Our Annual Report for 2014 is now available
Hover over the CONTRIBUTE button above, or use this direct link: http://folklorevillage.com/t1/node/26.
Irish Midsummer Festival, July 3-5th has been canceled with respect to our fiscal responsibilities. Thank you to those who registered and to the artists.
A Clear Look at Folklore Village Finances
A Message From the Board President
I’m hoping anyone who loves and supports Folklore Village will take a look at the 2014 Annual Report now posted. (See link above). It shows all of the wonderful activities the staff, Board and community participate in at this amazing place. It’s also a clear look at how all of this work gets paid for – not an easy job for non-profit arts organizations, as you probably know.
I’m going to break the financial report down into a pretty simple structure. First, the hard facts: Folklore Village needs more than $240,000 a year just to stay open. That’s about $20,000 a month, $4,000 a week, or nearly $500 a day. Our fixed costs include staff salaries, taxes, insurance, upkeep on our buildings, utilities and other fees. We also have costs for programming and other services we provide. Please believe that we keep these costs as low as we possibly can. But on 94-acre property with 7 buildings, and a full year of programming to provide, the costs add up.
Does our income cover these costs? Honestly, no. We’re looking at how to increase our earned income all of the time, and we are constantly seeking grant and sponsor funding. But if you look at our income charts, you can see that these revenue sources simply can’t keep up with our needs. Based on the numbers above, a day or evening program might pay for one day of costs for the year; a weekend festival might fund a week – at our current staff threshold, that’s about 4 months’ worth. Grants, sponsorships and rentals help a lot, but they only pay for a month or two more. Even our wonderful Friends of Folklore Village fundraising group at their current rate can only expect to raise enough to cover two or three weeks.
The past few years we have relied on savings and some extraordinary gifts to balance our budget. We have no debt and hope never to borrow against our property. There’s also fundraising: our financial chart shows that donations from individuals who love Folklore Village are generous, and we appreciate that very much. You can see in our Annual Report that we’ve thanked the donors from 2014 – a little over 200 individuals and families. If you add their gifts to our other income, that meets our budget for 40 weeks or so. That’s about 10 weeks short – at $4,000 a week, that’s $40,000. And that’s just to keep our doors open.
We’re asking our community right now to help us fill in those gaps. If you haven’t made a donation to Folklore Village, or haven’t given recently, please make the choice to donate this year. We see thousands of people come through our doors annually, and frankly fewer than 250 donors is too small a number. We’d love to see more people get involved. If you are a donor – again, thank you. Would you consider making your donation earlier than usual this year? We tend to do our Annual Ask in the fall, but we could really use some income right now. Better yet, would you please make your donation a monthly withdrawal from your bank account? It’s easier on you, and it’s very helpful to us. Our website has very easy instructions for auto-give. There are other ways you can help us increase our fundraising – making other kinds of gifts, hosting fundraising events, and finding new partnerships. Give us a call – we’d love you to get involved.
Folklore Village has made it through some tough times recently. We are determined keep operating with a balanced budget that doesn’t include debt. Even better, we want to develop a financial cushion that will protect us in hard times and allow us to grow. There are so many wonderful things that can be done at Folklore Village. We can’t do it alone – please decide to help us financially, and to do it as generously and soon as possible.
President, Folklore Village Board of Directors
BMO Harris Bank Awards "Folklife...Your Life" School Program
BMO Harris Bank has generously awarded Folklore Village's long-standing school program, "Folklife...Your Life," with a grant to fund 2015 programs for elementary age students and to assist those schools whose budgets would not normally allow participation in the program. "Folklife...Your Life" centers on enriching lives with the appreciation of tradition and heritage. Folklore Village founder Jane Farwell first started the school program by bringing international folk dances into Iowa County schools. The program provides fun and engaging activities such as arts and crafts, games in the Wakefield Schoolhouse, prairie education, international folk dance and international folk music, all designed to highlight and celebrate traditions, family, community, land heritage and the way we live our lives. It encourages children to value their own cultural traditons as well as traditions different than their own, and to recognize these folk traditions in their day to day lives. A sincere thank-you to BMO Harris Bank for continuing to support, once again, the students and schools who particpate in this unique program.
We have updated the information on our Aslak Lie House Page
Click the LIE HOUSE tab above on the webpage navigation headings for updated information regarding the construction of the Aslak Lie House. We are projecting a groundbreaking in the spring of 2015!
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