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 Post subject: ECF Funding
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 6:12 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 08, 2006 9:05 pm
Posts: 4234
Location: Evesham
Your attention should be drawn to the latest Council papers ready for the forthcoming Finance meeting:

Here:

http://www.englishchess.org.uk/

And here:

http://www.englishchess.org.uk/?page_id=897

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Carl Hibbard


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 Post subject: Re: ECF Funding
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:13 pm 
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The reports are very detailed and I applaud Andrew Farthing for getting them out on time. However, things are incredibly bleak, 85% of players on the grading list to pay £18 per year for the ECF to meet it's funding requirement. I'm not sure I see that happening.


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 Post subject: Re: ECF Funding
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:39 pm 
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Aren't the ECF entitled to income from the BCF PIF ?
Is it in there somewhere ?


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 Post subject: Re: ECF Funding
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:45 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 3:38 pm
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Location: Worcestershire
I'm afraid I'm rather inclined to agree with you Matthew. There is only one answer. We need more chess players! Redditch are doing a promotional morning in Redditch Library in a couple of weeks, as part of the library's try something new week. If anyone from the area reading this is thinking of taking up chess come and say hello. You will be made very welcome.

Perhaps we should have a national recruitment week with clubs all trying various promotions at the same time. It might generate some publicity if lots of clubs joined in.


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 Post subject: Re: ECF Funding
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 8:05 pm 
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michele clack wrote:
There is only one answer. We need more chess players!

.....Perhaps we should have a national recruitment week with clubs all trying various promotions at the same time. It might generate some publicity if lots of clubs joined in.


I agree. A national recruitment week sounds great. A national strategy to encourage participation of all ages, genders, backgrounds would be great too.

Adverts with pictures of our young IMs/GMs with the slogan 'Chess is a sport for everyone!' would enhance the profile. Any publicity which appeals to the average man will deliver results. Some people do have the idea that chess is only for 'intellectuals'. I think that this is wrong and needs to be dispelled with a more up to date viewpoint.

I think that this is all connected with improving the perception of chess in this country and making it more appealing to all.

I also think that there should be something done about the numbers that drop off at 11. There seem to be an awful lot. What can we do? I don't know. If we could keep the interest alive, then we would have a healthy crop of adults who in turn would teach their children and keep it going that way.

With numbers falling, the right questions need to be asked and addressed, otherwise money will eventually dry up completely.


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 Post subject: Re: ECF Funding
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 8:14 pm 
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The ECF has lost the government grant of £60,000. Effectively the report says (as I read it) despite cost savings the ECF needs to fund approximately three quarters of that internally, or to put it another way the ECF is currently burning through £4,000 of capital per month. Recruitment drives are all good things and should go ahead, but it is hard to see that resolving the financial issue in the short or medium term.


Last edited by Matthew Turner on Wed Mar 09, 2011 8:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: ECF Funding
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 8:18 pm 
It might help if the ECF could invoice people correctly. It's never once emailed me for the correct amount. Ever.

I've come home to an invoice in the post (how quaint ~ I hope the new IT manager has heard of email) for the Brighton International and surprise surprise it's wrong.

Costs would reduce significantly if they got things right first time.


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 Post subject: Re: ECF Funding
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 8:18 pm 
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Matthew Turner wrote:
The reports are very detailed and I applaud Andrew Farthing for getting them out on time. However, things are incredibly bleak, 85% of players on the grading list to pay £18 per year for the ECF to meet it's funding requirement. I'm not sure I see that happening.


I'm not sure the judgement that the Membership only route is "cheaper" than a hybrid system is correct, or is only correct if you presume volunteers to enforce membership collection. Who is going to chase all those people who haven't paid their £ 18 renewal particularly if they don't reappear after a summer break?

Giving new players a period of grace before allowing them to become members is all very well, but what about ex-players? The proposals seem to imply - no games a year - cost zero, 1 game a year (in the second and subsequent years) - cost £ 18. I'm sure it's a really good way of driving away marginal players.

Presumably the ECF is expecting County Associations to collect on its behalf. Typically this might treble the amount collected by County Associations for the ECF.


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 Post subject: Re: ECF Funding
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 8:26 pm 
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Matthew Turner wrote:
The ECF has lost the government grant of £60,000.


One rather key point is that because of VAT, you have to collect £ 75,000 to keep £ 60,000 for yourself, the VATman taking £ 15,000.

It's actually a general point that will affect many organisations that have lost government funding.

