“”At last week’s Members’ Forum, we provided a presentation of both the Financial and Operational state of play of the Club to our part-owners, in regard to events of the 2022-23 season leading up to where we currently sit today, as well as an overview of the required actions needed over the coming months, and an update on our Operational intentions as we move into 2023-24 and beyond. We updated Members on Project Reset and officially launched the Club’s Save our Summer campaign.
Project Reset will form the basis for everything we do from today, as we officially communicate the intentions of our Save our Summer campaign to our wider fanbase, through to when we move into our New Home and continue to grow as a Community Club. This is an exciting, and challenging time for everyone connected with the Club and we need everyone to stand up and help us return to success, both on and off the pitch. Since the EGM and subsequent elections in November 2022, the Club has seen wholesale changes at a Board level and significant review and action of all areas of the Club has taken place, and while at times the situation inherited by current incumbents of the Board is far from ideal, we are not looking to lay blame; we are moving on determined to reflect, review, and renew our activities. Concentrating on the facts, not rumours or opinions, will help us all learn from the experience and move on collectively.
Whilst the future for the Club does indeed look bright, with so many exciting things on the horizon, it is this current gap between close season of 2022-23 and pre-season 2023-24 that we need to bridge, and it is to that end that we officially launch our Save our Summer campaign.
Every season, clubs at all levels around the country have a host of close season costs that simply must be fulfilled, and for us this includes close season pitch maintenance, close season stadium maintenance, financial audits, insurance renewals and of course the standard rent on Hayden Road for these months of the year when the Club doesn’t typically generate revenue. Beyond this are the front-loaded costs needed for things such as the kitchen, which we are in talks to have re-opened for home matchdays from next season, and the regeneration of our Club Shop offerings, both of which will serve to bolster the Club budget over next season. This leaves the Club with two options. The first is to pickpocket the necessary funds required from the commercial revenue earmarked for next season along with funds generated from advanced sales of 2023-24 season tickets and membership renewals, which will only serve to reduce the budget available for next season’s playing staff. The second is to come together as a unit and use the close season to generate the funds necessary to bridge the gap, ensuring that next season we are able to provide Chris with the most competitive budget we are able to, ensuring that we enter Step 4 with the aspirations of being a competitive force. It is to this end that we launch our Save our Summer campaign.
Save our Summer is designed to be a collaborative effort between The Board, The Membership and The Fanbase to generate these critical close season funds whilst protecting next season’s budget-forming revenue streams. The Board will continue to work hard in the coming weeks to ensure we are able to access as many grants available to us as we can. We are also working on ways we can ensure any annual functions we partake in serve to create a revenue stream for SoS. While The Board will do as much as we can to generate immediate revenue outside of the standard streams, our best efforts will simply not be enough to achieve the target. At this stage we call on the support of The Fanbase to assist. Through donations to the Save our Summer campaign, engagement in incentives and the creation of further fundraising activities.
Keep looking out for ways in which you can get involved in supporting this campaign. Currently our three main sources of revenue to hit this target come in the forms of:
Donations – We are aware that not everybody will be able to donate money to the SoS campaign, but we ask that if you are in position to do so, then please do, and encourage others to do the same.
Please click on the Donate button on the Club Shop website: https://www.afcdiamondsshop.com/
Thank you to all who have sent donations so far, your support is hugely appreciated.
Grants – The board will do everything they can to ensure that we are in the conversation for all amounts of funding available to us and we will provide updates as we move through these processes. Currently we are in with a good chance of securing a grant of up to £1,000 from TicketSource and you can vote for the Club here: https://ticketsource.wishpondpages.com/ticketsource-community-fund/entries/201938866
Please vote for the Club and share this around your own individual networks encouraging others to do the same.
Fundraising – The Board, in collaboration with the Volunteers Working Group are working tirelessly to ensure that we are present at all local events where we can promote the Club, our goals and the Save our Summer Campaign, as well as hosting our own fundraising events. Our fundraising began with a Season Ticket Raffle at the Members’ Forum, and we are delighted to say that thanks to the generosity of the winner, who donated the prize back to the Club, we are in a position to extend this raffle out further and the raffle will be run again at our next home game against Bedford Town on Easter Monday. Tickets are £10 each with a winner being drawn at half-time. Look out for the Save our Summer campaign logo over the coming weeks, and know that if you back these initiatives that your support will directly contribute to the overall target.
Volunteers – As always, our Club simply doesn’t function without the support of volunteers, and as we move towards the close season, the Volunteer Working Group have signalled their intentions to move their focus towards the SoS campaign. A host of ideas are on the table currently for fundraising opportunities and these will of course require the support of our volunteers. If you would like to get involved and donate your time and / or ideas please drop an email to email@example.com, speak to any of our volunteers at a match day or contact Dave Bland directly.
We will also be hosting Virtual Think Tanks in the form of drop-in meetings for anybody who wants to contribute their ideas and support to the SoS campaign, and further information on this is available here.
Finally, a plea to please support this campaign in any way you feel you are able. The actions taken today, in bridging the gap between this season and next, directly influence our abilities to deliver on the promises of tomorrow, and remember, that whilst the task is great, we are greater!!!””