On Target
August 19, 2011
Funding and fundraising

In recent times, many of our sporting bodies, and indeed national associations, are finding it difficult to fund their programmes.

The norm these days is for national associations to wait until the eleventh hour to call press conferences and be in alms seeking funding, especially for overseas assignments.{{more}}

One wonders if that is a new ploy for seeking mercy from the few business houses with social consciences, and good hearted Vincentians, expecting them to save the name of St. Vincent and the Grenadines?

None of our national associations are rich; neither is St. Vincent and the Grenadines, so getting funding is not by the click of a finger, nor the spoken words.

Except for the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation, which gets an annual draw down from FIFA and other subventions from the world body, and the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Cricket Association which benefits from the hosting of regional and international matches from monies sent by the West Indies Cricket Boards, the others have to beg.

Additionally, those associations which fall under the National Olympic Committee source grant funds and development courses through the St. Vincent and the Grenadines National Olympic Committee from the International Olympic Committee.

Therefore, don’t some of these associations know in advance of the tournaments in which they intend to participate? In fact, many regional tournaments are fixtured, hence planning is made easier.

However, many choose the political loophole and take advantage of their patronage and override the policy guidelines of funding of national associations. This is not anything new.

The standard procedure is for associations to submit their budgets and calendars of events in advance to the National Sports Council, which then forwards them to the National Lotteries Authority for possible funding.

Additionally, the financial standings of the associations are a requirement, before funding is allocated.

But what is most disturbing about many of the associations is that they come to the public on bended knees soliciting funds, then they go overseas, and little by way of results is known thereafter.

The teams return, with sometimes not even an update on the team’s peformance, except they do well.

In many cases, associations do not come public and give a simple Thank You advert in the newspapers.

We grew up with the staying that ingratitude is worse that witch craft, and many associations have perfected that.

How many of our sportsmen and women are encouraged by their parent bodies to patronize the businesses which sponsor them?

How many of our national associations support each other in their respective fund raising events?

Many believe it is right for them to be sponsored, but in this hard guava crop, one should see it as a privilege or as a divine blessing.

Instead, it is the choice of most to fold their arms and look for giveaways.

Some are too proud to stand at the road sides and host a Barbecue, or any form of fund raising for that matter, and go further than that and do not support their own function in any form or fashion.

For years, the National Lotteries Authority has been calling on national associations to secure a piece of land and set up a lotto booth and create their own steady income stream, but few have answered the call.

Having a Lotto Booth is not only a financial asset, but it will create employment for members of the organizations.

As we are now, the financial crunch has viced us all. Therefore, it is time for creative thinking to be employed in redoubling of efforts, and a move away from the over reliance on the handouts .

Why cannot national sporting bodies combine forces and have joint fund raising events?

Individually , each national association should have at least one major fund raising event per year, along with the smaller activities.

It is high time that the sub – committees on fund raising/ financing be re-activated, and not only be provisions made for in their constitutions.

Becoming more self sufficient and self reliant are the order of the day, if many of our national associations want to hold their heads above the water.

And, this column is still calling for the removal of the Mound at the Sion Hill Playing Field.

Is this the final call?