Event Finances

The purpose of an event budget is to provide guidance for the structure and planning of an event, with particular emphasis on the financial viability of events. Event budgets are useful as an accurate guide to the outcome of your event, whether it will make a profit, loss, or break even. Event budgets are typically used for activities outside of the regularly occurring activities of your Club, Society, or Project. 

All events with expenditure over £500 must complete an event budget.

This collection contains information relating to the following areas:

    It is important to do some research on your event in regards to its viability; do people want to attend? Is it something that has a history of being successful or something that has previously failed to perform to expectations?

    As a general rule of thumb, events should make a profit or break even. However, losses can be incurred with events and as a result, it is important to be as realistic as possible in your planning. Don’t be over-enthusiastic with numbers attending your event as this can lead to problems. Always try to go with the lowest number of expected income and attendance for events and work from this point as a break-even.

    These events can vary vastly, ranging from bar nights and sporting competitions to the performance of a play.

    If you are planning an event over a number of consecutive nights is it important to budget for the event as a whole, not individual nights.

    Often you will find that to run an event your Club, Society, or Project may need to run into a short term negative financial position. Don’t be too concerned; this is a very regular occurrence, as often you will be required to make expenditure before recouping the costs through the event income.

    If you have budgeted sensibly you will be able to recover the cost and run your event to break even or make a profit.

    If your group has sufficient funds, it is acceptable to run an event at a loss in some circumstances.

    However, it is important to be aware of the impact this may have on your group’s financial position and members. You must not use Club, Society, or Project funds to run events at the detriment of the group’s ability to carry out its core activities. If you intend to run an event at a loss, you must provide an explanation (in the notes section of the event budget form). You should also be prepared to be questioned about it by those authorising the budget.

    It is important to submit a budget in sufficient time before preparing for an event to allow for modifications to the budget and discussion between those organising the event and those who authorise the budget. 

    You cannot carry out any serious planning (in terms of actual expenditure or contractual commitments) without having the event budget fully approved.

    When planning events with external venues, they will typically require an event contract. This must be signed by the Deputy President (Finance & Services). You cannot sign contracts yourself.

    If your event is not going to plan, don’t panic! The Union is here to help you. If you are concerned about your event and have made commitments in regards to it please contact the Deputy President (Finance & Services) as soon as possible.

    Need help?

    Having read these training pages, if you have finance related questions or need any help, support or advice relating to your Club, Society or Projects finances, your first port of call should be your Management Group Chair or Treasurer. Their details can be found in Key Contacts for Volunteers. If they are unable to assist you, please contact the Deputy President (Finance & Services).

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