and about, we take no money in. So costs to parents are shockingly low now. Some have even suggested that we should increase our fees! They have told us that we are too cheap!
    Ewan Scott

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    Nawyecka Comanch'": "Means roundabout--man says he's going one way, means to go t'other" Ethan Edwards - The Searchers



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  3. #153
    Senior Member recneps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mallah View Post
    Sounds like you're slow at learning lessons
    No... its the time that has been right to start the new sections. September/October work well as it allows the section to get established before the summer camping season.

    Opening the section at the time that will work best (in terms of leaders and young people) is more important to us than the time that is financially best.

    The new Cub Pack we are opening this october will be the third "autumn launched" section. The new Scout Troop will hopefully launch in September 2016 and that will then be it.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    OTOH - we only charge weekly fees if there is a cost to us. So, over the summer when we are out and about, we take no money in. So costs to parents are shockingly low now. Some have even suggested that we should increase our fees! They have told us that we are too cheap!
    A wise man (for some reason I thought it might have been you, but i'm guessing not) that if you undercharge for something, people undervalue it.

    We charge an average level of subs (£105 a year), and we charge a reasonably high rate for camps (minimum of £20/24 hours). It allows us to do a lot, to not have to worry about whether we can afford to, for example, hire a minibus for camp. It means we buy good quality food rather than value. It means we can pay to send our leaders on training courses for things like archery. We still get told we are cheap.

    (When a new parent asked how much we charged for a weekend camp and I told them its normally between £30 and £40, they looked shocked. I started to explain that if it was too expensive we could look at how the group could help when they started laughing and said they weren't shocked at how expensive it was... but at how cheap it was. They had just paid hundreds for a 3 day school residential.)

    I suspect if I were in your position Ewan (and i don't know your area - whether or not it is affluent) but I would be charging £1/head for those weeks that cost you nothing to build up a bit of a kitty to buy new kit etc.

    It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves

  4. #154
    Very Old Member BigBadBaloo's Avatar
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    Dan,

    I rather suspect that there are quite a few groups out there that are living "hand to mouth", and probably do run with relatively low reserves. Like you, we have our own hall and being a large group that has been well managed over the years, do have reserves (some might even say not well managed as our reserves are quite significant), but I think we may be the lucky ones.
    Peter

    Former CSL - 2nd Bracknell


    A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.¯ Lao Tzu (600 BC - 531 BC)

  5. #155
    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by recneps View Post
    No... its the time that has been right to start the new sections. September/October work well as it allows the section to get established before the summer camping season.

    Opening the section at the time that will work best (in terms of leaders and young people) is more important to us than the time that is financially best.

    The new Cub Pack we are opening this october will be the third "autumn launched" section. The new Scout Troop will hopefully launch in September 2016 and that will then be it.

    - - - Updated - - -



    A wise man (for some reason I thought it might have been you, but i'm guessing not) that if you undercharge for something, people undervalue it.

    We charge an average level of subs (£105 a year), and we charge a reasonably high rate for camps (minimum of £20/24 hours). It allows us to do a lot, to not have to worry about whether we can afford to, for example, hire a minibus for camp. It means we buy good quality food rather than value. It means we can pay to send our leaders on training courses for things like archery. We still get told we are cheap.

    (When a new parent asked how much we charged for a weekend camp and I told them its normally between £30 and £40, they looked shocked. I started to explain that if it was too expensive we could look at how the group could help when they started laughing and said they weren't shocked at how expensive it was... but at how cheap it was. They had just paid hundreds for a 3 day school residential.)

    I suspect if I were in your position Ewan (and i don't know your area - whether or not it is affluent) but I would be charging £1/head for those weeks that cost you nothing to build up a bit of a kitty to buy new kit etc.
    I was only quoting someone else ( don't know who). However, I had exactly this conversation with a centre that we will be working with. They offered to drop the prices by a further 50%, even though they had already dropped them by 30%. This would have meant that people were getting a lot for next to nothing. We mutually agreed to keep the prices at the first discount becase the second discount made it undervalued.

    In time, we may come to a termly fee, but for now we are happy collecting the money weekly, when we have to. It is largely about Goodwill.

    We get a huge amount of support from parents. We don't even have to ask most times. Which is a huge contrast to what happened at the Scout Group where we had plenty of Leaders but parents were very reluctant to help out.

    In fact, we know that even though the old Group now has a shortage of Leaders, they still can't get parents to help. To the point of threatening to cancel meetings. We operate with three or four adults every week, and if Fiona and I can't make it, others step up to help as soon as they know that we are unavailable. I don't want to lose that by having parents feel that they pay enough. If you know what I mean.

