What is Les Amitiés Françaises de Waverley?
Les Amitiés Françaises de Waverley is an Association whose aim is to promote the French Language and Culture. It does this by organising and holding monthly lectures in French, on French related topics, as well as organising events around the French theme.
How do the finances of the Association work?
Les Amitiés Françaises de Waverley has a membership which pays an annual subscription. This permits them to attend the lectures and apply to attend any organised events. In addition, Les Amitiés Françaises de Waverley also runs a Cercle Littéraire, which reads French literature. Members are eligible to join it, subject to places being available.
Visitors also have an opportunity to attend a single lecture for a fixed fee.
Pre-COVID, lectures were held in the Baptist Hall in Godalming, with the lecturers physically present. This requires Les Amitiés Françaises de Waverley to pay hall hire and an insurance premium. Lecturers are paid for the lecture and, where necessary, for any travel expenses.
Usually, for the organised events, income and expenditure balance themselves out.
The Reasons Why Reserves are Needed
Nearly all organisations, (this includes ours) require a certain level of reserves (cash and other assets that can be quickly converted into cash) to be maintained to deal with occasions when there is an unforeseen reduction in income, or unforeseen additional expenditure. Also, because our core activity is the provision of high-quality lectures in French to our members, periodically we need to buy and update a range of video, audio and other IT equipment. The money has to be available at the time when these purchases are made to ensure that our activities can continue without any disruption. Having an appropriate level of reserves will allow us to buy this essential equipment when the need arises.
Once the agreed and accepted ‘target’ figure (or range of figures) for reserves to cater for our financial needs described above has been calculated, it will be compared with the actual reserves.
If the actual reserves figure is below the target, we will take action to increase it to the appropriate figure over a period of five years.
If the actual reserves figure is above the target, we will take action to decrease it to the appropriate figure over a period of ten years.
Target Reserves Figure (as at January 2022) £8,000
This figure is calculated as follows:
1). Risk of unforeseen reductions in income or unforeseen additional expenditure:
Two years of normal expenditure £6000
2). Known commitments to purchase equipment relating to lecture provision £2,000
Review of this Reserves Policy
The Reserves Figure will be continually monitored by the Committee to ensure that Reserves are at the appropriate level calculated in this Reserves Policy document, and, if not at the appropriate level, actions will be taken to move it towards the appropriate level. The Committee will review the Policy annually at the time the Annual Accounts have been presented.
The Reserves Policy will be disclosed each year in the annual accounts.
Special Factors that have Applied during the COVID Pandemic (2020 to the present)
This ‘unprecedented’ time has altered significantly how we deliver our activities to our members in order to achieve our aim.
During this period, to avoid personal contact, Les Amitiés Françaises de Waverley adopted the ZOOM video-conferencing application in order to provide our programme of lectures. Whilst we did lose some members during this period, we gained others who could connect and “attend” the lectures from afar, such as Manchester; Oxford; Walton and Worthing. However, social events like the post-AGM buffet have not been possible. Because we were not allowed to provide this benefit to members, we saved the cost.
The use of ZOOM means no hall hire and no hall insurance. In addition, there are no travelling expenses for lecturers, all of which have greatly reduced expenditure. All of these factors have resulted in the build-up of our Reserves to a level which is higher than our needs.
If we need to continue to utilise ZOOM, we may require other equipment such as quality video cameras and strong Ethernet connections, to relay lectures from the Baptist Hall to those using ZOOM in their homes. As mentioned earlier, the target level of reserves must include provision for purchasing these items.
Use of Monies in the event of our Association Terminating
In the event of the Association terminating, any Reserves will be dealt with as specified in the Constitution, (below)
If it is agreed to dissolve the Association, all remaining money and other assets, once outstanding debts have been paid, will be donated to a local charitable organisation, or a body having similar aims to the Association. The organisation will be agreed at the meeting which agrees the dissolution.