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Pebbles to Boulders: Sources of Funds Part 1

Tuesday, 4 January 2011 - Posted by Mort Cooper

Let us take today’s session to talk more about administration of the Little Rock program and a topic which will certainly tip the scales of boring to extreme…. Finances. Not a topic that gets you revved up to read more, but a topic that is important to sustain the program. If something goes amiss with the section finances, just wait to see how excited folks will become then.

Preparation of a budget is a good place to start with financial planning. The key word here is planning. A budget is nothing more than a planning tool, as it deals with the money you need to operate the section. The budget helps you to think about where the money is coming from and how you are going to spend it. A good idea would be to have a get together (some would call this a meeting) with some other Little Rock volunteers to discuss the visioning of the season and how those plans match up with finances. Another good idea would be to present (or at least submit) the budget to the Board of Directors of the club. By doing so, your section then has the approval of the club on the whole for its activities for the coming season. The Board then can easily see how the Little Rock section fits in with the rest of club operations.

Effective managing of the budget and finances of the section is a little known factor toward gaining respect. This is a responsibility that should not be taken lightly, for if the finances of a section are managed effectively, you will soon gain the respect of others. While at first the reins of responsibility might be pulled a little tight, as others see how effective you are, you will soon have more leeway to operate with less scrutiny. A good example of this, but not directly related to Little Rocks, is a story that takes me back to my days at the East York Curling Club in Toronto. The mixed section was in disarray. Art Kavanaugh stepped forward to tackle the problem. Now you have to know Art…. Bull in the china shop would characterize him nicely. So the rest of us on the Board at the time were a little suspect as to what and how Art was going to succeed. One year later, the sections finances were out of the red and the spirit amongst the section caused the membership to be filled to maximum. Art had gained the respect of others and had free rein to do more great things. Art went on to a successful volunteer career with the Ontario Curling Association where he would have rose to sit as President, if not for his untimely and far-too-early passing.

Most curling clubs take membership fees to put them to use against the day-to-day operations of the club. We were fortunate at the Brant Curling Club in Brantford to have an open minded Board to allow the membership fees for youth to be utilized directly by the sections, be they Little Rocks and Juniors. The reasoning behind this was that if the club really depended on the fees collected from youth memberships for operations, then the club not in a very good financially position. Fortunately, the club was in a good financial position and the youth fees affected the over-all club budget to only a fraction. The use of these fees allowed section volunteers to concentrate on programming and freed them from the concerns of raising section-operating funds. The licence to use membership fees was taken very seriously, as a budget was submitted annually, showing wise use of the funds. At the end of the curling season and before the fiscal year end, monies not used by the Little Rock and Junior sections were turned over to the club. This management of funds was very successful, as the section showed responsibility in the use of the funds and therefore had gained respect by its effective operations. Interesting concept, eh!

We will look more at finances next week. Stay Tuned!




About Mort Cooper
Mort Cooper has been a curling administrator for over 25 years, beginning with 10 years as the Executive / Technical Director for the Ontario Curling Federation. He spent 3 years as the Curling Professional at Brantford Golf and Country followed by 10 years as Club Manager / Ice maker at the Brant Curling Club and one year as the General Manager of Guelph Curling Club. Presently, he is working on a semi-retirement career with a few outdoor pursuits, one of which is a member of the Canadian Ski Patrol System with Snow Valley Ski Resort in Barrie. In a volunteer curling capacity, Mort's career is highlighted with 10 years service as the Technical Advisor with the Uniroyal Goodrich World Junior Curling Championships, and along with his wife Donna, are major contributors to the Tim Hortons Little Rock Resource Guide. Mort acts as a resource on Little Rocks and is a Business of Curling Facilitator with the Canadian Curling Association.

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