20 October 2023
The Sedos Trustees have released a new update, including details of changes to show and audition fees for 2024, fundraising initiatives and a call out for a chief fundraising officer to join the Trustees.
Dear Sedos members,
As we head into our last show for the 2023 season, we thought it was a good time to update everyone on some changes for next year’s season and the work the Board of Trustees are doing to manage of the overall financial strategy of Sedos for the 2024 season and beyond.
As all members will be aware, the loss of our rehearsal, build and storage space at Brewers’ Hall Garden (“BHG”) has had a substantial financial impact on Sedos. It is fair to say that our 8 years at BHG was unusually beneficial to Sedos. Not only did we have a near-zero cost for occupying the space, but Sedos also received an annual donation from the BHG landlord of around £30,000.
Since October 2021 when we left BHG, we have had to pay for rehearsal, build and storage space as well as no longer receiving a substantial stream of income from the BHG landlord’s donation. On top of this, there were substantial cost for moving out of BHG and dealing with 8 years of accumulated props, set and wardrobe. This has meant that for two years now we have operated at a substantial loss – we incurred a c.£125,000 loss for the 2022 financial year and are projecting a c.£55,000 loss for the 2023 financial year.
Whist Sedos has reserves to cover such losses for a few years of operation, both the Board of Trustees and the Management Committee have been working hard to reduce cost and maximise income to ensure that Sedos has a sustainable future. We have a dedicated team who are continually looking for a new rehearsal and storage space similar to BHG and are in the midst of discussions with a number of locations, however, getting the same financial deal as we had at BHG is highly unlikely.
As such, we have now launched ‘Project Zero’. Project Zero is a multi-pronged and co-ordinated effort between the Board of Trustees and the Management Committee to take measures to achieve the overall result of completely balanced accounts for the 2025 financial year. This means we aim to end the 2025 financial year with no losses. We have an interim goal to ensure the losses in the 2024 financial year are no more than £30,000 as a stepping stone to achieving the aims of Project Zero.
This report sets out in more detail the initial steps we are taking to achieve these goals and. to the extent this affects you, provides a bit of background and reasoning as to why these changes are necessary. We recognise that some of these measures may not be popular but we want to reassure members that they have been discussed and debated in detail and form only a small part of the overall strategy to ensure the operations of Sedos are financially sustainable in a post-BHG world.
In addition, we are also using this as a shout out for new members for the management team. We are always looking for people to get involved with Sedos in a variety of capacities, whether it be on the Board of Trustees, the Management Committee, on a Production Team or in a more ad hoc capacity. In particular, we are looking for someone to join the Board of Trustees to lead up a dedicated Fundraising Team. This report sets out details about how you can get in touch if you want to apply for this role or otherwise be involved at Board of Trustees level.
If you have specific feedback or questions regarding any aspect of this report or indeed have feedback about any part of Sedos or its operations we would encourage you to send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope you find this report useful and informative!
All the best,
Chair of Sedos Board of Trustees