[Sca-cooks] kingdom fundraising

Terry Decker t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net
Sun Feb 24 15:34:29 PST 2008

There is a distinct difference between padding and making a profit on the 
feast or the event.  Because of the way things are done in Ansteorra, I have 
to plan for a profit to insure against a serious loss.  If you can provide 
good measure and make a profit, why not.  I'm of the opinion that a 
successful event  should return about 10% on the money risked as a hedge 
against those times you take a loss.  The one I used to hear was, "we have 
to take a loss on events because as a non-profit we can't make a profit on 

The first feast I did, we had bad weather, causing a drop in the expected 
attendance.  Between the feast and the tavern I was running, we cleared 
$1.84.  I've been a firm believer in planning the break-even point ever 
since.  The feasts I've done tend to cost from $3.50 to $5 per plate and 
were sold at $5 to $7 per plate, to include covering a finite but not 
necessarily known (before the feast) number of comps (don't ask, it's a 25+ 
year old tradition).  For what they got, I don't think anyone was 

The most embarassing profit we made was about $800 on the feast, mostly from 
falling meat prices when farms pushed an excess of beef, pork and chicken to 
market just before the event.  The site got changed and we had a profit from 
a reduced site cost, giving us about another $1,200 (IIRC).  The windfall 
was used to eliminate site fees at our next event.

Financial committees exist so that there is oversight of how money is being 
spent.  During my first turn as seneschal (when the treasurer was a deputy 
seneschal), I could have used the funds as I saw fit.  I did see some 
seneschals blithely ignore their populace's opinions about how to spend 
funds to the result of a lot of internal strife.  I'm happy to see the 
treasurers as a separate office and finance committees to oversee 
expenditures.  Finance committes are about proper corporate finacial 
controls and accountability, not about budget padding.


> Fundraising by padding event budgets is one of my hot button areas.? When 
> I was Kingdom Exchequer I was astounded to see that the groups in my 
> kingdom (Outlands) customarily made their money via events instead of 
> specific fundraisers.? When I asked why, almost to a person the answer was 
> that since we were a non profit corporation we were unable to make a 
> profit.? The only way they could see to fund their activities was to 
> inflate the feast ticket cost.? I didn't say it made any sense at all.? I 
> had a very difficult time making the right turn of not able to make a 
> profit and then making one on the event.
> I would offer up that the manipulating of event budgets to cover operating 
> costs of the group/kingdom is the largest reason why financial committees 
> now must approve every nook and cranny of financial obligations.?
> It doesn't mean we have to like it as cooks who are trying to provide a 
> "period" meal experience on a limited budget.? It does mean we have to get 
> better at the administration and budgeting of the food.?
> Never mind the idea of putting bread and butter and soups and stews first 
> to fill up the populace so you can make less of the more expensive dishes.
> Aldyth

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