    I do feel bad that my Leaders are paying for their own training now - but I have had several come and tell me that they have renewed their Archery. It wasn't until my own renewal came up that I realised that they had all paid the £40 out of their own pocket without question.

    I have some who might be up for doing their L1 Kayak, and when I said that I didn't have the funds to pay at the moment, they have all said, no worries, if we want to do it we will pay...

    Changed days. What a difference a fresh start has made.
    Ewan Scott

    It seems that there are a lot of Nawyecka Comanch around....





    Nawyecka Comanch'": "Means roundabout--man says he's going one way, means to go t'other" Ethan Edwards - The Searchers



    www.upperdearnevalleynavigators.org.uk

  6. #156
    ADC (Support) & DMM mediamanager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by recneps View Post
    Am I the only one who finds it concerning that a group large enough for this to be a significant cost increase would run with such low reserves that they would be unable to afford a couple of hundred pounds?

    I know groups without premises don't necessary carry the sort of reserves that those of us with halls have to... and obviously new groups wont have had time to build up financial security, but its a bit worrying that there are established groups living "hand to mouth"

    We always "lose" at capitation time, as we have an unfortunate habit of starting new sections in October... means we don't get a full year of Subs in from those new members before capitation is due.
    How many execs actually have a reserves policy?

    https://www.gov.uk/charity-financial-reserves

    Not many I would guess. If that's the case then maybe some aren't "doing just fine" after all.

    "If you are preparing accruals accounts, by law you must set out your reserves policy – or reasons for not holding reserves – in your trustees’ annual report."
    Last edited by mediamanager; 23-07-2015 at 09:33 AM.
    Mark Pullen
    Bradford South District (ADC (Support) & DMM)
    Trustee - 7th SV Gomersal Scout Group

    Formerly:
    Cub SA - 3rd SV Scholes Scout Group
    Hove Edge Scout Group (GSL, Trustee)
    West Yorkshire Scout County (ACC Cubs, Agent 2:007, County Secretary, County MM, Gang Show Secretary, Gang Show Media)
    Keighley District (ADC Cubs, ADC Beavers, DMM, Trustee)
    8th Keighley Scout Group (ACSL, CSL, GSL, Group Chair)

    All posts made by myself are of a personal nature.

  7. #157
    Senior Member recneps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mediamanager View Post
    How many execs actually have a reserves policy?
    Are we unusual in having one?

    It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves

  8. #158
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBadBaloo View Post
    Dan,

    I rather suspect that there are quite a few groups out there that are living "hand to mouth", and probably do run with relatively low reserves. Like you, we have our own hall and being a large group that has been well managed over the years, do have reserves (some might even say not well managed as our reserves are quite significant), but I think we may be the lucky ones.
    The accusation of being "not well managed" is only applicable if there's no written policy of why the reserves are there and what uses they are allocated for.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by recneps View Post
    Are we unusual in having one?
    Probably!

    I managed to get our exec to adopt one that was viable / appropriate but whether it will be reviewed is the key question.
    Mark Pullen
    Bradford South District (ADC (Support) & DMM)
    Trustee - 7th SV Gomersal Scout Group

    Formerly:
    Cub SA - 3rd SV Scholes Scout Group
    Hove Edge Scout Group (GSL, Trustee)
    West Yorkshire Scout County (ACC Cubs, Agent 2:007, County Secretary, County MM, Gang Show Secretary, Gang Show Media)
    Keighley District (ADC Cubs, ADC Beavers, DMM, Trustee)
    8th Keighley Scout Group (ACSL, CSL, GSL, Group Chair)

    All posts made by myself are of a personal nature.

  9. #159
    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by recneps View Post
    Are we unusual in having one?
    I hope not.

    3.48.c The Group Executive Committee must
    ensure that proper financial planning and
    budgetary control is operated within the
    Group.


    In my opinion, to run without any reserves is not proper financial planning. Ok, on startup, yes, reserves won't exist, but still, as a general principle.
    Ian Wilkins
    Farnham District Explorer Scout Commissioner

    Jambowlree - Worldwide Scout Ten Pin Bowling Competition
    All sections, all countries, runs December 2018 - May 2019
    http://www.jambowlree.org

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  11. #160
    Senior Member recneps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mediamanager View Post
    The accusation of being "not well managed" is only applicable if there's no written policy of why the reserves are there and what uses they are allocated for.

    - - - Updated - - -



    Probably!

    I managed to get our exec to adopt one that was viable / appropriate but whether it will be reviewed is the key question.
    The actual "amount" is set annually - the policy states how it is set (I can't remember the details now but it includes our insurance excess, a year's worth of fixed bills, and a general contingency)

    We also have ringfenced amounts - one is for hall refurbishment (ie at the end of the year any money that was brought in for hall refurbishment is shown on the accounts as ringfenced for that in the future). If we buy the minibus then any "surplus" brought in by minibus hire will be ringfenced for the minibus.

