Strategic Plan - Positive Revenue

Strategic Plan - Goal 1 - Positive Revenue
We delve into Goal 1, Positive Revenue. Why? Because we want you, in the Winchelsea Community, to know what's going on and to see if you can provide advice and/or assistance.
The Committee has direct and legal obligations. One of those is the financial sustainability of the organisation. That doesn't mean that we carry any debts (unless we've been silly) but it does mean we need to be sure that bills can be paid and funds are being handled and directed as intended and as expected. If the organisation looks like outgoings are permanently going to exceed income, the Committee must make the hard decision to close down the organisation.
Fortunately, that isn't the case, and Winch House is currently in a reasonably healthy financial position. The wash-up of the pandemic has certainly left some challenges, and on top of that Winch House is now responsible for the management of the former Winchelsea Shire Hall along with the costs that come with it. So with financial sustainability being one of the most important responsibilities for the Committee, we have Goal 1 as ensuring a positive revenue (overall income greater than overall outgoings) for each financial year.
With that in mind, this Goal is broken down into 4 pieces;
  • Increase recurring (reliably consistent) income
  • Obtain grant funding for improvements and projects
  • Create partnerships for mutual benefit or sponsorships
  • Save money by reducing outgoings where possible
Writing that is the easy bit! We now need to work out how to achieve each of these. Winchelsea Community House is a member of Neighbourhood Houses Victoria (and its regional subset, Neighbourhood Houses Barwon or NHBarwon). Lobbying of State and Federal government is ongoing and has seen some wins such as the recent announcement by the current Victorian government to permanently fund 25 hours per week for those Houses who got a temporary bump-up over the last couple of years (not Winch House). Funding is still woefully inadequate though - 5 hours per day won't cut it for a growing town like Winchelsea. If you get the chance to bend the ear of a politician, please be sure to say your local community centre simply needs more funded hours to operate.
Winning grants is a bit of an art form, and Winch House has done reasonably well there. However, grants tend to cover one-off costs - replacement of existing stuff, addition of new stuff. They rarely contribute towards running costs and almost never towards staff who can make things happen. As mentioned in previous articles, grants are being applied to several important improvements. If you know of a grant that could be useful (and/or a project that it could go towards), be sure to let us know.
Partnerships & sponsorships is an interesting area with plenty of potential. We see lots of successful stories in the big population centres, it gets a bit harder for a smaller town like Winchelsea. What do you think? Without adding to an already full workload, who could Winch House pair up with to the benefit of both? What would an organisation sponsor, and in return for what? Again, we need your ideas and suggestions.
The final item is reducing costs. While relatively straightforward, there is a limit on what can be achieved. The balance is to pay for what's needed, and get the best value for every dollar, but not at the expense of too much admin time and not at the expense of the very facilities and activities that bring people in to a community centre. I do believe Winch House runs a very efficient ship in this regard, thanks to our capable manager Wendy.
So. Creative hats on. What can we do at Winch House to grow reliable income, what projects should we seek grant funding for, who can we partner with or have sponsor something, and where might cost savings come from? Your ideas and suggestions to [email protected] - let's see what you can come up with!
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