As with any non-profit, fundraising is a critical element for SMYLe, but not necessarily a complete programme killer.
Over the past few years, SMYLe has relied solely on the ability of IRAS to generate income, cover expenses and meet its own goal of donating 10% of Revenue to SMYLe. This isn’t 10% of profit, or even South Africa’s standard of 1% of Net Profit After Tax, but rather of Total Revenue.
When times have been bad at IRAS, SMYLe has simply had to weather the storm of zero cash, making do without even the basic requirements such as repairs to the team’s instruments. However, sole reliance on IRAS has meant that many of SMYLe’s goals have not been achieved…and will never be achieved.
When times are lean, SMYLe is unable to afford to pay for tutors to work with the kids to help them improve their grades, nor can SMYLe afford to pay a full-time programme administrator, whose job includes trying to find places where teams of kids can demonstrate their musical talents. SMYLe becomes powerless in attempting to reward the kids who work the hardest in SMYLe with such things as laptops (for self-study assistance), or an end-of-year trip to perform somewhere like Cape Town, Durban, or even Sun City. Oddly enough, such times also result in SMYLe not having the personnel capacity to attempt to fundraise. But we can still dream…
SMYLe’s 2018 fundraising goals are both strategic and optimistic.
For example, SMYLe needs to raise roughly R250 000 to be able to purchase new ‘production quality instruments’, and then to facilitate the recording and production of new CDs. What’s interesting is that if…big IF…SMYLe were to be able to afford to produce new CDs, the return on investment would be enormous. Inclusive of new instruments, transportation, meals, copyright fees, and the cost of services from music recording professionals (at massively discounted rates), SMYLe could be expected to spend R250 000 to produce 10 000 new CDs (5 000 copies of two separate CDs), with a projected income of up to R1 million (R100 per CD). This is a profit of 300%!
Working on the assumption that SMYLe can sell an average of 50 CDs per performance – in the right location, such as Nelson Mandela Square (where access to foreign tourists wanting to support the kids) – the gathering of income would require 200 performances…which could take as long as eight years, at an average revenue of R125 000 per annum. This is what could be referred to as a sustainable revenue stream, covering roughly 25% of SMYLe’s current annual operating budget…and thus truly a “Hand Up” (rather than a “handout”).
|Note to Companies:||In South African terms, a contribution towards producing new CDs could be deemed Enterprise Development (ED) Spend. Rather than “give” the money to SMYLe, a company could “lend” the money with an expected payback period of only two years.|
Note to Companies:
In South African terms, a contribution towards producing new CDs could be deemed Enterprise Development (ED) Spend. Rather than “give” the money to SMYLe, a company could “lend” the money with an expected payback period of only two years.
SMYLe also needs to be able to recruit a Maths teacher of similar experience and quality to the gentleman who worked with the kids in 2012 (part-time) and 2013 (full-time). Thabo was fantastic! Zimbabwe raised and educated, Thabo struggled to find work in South Africa, even though he was far more qualified to teach Maths than nearly every one of the Maths teachers at SMYLe’s feeder schools. The return on this investment should be a “no brainer” for corporate donors, as access to Matriculants with good Math marks should be both a short and long-term HR requirement.
Based on our prior experience in 2013, having a full-time Maths teacher can elevate SMYLe’s learners’ Maths marks by roughly 30%, to an average mark across a pool of over 60 learners of more than 50% (plus spin-off increases in other marks due to the learning of enhanced study skills). This is in stark contrast to an average Maths mark of only 37% at the schools SMYLe currently gets its learners from. We believe our kids deserve far better than what their government schools currently offer!
SMYLe – particularly in the presence of a Maths teacher – requires access to funding to provide safe transport home from our after-school programmes, particularly in winter. The kids do not live in the safest of places – with historical incidents of kids being robbed, bullied and/or beat up, and in one case raped on their way home after attending music practice and/or our supplemental Maths classes. At a cost of only R300 per day, four days per week, for 40 ‘school weeks’, the annual budget for this peace of mind is R48 000.
The ultimate fundraising goal is the estimated R2 000 000 cost of buying land in Dobsonville, securing the property with a perimeter wall and/or fence, erecting an activities and storage space based on the use of two used shipping containers, and outfitting the space with desks, whiteboards, solar electricity panels, and then attaching sill planter boxes in which to grow spinach, cucumbers and tomatoes for our Saturday meals requirements.
The ‘SMYLe Centre’ is intended to be a place where the shortcomings of having to beg for storage and classroom space from a local high school can be avoided, particularly in the absence of a school’s willingness to protect our musical instruments and/or guarantee access to at least one classroom for after-school use.
SMYLe will be better able to monitor and manage the safe use and storage of our musical instruments, while ensuring that our learners have access to a WiFi enabled Homework Club facility. Using basic access control technology, SMYLe will also be able to improve our monitoring of attendance, while reducing physical security risks by only permitting card carrying members onto the site. We further expect to create a Reading Room on the grounds of the SMYLe Centre, stocked with age-appropriate reading materials, and a system to control borrowings.
Because the SMYLe Centre will only be used by our learners in an after-school capacity, from Monday to Friday, and then in the afternoons on Saturdays and Sundays, the space will be offered to a local Early Childhood Development (ECD) programme (i.e., a pre-school facility) for use during the day, and then to a local church for use on Sunday mornings. The space will be made available to the local council for special events and/or stakeholder engagement sessions between the municipality and area residents – under the watchful eye of SMYLe – further ensuring that the SMYLe Centre will be a fully utilised facility.
The SMYLe Centre will be protected by high walls and fencing, as well as a full-time on-site Facilities Caretaker, with a home provided for Andrew: a 14-year veteran of working with SMYLe’s Programme Director. Andrew will not only maintain the centre, and the musical instruments, and the planned food gardens, but will also become the team’s driver if/when SMYLe is able to afford to purchase its own minibus (or at least a bakkie for transporting the instruments to/from performances).
For more information about our donor opportunities, please contact Michael via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or simply click on Donate.
Because SMYLe is a fully registered Section 18A not-for-profit entity, donation receipts and supporting documentation will be made available upon request.
To download the following 2018-2019 Programme Requirement brochure, click here