Finance Report - People's Assembly Conference 2014

Please see below the financial report, which will be given at the People's Assembly National Conference this Saturday, and an urgent appeal for donations.

Summary and appeal

Regular monthly income: £1545

Regular monthly outgoings: £2020
 - Staff wages £950 x2
 - Website £120

Expected account balance at the end of March: -£2,612

  • The People's Assembly is run off a shoe-string. In order to maximise the potential for anti-asuterity campaigning, and to properly support the local groups, the People's Assembly urgently needs to increase it's regular income and staff.
  • We are not receiving enough to cover even our small regular expenditure. The figures above don't include event expenses, venue hire, printing or travel. (full report below)
  • We estimate that the national demonstration on 21 June will cost between £15,000 - £20,000 alone.
  • We have raised donations to cover the costs of events so far, however, unless we stabilise our regular income quickly, it will hold back our campaign strategy.
  • Target for regular income: £5,000 by June


Please help us reach our target by setting up a regular donation - click here

Financial report for Conference 2014
Nick McCarthy, Treasurer

The People’s Assembly is now a large organisation with a range of national signatory organisations, over 100 local groups, and mailing list of 30,000.

We depend on the efforts of volunteers to build our organisation and the campaign against austerity. Bankers and big business funds the politics and propaganda of the right. We will never be able to match their millions, but we can respond by building a mass movement of opposition. But we cannot do this solely through volunteers, we need to raise funds.

The funds we raise are used to implement our campaign events, and build our organisation. An organisation the size of the People’s Assembly needs permanent support, and it is only fair that we pay those who work for us full time the living wage. Paying two staff the living wage costs around £2,000 per month. We are very grateful to receive office space and facilities for free from the Morning Star.

We have invested in a new database driven website and e-communications tool. We have created a national website, with local templates. This offers local groups access to a local website, and a database of their members. It has sophisticated e-communications and social media tools. This is on a monthly lease and costs £120 per month.

Our major costs are around events, such as the launch event, this conference, the hands off our unions meetings and national demonstrations. We aim to cover the costs of events through donations. However, the financial risks limits our ambitions and cash flow is a problem as large donations can take a while to arrive, while the bills need to be paid.

Our income stream is far from secure. A secure income stream is based on a large number of regular donations from organisations and individuals. One off events put a strain on our cash flow, for example, the expense of this conference has meant that we have had to put out an urgent appeal for donations from signatories.

Income and expenditure 2013-14
Table 1 shows the income and expenditure of the People’s Assembly to February 2014.  Our total income was just under £70,000.  Seven national unions have donated a total of £12,350. £24,395 was raised through ticket sales and stalls for the national launch event. £23,550 was been donated by other national organisations, local union branches and campaign groups, and individuals. Of this £830 a month is through recurring individual donations.

Recurring donations are the most useful as they give the People’s Assembly stable income. This type of donation has grown month by month; with a large increase from a total of £554 in October to a total of £830 in November driven by appeals by Tony Benn and Owen Jones.

However since November the recurring income has remained broadly static at £888 for February. On 3 March we received £645 from the Coalition of Resistance, which is intended to be a recurring monthly payment.

This will mean that monthly income in March is likely to be around £1,545.

A total of 202 people have set up individual payments during the last year. By the end of February there were 184 regular payments made.

There is some evidence that there is a drop off of regular donations from paypal. Of 69 regular payments made on a single day in September, 28 were no longer being made in January.  During this time 22 regular payments were set up. This explains why the initial growth in regular payments has not been maintained.

This suggests problems with the PayPal regular payment process. There are few simple alternatives to PayPal, although pushing people to set up direct standing orders should be a major initiative in 2014.

Table 1 shows the donations from organisations and individuals and the money raised by selling tickets for events. It shows that by far the largest expenditure is on events.

At the end of February we had £7,255.00 cash balance. However, some of this was from ticket sales for the Women’s Assembly and some significant bills for this event were outstanding at that stage. The cash balance will be fully utilised in staging this conference.

We have just started paying for the website, and paying staff in 2014. We have a monthly contract with our website and email provider which is £120 per month. We need to pay two freelance staff to work full time to ensure that the office can function. This costs £950 per month.

Our current monthly income is £500 short of the costs of these outgoings. In the short term we can use the accumulated cash balance and one off donations to cover the shortfall; however, we quickly need to find a solution to increasing our regular income.

The conference will debate motions on finance and we need to ensure that the funding of the People’s Assembly is increased substantially as a result of the conference decisions. We will need to launch an urgent appeal to all on our mailing list and signatories to pay membership and affiliation fees and increase donations.

Nick McCarthy

Table 1

 February 2013-14



Signatory donations

£ 25,428.00


Individual donations

£ 13,705.00


Misc donations




£ 30,636.00




-£ 53,772.00



-£ 1,132.40

Nation builder


-£ 120.00

Staff pay


-£ 4,050.00

Hands off our unions


£ 1,000.00



-£ 288.26



-£ 3,614.00


£ 69,769.00

-£ 61,976.66

Cash balance


£ 7,255.00

In addition the expenditure for this month includes:

Expenditure for March

£3600 - Emmanuel Centre hire
£1600 - Conference printing and materials
£380 - 'Join us' leaflets for groups
£325 - National demo leaflets
£175 - Budget day leaflets
£1900 - Staff wages
£2000 - women's assembly
£278 - eventbrite fees

Total expenditure: £10,258

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