    It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves

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  13. #161
    ADC (Support) & DMM mediamanager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ianw View Post
    I hope not.

    3.48.c The Group Executive Committee must
    ensure that proper financial planning and
    budgetary control is operated within the
    Group.


    In my opinion, to run without any reserves is not proper financial planning. Ok, on startup, yes, reserves won't exist, but still, as a general principle.
    General principle or policy?

    There can we a vast difference between these.

    When a policy is in place it's the responsibility of the treasurer to raise at the exec if the funds exceed the agreed reserves and the trustees then record the reasons and any actions required. Likewise if the reserves drop below the policy figures then the trustees need to record why and how the situation will be corrected.

    Good financial governance is essential but probably not always seen as more important than many other agenda items that crop up.
    Mark Pullen
    Bradford South District (ADC (Support) & DMM)
    Trustee - 7th SV Gomersal Scout Group

    Formerly:
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    Hove Edge Scout Group (GSL, Trustee)
    West Yorkshire Scout County (ACC Cubs, Agent 2:007, County Secretary, County MM, Gang Show Secretary, Gang Show Media)
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    All posts made by myself are of a personal nature.

  14. #162
    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mediamanager View Post
    General principle or policy?
    Ok, if you want me to choose my words carefully. I'd say that an exec should have a reserves policy, and that policy should be that there should be some reserves! The actuals will depend on all sorts of things of course.

    Ian
    Ian Wilkins
    Farnham District Explorer Scout Commissioner

    Jambowlree - Worldwide Scout Ten Pin Bowling Competition
    All sections, all countries, runs December 2018 - May 2019
    http://www.jambowlree.org

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    Quote Originally Posted by ianw View Post
    Ok, if you want me to choose my words carefully. I'd say that an exec should have a reserves policy, and that policy should be that there should be some reserves! The actuals will depend on all sorts of things of course.
    Sorry - I wasn't being picky on your post (but now see it looks that way) but more about the fact that many group execs will receive figures from the treasurer but have no idea the implications until the wheel falls off .... or in our case the roof falls in!
    Mark Pullen
    Bradford South District (ADC (Support) & DMM)
    Trustee - 7th SV Gomersal Scout Group

    Formerly:
    Cub SA - 3rd SV Scholes Scout Group
    Hove Edge Scout Group (GSL, Trustee)
    West Yorkshire Scout County (ACC Cubs, Agent 2:007, County Secretary, County MM, Gang Show Secretary, Gang Show Media)
    Keighley District (ADC Cubs, ADC Beavers, DMM, Trustee)
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    All posts made by myself are of a personal nature.

  17. #164
    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mediamanager View Post
    Sorry - I wasn't being picky on your post (but now see it looks that way) but more about the fact that many group execs will receive figures from the treasurer but have no idea the implications until the wheel falls off .... or in our case the roof falls in!
    Don't worry, no offence taken. And yes, people on the exec need to look at the figures and question what they mean. EVen if it does make the meeting last longer.
    Ian Wilkins
    Farnham District Explorer Scout Commissioner

    Jambowlree - Worldwide Scout Ten Pin Bowling Competition
    All sections, all countries, runs December 2018 - May 2019
    http://www.jambowlree.org

  18. #165
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    Quote Originally Posted by ianw View Post
    Don't worry, no offence taken. And yes, people on the exec need to look at the figures and question what they mean. EVen if it does make the meeting last longer.
    Normally meetings drag because of one or more of the following:
    a) the chair struggles to manage the agenda
    b) the chair struggles to manage the "characters"
    c) the chair doesn't manage AOB in advance - we never accepted AOB on the night for decisions but decided to either add to future agenda or a separate meeting if it was urgent
    d) the chair allowed the agenda to contain too many items - an additional meeting is required or items deferring

    Hmmmm .... a common factor in all these!
    Mark Pullen
    Bradford South District (ADC (Support) & DMM)
    Trustee - 7th SV Gomersal Scout Group

    Formerly:
    Cub SA - 3rd SV Scholes Scout Group
    Hove Edge Scout Group (GSL, Trustee)
    West Yorkshire Scout County (ACC Cubs, Agent 2:007, County Secretary, County MM, Gang Show Secretary, Gang Show Media)
    Keighley District (ADC Cubs, ADC Beavers, DMM, Trustee)
    8th Keighley Scout Group (ACSL, CSL, GSL, Group Chair)

    All posts made by myself are of a personal nature.

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