As with many, if not most, small to medium charities finding the finance to keep our service going is an ongoing process. We need funds to pay the rent for our premises (we don’t own a property); for utilities such as electricity, gas and telephone/internet, and to pay therapists for providing counselling services. We also need the finance to pay executive team members who actually maintain and develop the service.
They are usually “behind the scenes” but are an essential part of Aurora which just would not run at all without them.
Many smaller charities are run by volunteers so the financial overheads can be really low, and although Aurora has much needed volunteers we also have personnel who are just unable to give their time without some kind of financial reimbursement.
Unlike many charities Aurora is largely self-funded through the contributions clients make for their therapy. In fact, on average 95% of our annual income is generated this way. This allows a level of independence and security not often possible with organisations totally reliant on external funding, but it also creates a moral dilemma for when clients cannot afford therapy. In an ideal world, we would be offering counselling services at a much reduced cost or even free but if we were to do that then Aurora just would not exist as we would be financially unsustainable.
The answer is of course to try and find a balance; to try and generate income from external and diverse sources so we bring the proportion of self-funding down from 95% to around 50%. In this way we can make our services available to a lot more people in need. There are too many people who Aurora currently cannot help as we just can’t afford it.
We have been trying to find this balance for long time so we can ensure we get the external funding needed to open our doors wider to more people. However, the level of competition from other charities, presenting hard evidence of need and the diverse range of priority areas from funders makes this an enormously difficult task. Larger charities have teams of people dedicated to fundraising via various means. Aurora has……well me mostly, and as this responsibility goes along with many others it makes the task somewhat challenging.
However, the Aurora team is growing as is our capacity to fundraise and we look ahead to 2015 with increased optimism. We want to make our services available to as many people as we can. We also want to expand our services, develop a residential provision, provide outreach services; so many things we think will make a huge difference to the lives of people abused in childhood, but to do this we need a significant injection of hard cash. If you can help in any way, please contact us now.
Finally, a very heartfelt thank you to those individuals and funders who, in a variety of ways, have made a financial contribution to Aurora during 2014. They are:
Royal Borough of Kingston – Grant funding
Rachel, Nathan and Louise – running on behalf of Aurora
Anna and Andy – always so very generous
Jane and Phil – for continually making regular donations
All our clients