AGM: Birmingham Conservatoire, 18th June 2015
Our recruitment continues to grow steadily. Our numbers were much boosted by the requirement that all competitors in the 2014 Cecil Aronowitz Viola Competition, whether from Britain or abroad, become members of the Society for the year. Extracting subscriptions from around the world was an interesting challenge, and Sue wrote many delightful, at times cajoling, at times threatening, letters before our goal was in essence achieved! In future years we will simplify the process by including the BVS subscription in the entry fee for the competition.
Our income for the year 1st April 2014 – 31st March 2015 was £1772.43 and our expenditure £1028.65, leaving a net gain of £743.78. This sum and our credit from previous years gave us total assets on 31st March 2015 of £1150.15. Our main expenditure of the year was on technical matters in connection with the website (£319.18), sundries such as pencils and mugs to sell at the Cecil Aronowitz Competition as well as travel expenses for lecturers at this event and for Committee members coming to Birmingham to attend meetings.
There has been much discussion about the Society’s intention to aim for charitable status, enabling us to reclaim Gift Aid from the subscriptions of those taxpaying members willing and eligible to fill up the appropriate forms. Charitable status is normally granted by the Charity Commission to societies with a minimum balance of £5,000. HMRC are, however, able to use their discretion to grant Gift Aid status to smaller charities. We could apply, but the complexity of filing Tax Returns for a charity may require professional help, wiping out any gains we may achieve. Moreover the Revenue, having sunk their teeth into us, are unlikely ever to leave us in peace in the future! It seems risky to embark on this course while we remain a small, though dedicated, charitable Society with an income currently of little significance to HMRC. Discussions are, however, ongoing within the Committee.
The new system of paying the annual subscription via a PayPal button on our website seems to be bedding down nicely. We are hopeful that the inevitable teething problems have now been ironed out. This method replaces our old subscription year running from September to August, with those joining mid-year paying pro rata in accordance with the remaining months. We have also abandoned the old student concession rate of £10 and, instead, reduced the annual subscription for all from £15 down to £12. It is important to set the subscription at a price everyone can afford, and the Society’s modest income is not a problem as long as the magnificent, voluntary support of Committee members and others, which is such a strong feature of our organisation, is maintained. I am confident the BVS will continue to prosper.
BRITISH VIOLA SOCIETY ACCOUNTS
April 1st 2014 to March 31st 2015
156 PayPal subs £1564
14 HSBC subs £154
LESS PayPal fees £86.54
TOTAL INCOME £1772.43
PayPal payments £477.18
HSBC cheques paid £551.47
TOTAL EXPENDITURE £1028.65
INCOME LESS EXPENDITURE £743.78
ADD PayPal balance at 31/3/14 £406.37
BVS ASSETS at 31/3/15 £1150.15
(comprising PayPal £738.58, HSBC cheque a/c £109.56 and HSBC savings a/c £302.01)
25th May 2015