You wonder to what extent there is scope for ECF activities to be run by "smaller" organisations - those below the VAT threshold. To a considerable extent, this already happens. All congresses apart from the ECF's British Championship are independent. I'm not sure about newish events such as the English Seniors. From a VAT perspective it would be best not run by the ECF.


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 Post subject: Re: ECF Funding
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 8:55 pm 
Roger de Coverly wrote:
Matthew Turner wrote:
The ECF has lost the government grant of £60,000.


One rather key point is that because of VAT, you have to collect £ 75,000 to keep £ 60,000 for yourself, the VATman taking £ 15,000.

It's actually a general point that will affect many organisations that have lost government funding.

You wonder to what extent there is scope for ECF activities to be run by "smaller" organisations - those below the VAT threshold. To a considerable extent, this already happens. All congresses apart from the ECF's British Championship are independent. I'm not sure about newish events such as the English Seniors. From a VAT perspective it would be best not run by the ECF.


I have already suggested that grading could be outsourced to a separate company so that such a company could remain below the VAT threshold.


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 Post subject: Re: ECF Funding
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:25 pm 
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Matthew Turner wrote:
The ECF has lost the government grant of £60,000. Effectively the report says (as I read it) despite cost savings the ECF needs to fund approximately three quarters of that internally, or to put it another way the ECF is currently burning through £4,000 of capital per month.

Matthew,

I don't understand your figures. The combined effect of the changes in Game Fee/Membership Subs and the cost savings achieved to date is that the ECF is budgeted in 2011-12 to make a deficit of about £16,000. This means that the actions already taken have offset the effect of losing about three quarters of the government grant (your comments suggest that the proportions are the other way around, if I've understood them correctly).

Since the new funding options will require a year to implement - or at least the "Membership Only" option would - the Board is proposing to seek Council's agreement to a one-off injection of capital (£15,000) from the PIF to cover the gap. We shall also be approaching the John Robinson Youth Chess Trust for a grant to cover the bulk of the Junior Chess budget (£5,000). These are not actions we could repeat every year, hence the need to decide on a solution which balances income and expenditure from 2012-13 on.


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 Post subject: Re: ECF Funding
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:32 pm 
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Roger de Coverly wrote:
One rather key point is that because of VAT, you have to collect £ 75,000 to keep £ 60,000 for yourself, the VATman taking £ 15,000.

It's actually a general point that will affect many organisations that have lost government funding.

This is indeed a key point. It has made the challenge of finding cost reductions to offset the loss of the grant all the more difficult and ultimately, it seems, impossible

I have referred Sean's suggestion about splitting the ECF into smaller units to fall below the VAT threshold to our Finance Director. Ensuring that any changes stayed the right side of the tax avoidance/tax evasion boundary would be critical, and I understand that this was a barrier when a similar-sounding idea was considered once before. I'm not a tax specialist or an accountant, so I can't comment much beyond what I've just said and have to leave it to wiser heads than mine.


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 Post subject: Re: ECF Funding
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:33 pm 
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Posts: 614
E Michael White wrote:
Aren't the ECF entitled to income from the BCF PIF ?
Is it in there somewhere ?

The PIF income is in the ECF accounts, but it only amounts to some £6,300 a year.


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 Post subject: Re: ECF Funding
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:42 pm 
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Matthew Turner wrote:
85% of players on the grading list to pay £18 per year for the ECF to meet its funding requirement. I'm not sure I see that happening.

I'm not suggesting for a minute that the proposals are anything other than a significant increase in players' current contribution, so this is a legitimate concern.

Part of the challenge is that many individual players do not realise that a slice of their club subscription is funding the ECF because it is at such a remove, i.e. the sub includes an amount to cover league fees levied by the League or County Association, which in turn has to charge these to cover the cost of Game Fee payable to the ECF.


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 Post subject: Re: ECF Funding
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:49 pm 
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Posts: 614
I should say that it had been my intention to start a thread on the Funding proposals when they appeared on the website, but I was beaten to the punch! The ECF webmaster was on leave today, so I hadn't expected the documents to be posted until tomorrow.

I'll try to keep a watch on the posts here and respond as quickly as I can. Bear with me, however, because I am still spending a lot of time on my ECF work and won't be able to read everything as soon as it appears. As I said in my comments on the ECF Home Page, I invite questions by e-mail to chief.executive@englishchess.org.uk and will use my blog on the ECF site to maintain a summary of the questions received and answers given.


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