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7 Things to Know Before Financing and Budgeting For Your Event

American poet Richard Armour once said, ‘That money talks I’ll not deny; I heard it once, it said “Goodbye”’. While we doubt that Richard ever tried to finance his own conference or event, he certainly understood how organisers feel when trying to balance that fantastic concept with a healthy looking budget.

The thing to remember is that while expense columns have a habit of ending up longer than expected, there are plenty of ways that you can boost your event income aside from the usual ticket sales, workshop fees, etc. Here are seven finance and budgeting strategies for events that will help bring a smile to your Finance Manager’s face:

1. Applying For a Government Grant

If you are holding a community event, you can apply for funding from your State Ministry for the Arts, the Australia Council, and several other government departments or philanthropic organisations.

As with most Government related requests, the process can take months so apply at least 6-12 months in advance. Be sure to check that your event matches their criteria before you start so you aren’t waiting around for a guaranteed “Dear John” letter.

Things to know:

  • Be prepared to receive less money than you apply for
  • If the amount offered will compromise your project to an unacceptable level, you are better trying somewhere else
  • Small grants – smaller applications. Big grants – Long detailed applications
  • Have a 'plan B' in case it falls through

Useful websites:

NSW Ministry for the Arts/Australia Council grant guidelines

A calendar and directory of community funding

A guide to all commonwealth government funding

Australia's most extensive funding database

2. GST on Grants and Sponsorship

If you are registered for GST, tax must be paid if a grant or sponsorship has strings attached, even for in-kind support. Examples might be that the grant is spent in a certain way, or offered in exchange for publicity and/or other benefits through your event.

3. Finding your own Sponsors

The most effective place to start looking for event sponsors is in your local area. Local businesses, clubs and organisations will often get behind an event to be recognised as a supporter of their own community. Sponsorship can take many forms including money, food and beverages, raffle prizes, free advertising etc. You could organise for a local business to team up with your local newspaper to share the cost of a full page advertisement of the event with space available for their own logos or promotion.

Click here to read the entire Funding and Budgeting tips article


Want to know more?

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