Different groups have different approaches to covering the cost of trips, and there is no one ‘correct’ way to do it. However, as a general principle, Woodcraft Folk groups should do their best to make sure that the cost of activities doesn’t exclude anyone from participating.
The simplest first step is to set a price for the trip in advance, based on the projected costs divided by the minimum number of people who you expect to come. You may choose to set different prices for:
- Adults and children
- Children of Woodchip age (5 and under)
- Second and subsequent members of the same family/household
- Low waged/unwaged families
How can we reduce financial barriers for young people & volunteers?
You should make it clear that anyone for whom the cost of coming on the camp or trip would be a barrier can discuss their circumstances with their group leader or the trip organiser in confidence. You could negotiate a reduced price that is affordable (e.g. just covering the cost of the food or paying in small instalments rather than all at once), or waive fees entirely. Some groups/districts created a more formal bursary scheme, where some of their funds are ringfenced for families to apply for support with camp fees and other such costs. Be aware that the additional costs of any equipment needed for camp might also present a barrier – it may be appropriate to offer to loan equipment such as sleeping bags or walking boots if this is a possibility.
An alternative solution is to invite voluntary donations, and provide a suggested amount per person based on your projected costs. This enables people to pay what they can towards the cost of a trip, and is similar to the approach taken by many schools to funding educational trips. As Woodcraft Folk is a registered charity, if you accept voluntary donations instead of charging fees, you can increase the value of donations from UK taxpayers through the Gift Aid scheme (see our Gift Aid Guidance for more information). You may wish to set the ‘suggested donation’ figure slightly higher than the projected costs per head, so that you donations from those who can afford to pay the suggested amount offset any shortfall from those who donate less.
How do I budget for the event?
Drawing up a budget for your trip will help you to ensure that you bring in enough funds to cover your outgoings, and that you keep costs under control. Having an outline of the costs of the activity will also be useful if you are applying for grant funding – you will usually have to provide this as part of your application. You will need to include the cost of:
- Accommodation (whether per head or an ‘all in’ sum)
- Food (remembering that with more people you will be better able to realise economies of scale)
- Programme (equipment, craft materials, bought-in activities or trips)
- Transport (hire of van/minibus, train/bus fares)
You may also want to allow for:
- Depreciation on equipment (especially for camping)
- Volunteer expenses (e.g. mileage for volunteers using their own vehicles)
- A bit extra to enable you to discount the cost for low-income families if needed
- Contingency (to cover unexpected costs – say 10% of the total budget)
Example – 20 young people and 4 adults staying at Height Gate for the weekend –
|Food||£240 (£5 x 24 people x 2 days)||£256|
In this example the cost shared between 24 people would be just under £50 per head – or £60 each if a charge is only made for young people to attend.
How can my group fundraise for a trip?
Some groups fundraise to get enough money to be able to support the whole group to attend the camp and to be able to support those for whom a barrier was
Sources of funding to support young people attending camps/residentials
If it is not feasible to raise the full cost of your trip through fees or donations from parents/carers, you will need to seek funds from other sources. These could include:
- Fundraising events within your group, such as a pea fair or a ceilidh
- In-kind support, such as donations of food from a local supermarket or supplier
- Public fundraising, such as bag packing at a local supermarket or having an activity stall a local event such as a community carnival
- Applying for grants, such as Awards for All or the Co-op Local Community Fund
- Drawing on any financial reserves held by your group, district or region
Depending on the age of your group, fundraising activities or writing grant applications could provide group night activities in the lead-up to your trip away. Many grant funders in particular will look favourably on an application where the young people who will benefit have been actively involved in creating it.