13 Finance

13.1. Finance in the early stage – no ABC yet established

There are two financing goals in this the early stage for the initiative group. One, finance the formulative meetings of the group, and two, the process for establishing the organization.

The initiative group will incur expenses for these meetings, ranging from catering to travel, legal advice, and translations. For instance, the group may want to organize a series of conferences and seminars featuring international experts who talk about ABC formulation and associated issues. Expect expenses for air or train fares, accommodation, local transportation, and some consulting fees.

Based on my experiences, the majority of these expenses can and should be financed by the members of the group on a sponsorship basis. Putting together a budget via input from the IFABC can help you outline and develop voluntary sponsorship for this phase.
The companies involved in the ABC initiative can provide meeting facilities, cover the catering costs, and make available their own legal experts. The sponsorship approach acts to solidify the commitment of members of the initiative group. Sponsorship motivates and becomes a source of pride for each member to put their commitment on the table. It induces teach member to participate at a higher level.

Another source of financing may come through a series of fundraising events. Look for organizations in your country that are elsewhere in the world that can benefit from the ABC and therefore might wish to finance part of its development at an early stage. Such early financing gives your new ABC enough distance to avoid any potential conflicts of interest, too.

Be sure to verify if such organizations exist in your country, and then contact them. You may have the pleasant surprise to be able to write a grant proposal and, eventually, obtain the funding you need. These organizations will probably be very happy to support an ABC initiative, and be even more willing to sponsor the project if a representative group of the media/advertising industry is involved and already involved in co-sponsoring the initiative. I worked on many occasions on such projects, and they were very successful.

It is also possible to have governmental bodies that would want, and be able to, sponsor your project. Juts keep an open mind; you never know where the help might come from.

An important task of the initiative group will be to outline the first operational budget of the ABC, and establish the structure and size of the membership fees. This is necessary planning for the next step.

To be able to develop the first budget of the ABC, go back to the tasks listed in the previous chapters, and note the different budget items which will be needed to ensure the resources to complete the tasks. Here is a preliminary list of expenses for this early stage of an ABC.

• Office rental and maintenance.
• Office equipment.
• Telecommunications, internet connection, mailings.
• Stationery and other consumables.
• Travel.
• Salary of the ABC manager.
• Legal and financial advice.
• Translations.

As stated before, many of the items above may be provided for free, or sponsored by the initiative group members (later members).

During my involvement with various ABC projects, the office was provided for free (in some instances for more than one year!) by one of the group members. In some cases, the communication expenses were also covered this way.

The financing at this stage must be approached in a creative way. Examine the members of the group (in the case of the advertisers: look at their respective industries, and then identify which items can be easily sponsored.

Here are two other examples. If you have in your initiative group a telecommunications company, it would be practical for this company to offer a free mobile telephone subscription for a year, including the telephone itself.

And perhaps a member of the initiative group members may be willing to offer for free office equipment such as a computer, desk and chairs, etc.

My overall experience in working with the development of ABCs is that either the initiative groups or the ABC members were always happy to offer a wide range of support to the organization – free of charge. This is another reason why there is a need for dedicated members of the initiative group, and why clear communications is needed.

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